Tourist needs Chowhounders to criticise my choices
I'm a Toronto Chowhound heading to Boston with parents and have compiled a shortlist that I'd graciously appreciate any advice on. I shiver at the thought of what I would've had to endure if I didn't have Chowhound to help me!
My parents have passed their Chowish food-fussiness down to me so we can be a tough family to please, here's what I'm looking for:
-Mostly seafood as Toronto doesn't have much in the way of fresh seafood at a reasonable price
-Anything that one might find particularly in Boston. I will avoid the term 'authentic experience' (but not at the cost of food; I've ducked 12 suggestions for the Barking Crab because it seems too Touristy. Although good restos near the water would be nice.)
-Price range of 20-something to 30-something entrees
-Preferably close to the Intercontinental which is at Atlantic between Seaport and Pearl St. No car, but most places seem taxi/'T' accessible
B&G Oysters - for the oysters (duh) but seems like a favorite for lobster rolls too which I look forward to trying along with a good by-the-glass selection of white wines. How are their mains though?
Neptune Oyster - seems to be another great oyster place.
Grotto - Reads as an underdog favorite for great Italian food at a good value.
Franklin Cafe - a broader menu of mains, people saying it has good service as well...
Legal Seafood - This is a maybe because I don't really like chain-straunts. But LTK and/or the Long Wharf location are really close to the hotel and right on the nice waterfront...
East Coast Grill - for a more relaxed lunch maybe and some land-based food if we get tired of seafood
Bartley's Burger Cottage - if we're in the area I'm a big burger fan and beyond some very upscale places in Toronto there doesn't seem to be a good place for what is a very utilitarian dish (to me)
Now we're (Asian) and would love to try sushi in a sea-side town. From what I can tell it's between Douzo and Ginza. I'm leaning towards Douzo as it seems to have more of a modern edge in decor and food but I'd definitely go with the better food quality choice...
Ice cream - apparently Boston is an ice cream capital of some sort and my father's a big fan. Toscanini's comes up often. Is there a place in Boston near the water that would be good for an after dinner walk? Or just the best in Boston-proper? ETA: Emack & Bolio's?
Any tips as to what to order at what place, when to go, and which Japanese place to choose, or any other places that you think I might like based on my choices here would be extremely helpful, thanks greatly and do contact me if you ever need some excellent choices for Toronto!
Your list is pretty good, though as everyone else will say, dump Legal's. Damn near every restaurant in Boston does seafood and does it well, so I would suggest looking for a broader criteria and then bouncing back.
If you're in Harvard Square for Bartley's (or any other reason), Herrell's and Lizzy's do ice cream quite well, Toscannini's in HS is still not open, but the one in Central Square is. Emack and Bolio's isn't my favourite. On Newbury St. there is JP licks, I like the oatmeal frozen yogurt.
Boston is an extremely accessible city for tourists, most of the places in Boston you'll find are a twenty minute walk or so from everywhere else. Similarly in Cambridge once you get there, which is about 15 minutes from Park St to Harvard Square on the T.
For Japanese are you looking for sushi or something else?
I would add Meritage to your list which is #1, pretty close to the Intercon. Hotel, #2, overlooks the water and #3, has a good amount of seafood dishes. They have small and large plates at I think $15 and $29 (or thereabouts) so you can try a lot of things (plus good "land-based food"). People have good luck at Atlantic Fish on Boylston St. where you'll have good people watching, it's fairly pricey tho. For no frills seafood in the south end, you could try Morse Seafood on Washington St. but there sure the hell isn't a view. Lineage in Coolidge Corner, Brookline is a nice restaurant that specializes in seafood, entrees around $25 or so. Also Great Bay in Kenmore Sq. Both are on the fancier side and GB esp. gets mixed reviews, but sitting at the bar is fun and they have excellent butterscotch pudding.
The Franklin is great but keep in mind that it doesn't take reservations so you may have to wait a while, I don't really think of it as a parent kind of place but thtat's just me. Lunch isn't served at the East Coast and it's not a relaxing place. Douzo is definitely a hip place and there's also Oishi in the south end. Durgin Park is the fairly universal recommendation for a Boston experience. I'd add Pizzeria Regina in the north end to that. Actually, you don't have any north end restaurants on your list which you should do. I'd suggest Prezza, Mama Maria and Taranta for nicer places or Antico Forno, Trat. Il Panino and some others for more casual.
If you're looking for a respectable cup of clam chowder, I'd say go to Legal's, but it's not a great dining experience, and I haven't heard much of anything good about the LTK location. So yeah, skip that one. Tosci's in Harvard closed, if you want to go to the original in Central that's still open but Lizzy's is good too.
Go to Grille Zone if you want a no-nonsense high-quality burger... I think Bartley's has more to offer as an attraction than a creator of good burgers.
If you're down by the waterfront and you're specifically interested in local sushi, I'd recommend you investigate Sea to You (http://www.seatoyouboston.com/). It's not fine dining, but another utilitarian type operation: they are the purveyors of fresh fish to a lot of sushi places in Boston, and you can get nigiri or maki made with the absolute freshest (i.e. right off the boat) local fish (http://www.seatoyouboston.com/r_produ...). If you want a lunch order you can call in an order and then pick it up or have it delivered.
Most of your choices are very good. Choose Daily Catch over Legals, or any restaurant in Boston has good to great seafood. You are very near the North End, so you may want to consider subbing Neptune for B and G for that reason. For that matter, James Hook is nxt door. They may shuck some and voila, instant room service. Even Kingfish Hall, if you are one of the lucky ones to have a great meal. Inconsistent. Radius is also walking distance and fits your price point for lunch.
Best ice cream: Cristina's in Inman Sq (situated between Harvard, Central, Union, and Kendall Squares). And while you're in the area, don't miss James Beard award winner Oleana for farm fresh inventive mediterranean fare (including nice fish entrees) and a killer outdoor dining area. ....Or hit East Coast Grill, which is basically next door to Cristina's.