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Looking for a Seafood Rest with Ambiance

I don't really know Boston that well. We will be visiting for a weekend and are looking for a nice Seafood Restaurant that has some ambiance. Any ideas?

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  1. Oceanaire Seafood Room downtown on Court Street, if you want to feel like you're on a luxury liner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Taralli

      I second Oceanaire. Food and ambiance was excellent. Service and drinks need some work but were passable.

      1. Drawing a blank on the seafood restaurant in Kendall Square...

        Almansa, what's Mare like? Never been...

        10 Replies
        1. re: lemiller610

          Are you thinking of Great Bay?

          Oh wait, are you talking about Kendall? The only seafood place there is Legal.

          1. re: yumyum

            Blue Room! Just remembered. Good seafood place, no? Haven't been there in years.

            1. re: lemiller610

              Blue Room has some excellent seafood dishes (I love the whole branzino), but it's not really a seafood restaurant per se. I'd call it an American bistro, or more exactly, a Cantabridgian bistro.

              1. re: finlero

                good call, finlero.

                Has anyone tried their brunch, btw?

                1. re: lemiller610

                  There was a pretty good thread about Blue Room's brunch about a month ago:


          2. re: lemiller610

            Hey, I'll admit it - I've never been either. But I hear it has a nice ambience and decent food, and it is a seafood restaurant. I forgot about Neptune - excellent choice. I don't think the ambience at Great Bay, B&G (unless outside), Legal's or Oceanaire is particularly inviting.

            1. re: lemiller610

              A couple of us recently wrote RW reviews of Mare, very good, organic seafood I think is how they bill themselves. Atmosphere is very not North End.

              I also thought of Kingfish Hall which has gotten too pricey but is usually dependable. And Azure where I've had both great and fine meals. In the Hotel Eliott, comfy dark atmosphere, and City Bar is a fun place across the lobby.

              1. re: Joanie

                i laugh a little every time i hear the term 'organic seafood.'

                1. re: Joanie

                  azure and city bar are in the lenox hotel. clio and uni are in the eliot hotel.

                  1. re: Joanie

                    Mare used to be much better when Marisa was helming the kitchen. A recent meal about 3 months ago was lackluster and quite forgettable.

                2. The Legal Seafoods location at Park Plaza is nicely decorated, and I've never had a bad meal there or at any Legals location. HOWEVER, Legal's gets consistently ripped on this website, so take my minority opinion with a big grain of salt.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                    Neptune Oyster, North End
                    B&G Oyster, South End

                  2. I'd have to go with McCormick & Schmick.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: treb

                      Good one...you had me going there for a minute.

                    2. funny no one mentioned. ATLANTIC FISH is a big fave with chowhounders for seafood. id say its the best in town IMO

                      1. Call me nuts, but I find the ambience at Anthony's Pier 4 to be quite charming. Something about the water damaged drop ceiling and the grandparently service...

                        3 Replies
                            1. Belle Isle Seafood.. its over in East Boston.. just don't plan on sitting.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: grant.cook

                                Belle Isle Seafood is awesome, I wish I could get there more often -- BUT -- speaking to the OP's request, it is decidedly not a "nice" seafood restaurant. The vibe is more of a shack kind of a deal. NB they also close at 7.

                              2. I feel a backlash coming on already, but how about Great Bay? From my experience, food is good and I think it's a beautiful restaurant.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: nm424

                                  I somewhat agree but think it's over priced.

                                2. Ambiance can only be caught in warm waters, so Boston's not a good area to find it.

                                  I'd recommend St. Bart's for the best; they do an Ambiance with capers and lemon butter that's out of this world.

                                  (Sorry, long day. Kingfish Hall in Quincy Market is actually quite good, although it gets some grief on this site. Daily Catch in the North End is really good for shellfish and pasta, although it's tiny and the ambiance consists of your food being served in the pan it was cooked in. Neptune Oyster, also in the North End, is one of the best restaurants in the city, IMO.)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                                    B&G Oysters in the south end. I would describe the ambiance as cozy-urban rather than fish shack. the food is always great.

                                  2. The East Coast Grill in East Cambridge seems like an obvious rec.
                                    Not sure why nobody until now mentioned it.
                                    The food is much more inventive than LS and the restaurant has a local feel.
                                    Get a cab from downtown and go!