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Best Seafood in Boston - Casual

kweesee Mar 2, 2008 09:28 AM

My cousins and their bfs are visiting Boston from New Jersey easter weekend and I want to take them out for dinner on saturday night. Before I became chowhound-obseseed and really into food/restaurants, I took them to Barking Crab, which I thought was a fun experience. They want to go there agin, but I said I can prob find a place that has better seafood (they like lobster, crab, mussels, etc). I know Neptune/B&G has great oysters and Atlantic Fish co has great seafood...but I'm thinking of somewhere that is more casual. Any suggestions?

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  1. 9
    9lives RE: kweesee Mar 2, 2008 09:45 AM

    Would Daily Catch in the NE be too casual? I find that out of town visitors always enjoy it..so do I..:) I think a max of 6 maybe 8 people works fine.

    I'm not a fan of the Courthouse Daily Catch.

    4 Replies
    1. re: 9lives
      kweesee RE: 9lives Mar 2, 2008 10:01 AM

      Never been there, but it doesnt look like its more casual than Barking Crab.

      1. re: kweesee
        lissy RE: kweesee Mar 3, 2008 06:48 AM

        But it is more casual than Neptune or B&G which is I think what the OP was asking.

      2. re: 9lives
        kweesee RE: 9lives Mar 2, 2008 06:44 PM

        Daily Catch looks more italian...and it doenst have steamed lobsters, crabs, etc?

        1. re: kweesee
          9lives RE: kweesee Mar 3, 2008 08:48 AM

          It's Italian seafood. They always hava a lobster fra diavolo..which maybe they'd steam for you. Don't know about crabs.

          Much better food than Barking Crab..and the NE is nice to wander around after dinner.

      3. s
        Stride RE: kweesee Mar 2, 2008 01:23 PM

        If you're willing to go to Somerville, Pescatore Seafood is casual, warm and inviting, and excellent seafood.

        1. b
          bachslunch RE: kweesee Mar 2, 2008 03:15 PM

          I think one can do better than Barking Crab as well.

          Dolphin Seafood near Harvard Square is a good casual sit-down seafood choice with reasonable prices. If you really want to go slumming and cheap while still actually sitting down to eat, I'd suggest Morse Fish (South End), Yankee Lobster Fish Market (Waterfront), or Courthouse Seafood (between Inman and Lechmere Squares, Cambridge).

          7 Replies
          1. re: bachslunch
            kweesee RE: bachslunch Mar 2, 2008 06:45 PM

            because of location i looked at dolphin seafood and morse fish first...they look alright. are they better than barking crab? seems like the latter one doesnt have steamed shellfish?

            1. re: kweesee
              patiofixture RE: kweesee Mar 3, 2008 05:53 AM

              Morse Fish is really just an old-style counter (from the stains and scars - very old). You walk up, tell them what you want, and then (for many things) walk over to the fish display and pick out the piece of fish you want. It's not a restaurant with table service, or even plates for that matter (everything is in a styrofoam to go container). We're talking no frills whatsoever. It's good and cheap, but I'm not sure I'd take out of town guests there.

            2. re: bachslunch
              Allstonian RE: bachslunch Mar 3, 2008 10:24 AM

              I'll second the recommendation of Dolphin Seafood in Harvard Square.

              1. re: Allstonian
                BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Allstonian Mar 3, 2008 01:56 PM

                Third Dolphin: nice, simple, unpretentious, not that expensive, and quite tasty.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                  dsmoxie RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 6, 2008 05:18 PM

                  Dolphin, to my mind, is a little dull -- both in a room completely devoid of ambiance, and preparations straight out of the 1950s seafood playbook. It surely has the highest percentage of older diners of any restaurant in the neighborhood, and with reason.

                  1. re: dsmoxie
                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: dsmoxie Mar 6, 2008 06:35 PM

                    Retro does not necessarily equal without merit. I would rather have a well-prepared standby than a Hot New Thing that's crap. Yes, you know what you're gonna get at Dolphin, and it's probably not going to be the most exciting meal you'll ever have in your life, but if you're looking for a solid, inexpensive seafood meal, it's tough to beat.

                    1. re: dsmoxie
                      cambridgeMike RE: dsmoxie Mar 6, 2008 06:51 PM

                      i really don't like dolphin. it's one of my least favorite restaurants in harvard square. i don't find any of their dishes inspired, be it fresh fish, shell fish, or fish and chips. it just all seems boring and pre-made.

              2. f
                FoodArt RE: kweesee Mar 2, 2008 09:42 PM

                Summer Shack, great food, prices are a little up there, but the selection and quality of ingredients is outstanding. There is one on Dalton Street in the Back Bay, and also one across from the Alewife T stop.

                1 Reply
                1. re: FoodArt
                  Blumie RE: FoodArt Mar 3, 2008 05:41 PM

                  Summer Shack sucks (IMHO, of course). If everyone's gonna order lobster, however, it'll be fine.

                2. Bob Dobalina RE: kweesee Mar 3, 2008 06:23 AM

                  This is the mandatory East Coast Grill response. Ultra-casual - lots of fish entrees - very "fun" experience. Also a very good raw bar. No lobster, occasionally crab leg appetizer, but more toward freshly caught swimming fish.

                  I like Pescatore, but it is a quiet place - no liquor license (yet) - so probably not what you are truly looking for.

                  1. cassis RE: kweesee Mar 3, 2008 09:35 AM

                    The Daily Catch under the arches of the courthouse is a fabulous location, though it might not be warm enough to sit outside. Maybe they have heaters. Then you can walk around along the harbor over to Mike's....out of towners really like that experience.

                    The original Summer Shack at Alewife although not on the water has such a unique, big, noisy
                    space with all those lobster tanks etc. that young out of towners really like it, or so I found when my sons brought friends home.

                    The fish is ok at both but it's almost secondary to the overall ambiance for that age group.

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