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Nov 5, 2008 01:02 PM


As a recent transplant from a very land locked place, I have been enjoying my introduction to seafood! I recently tried Mussels in Portsmouth and loved them. Can anyone give me any restaurant recommendations for good mussels a little closer to home?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Great mussels at Green Street in Cambridge. Not so great mussels at Garden at the Cellar also in Cambridge (but I liked everything else so this may have been a fluke.)

    1. Aquitaine Bis is in Chestnut Hill. I assume the Aquitaine in the south end is just as good but only had them at the CH location. The best in town. Also like them at Taranta in the north end.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Joanie

        yes, they're the best...I've only had them in the SE location....
        And I hate to admit it, but in the past, I've had them as an appetizer at Legal, and they were pretty good...garlic-soaked, and enough for a meal...Just eat at the bar, and don't expose yourself to a mediocre, expensive meal...

        1. re: galleygirl

          I love Aquitaine's version too - steamed with Sancerre and fresh thyme. In fact, it's been a long time since we shared a bowl of these GG!

          Here are some more ideas from an earlier thread this year:

          Best Steamed Mussels (in Boston area?)

          1. re: Rubee

            I'm always ready!
            Another great one I've had, more like something I'd make myself, is a huge platter in fresh tomato sauce, bright tasting and full of chunks to scoop up in their Iggy';s bread, from Luigi's in wayland...Sudbury? Who can tell....

            1. re: Rubee

              Oh yeah; Aquitaine's are fab. Funny story: my fiancee once convinced George Lucas (who was sitting next to us) to order the mussels. By continually saying to me (far too loudly), "tell him to order the mussels.'

        2. 75 Chestnut does mussels well. They use a tomato based saffron broth which is my preference over white wine and garlic. Antico Forno does a wonderful fradiavolo version, and although it's not on the menu they'll prepare it if you ask.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pegmeister

            Second 75 Chestnut, also Orleans in Sommerville does a good Mussel dish, Eastern Standard used to- I know theyve switched it up a little recently, and actually I like Silvertones as well.

            1. re: Pegmeister

              he mussels at 75 Chestnut were just lovely. The broth goes beyond the standard white wine and garlic preparation to include tomatoes and saffron. The mussels are cooked with rounds of cured chorizo which, while mild by Texas standards, offer a nice spiciness to the mussels that balances well with the acidity of the tomatoes and wine in the broth. The aromatics in the dish were cut in a large dice which I appreciate because it's easier to get a bit of tomato and onion along with the a mussel in each scoop. The rounds of chorizo completed the variety of shapes and sizes in the dish so each bit was a nice blend of textures and tastes.

              Either through the addition of chicken stock, or just by the inclusion of the tomatoes (I'm not sure which), the mussel broth was more abundant and slightly thicker than what I've had with other mussels dishes. Given that sopping the broth with bread is one of the fringe benefits of eating mussels, this makes the experience even nicer. The mussels came with a single piece of lightly toasted bread and were I to order again I would request extra from the start.

              The portion size was perfect for as an entrée for one or a starter for two.

              There are two things I would like to see the restaurant do to take this dish to the next level:
              1. Soak the mussels in water for just a few minutes before steaming to help them give up their grit. I bit down into ocean sand several times while dining which isn't particularly pleasant. While this is a risk one runs when eating this dish, there are ways to avoid it.
              2. Double-check that all of the mussels have opened before plating them. I had three closed mussels and 3 that were closed enough that I wasn't quite willing to risk eating them. While I just discarded the questionable mussels in my shell bowl, I'd rather see that bit of sorting done before the dish is served.

              These two nits not withstanding, the mussels were an excellent option for a Texan looking for fresh mussels in New England - thanks to the board for the recommendations.

            2. LAM'S in Newton has an incredible appetizer: Co-Co Curry Mussels. Order it + their terrific sticky brown rice and VOILA a delicious dinner!

              1. Grafton Street in Cambridge has exceptionally good PEI (Prince Edward Island) Mussels. Traditionally prepared in a white wine, butter and garlic sauce, they pile the mussel dish high with shoestring fries drizzled with a citrus aioli. I like sitting at the bar, ordering a light white wine and the mussels - a perfect meal.