VISITING BOSTON FROM BALTIMORE - LOOKING FOR RECS
I'm going to be coming up to Boston with my wife for her Birthday in early September. I'm looking for rec's on a variety of different options. The options I'm looking for are:
1.) One really high end restaurant - open to any cuisine.
2.) Really good Italian Deli - Any place that makes their own charcuterie/salumi is fantastic
3.) Quintessential Boston spots - i.e. Union Oyster House, Irish Pubs
4.) Good beer bar or brewpub - american craft ales and belgian selections
5.) Great Italian Restaurant - Rustic or Red Sauce is fine.
5.) Good lunch spots - is Boston known for any particular international cuisine, i.e. Thai, Japanese
6.) Great seafood for lunch or dinner - I'm from the school of thought that I will find well prepared seafood at a good restaurant as opposed to a place that specializes in seafood only.
7.) Any other recs for must do boston things are appreciated.
Thanks for the help!!
If you will have a car, I'd suggest heading north to the Cape Anne Area, where there are great clam shacks like The Clam Box, Woodman's of Essex, and JT Farnhams (sp?). In that area, Salem, Rockport and Gloucester have interesting shopping and history. The Peabody-Essex Museum is a gem, and the oldest museum in America (www.pem.org).
Jasper White's Summer Shack (original one in Cambridge) has no more atmosphere than a high school cafeteria but through his previous restaurant, White became one of the star seafood chefs in the country. His (pricey) signature dish, Pan-Roasted Lobster, is a decadent, butter-laden creature. Recommended serving: one per lifetime. You can find the recipe online and if the ingredients appeal to you, go to Summer Shack, but don't wear your finest duds!
Also, this area consumes more ice cream per capita than anywhere else. We have lots of great producers, among them Richardson's (in Middleton but available lots of other spots), Kimball Farms, Christina's, JP Licks, and Benson's.
A big SECOND!! to the recommendations for a trip to the North Shore. Especially if you visit after Labor Day, the tourist population is down and the weather can be better than wonderful. Boston these days is a rather cosmopolitan metropolis, especially compared to only a few decades ago. Somehow the North Shore has managed to retain more of a regional character. Also sitting at a picnic table at Kimball Farms, licking at a drippy ice cream cone while kids run and screech with the delight that only kids, ice cream, and warm summer day can bring, is to experience the sublime and create a memory that may stick with you for a good long time.
One more thought - about Union Oyster House... ahem... merely the name of That Place can bring about Heated Discussion on this board. Likewise Durgin Park (very close by and a frequently cited alternative). I belong to the camp that believes you should go to Durgin Park and skip Union Oyster House. Others will say go to Union Oyster House if you want to. Still others will decry the food at either and advise you to go somewhere else. There's a recent thread that gets into some of the to-and-fro.
For a good beer choice the Publick House in Brookline has a great selection of Belgian's, Belgian style and other craft and micro-brews. I find the food to be kind of okay and sometimes hit or miss but am usually happy with the Mussels there (which come with 5 different options for prep) or the fish and chips.
Another fun beer-centric place is Redbones in Davis Square in Somerville (on the Red Line, just outside of Cambridge). It is a barbeque place, and have a really wide variety of beers-mostly micro/craft brews (and you can take a chance and let them spin the wheel of beer to decide what to drink).
Great beer bar suggestions from rr2035, I would only add Deep Ellum (Allston) to the list.
Publick House is the spot if Belgian beers are your focus; The RoadHouse has 40 US craft beers on draft and is 2 blocks up the street from PH.
For brewpub I would highly recommend Cambridge Brewing Co (1 Kendall Square Cambridge); wide range of styles, including many Belgian-inspired beers, from talented brewer Will Myers and crew.
Enjoy your visit and report back if you have time.
1) For high end, O Ya, Clio, L'Espalier and No. 9 Park are the board favorties.
5) My two favorite Italian restaurants in the city are in the North End, high-end, and serve Northern Italian: Prezza and Mamma Maria. A more casual board favorite is Trattoria Toscana.
6) Seafood: Neptune Oyster.
7) Don't miss the North End, Boston's Little Italy. Aside from those already mentioned, I'd highly recommend pizza at the original Regina's and cannoli at Mike's Pastry.