Great food near Seaport Hotel / Boston Convention center
I'm traveling from Toronto to Boston solo for 3 days in May and staying at the Seaport hotel. I love seafood and would like to know what would be good places to eat not too far away, or conveniently accessible (I assume the center is pretty transit accessible).
I did some searching on the board but didn't find anything too specific on that area (a lot more on a Hynes convention centre). So far it seems like there are a few things on the list:
Sel de la Terre
(and I see mixed reviews on Legal Test Kitchen, which I think is close by?)
Thanks for all your help in advance!
Sel de la Terre
774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199
Legal Test Kitchen
12 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128
I haven't dined at the restaurant at the Seaport Hotel, but the chef is Rachel Klein, and I enjoyed her dishes when she was at OM in Harvard Square. So, it may be an option. LTK doesn't get a lot of love here, and I would say they're okay but nothing special. B&G is in the south end and therefore the least convenient. I would say head to the North End and definitely give Neptune Oyster a try. There are many opinions about the North End on this board so do a search and I'm sure you will find something interesting. Given that you will be here in May and hopefully the weather will be pleasant, the North End is an easy and pleasant walk along the harbor.
I enjoyed Aura (the Seaport's restaurant) when Rachel Klein was there, but on a visit three weeks ago the named chef was a dude. I found the food lazily cooked (no trimming the fat from a braise? really?) and unpleasant for both entrees and didn't finish mine. Carrot veg unevenly cooked, braising glaze didn't have the fat removed (!!), filet mignon undercooked for medium (though medium is a pretty wide range, so I can understand).
It's the Chart House, actually. And I must disagree. Both the Chart House and union oyster house serve very subpar food.
LTK is quite meh, IMO.
In the seaport I'd recommend Sam's. Also there is a Daily Catch somewhere down there.
Outside of the Seaport definitely Island Creek Oyster Bar. I wouldn't recommend BandG.
That area is under heavy development, and many of the restaurants there are fairly corporate places with plans to cater to convention-goers, so don't expect cute little chef-owned holes-in-the-wall. Still, some are good and some not. I probably recommend you mostly get out of the Seaport area, but I'll include this info because it's right next to you, you'll be tired one night, and I've been researching it heavily this month.
Places I've visited this month and liked, in order of my enthusiasm right now:
Sportello: Barbara Lynch's pasta joint; I like the carbonara but it's all very good.
606 Congress: at the Renaissance hotel, see my recent eponymous positive post.
KO Pies: australian-themed, little locally owned meat pie shop about 20 minutes' walk away. Has lamingtons and ANZAC cookies!! Lamb pie _is_ de-felled. Not a full restaurant; has a picnic table inside.
Flour Bakery and next door, Bee's Knees supply -- Flour: 10 minutes' walk from Seaport for excellent sandwiches, pastry, and well-respected Joanne Chang. Lamb sandwich and brioche au sucre are my usual. Bee's Knees: specialty grocery with prepped food/sandwich counter, house-made chocolates
J.Pace: not a restaurant, but instead a prepped-foods/specialty grocery and breakfast-for-cheap spot, two minutes from the street from Seaport)
Legal Harborside: ultra corporate, but they helped write the law on HACCP and they know the business of food.
Salvatore's: recommended by a chef friend of mine, who lives nearby, for takeout. I liked it fine for sitting in front of the TV.
Blue Dragon: Ming Tsai's new place, just got 2.5 stars from the globe, still in the first flush of newness, I had the sloppy joe, I liked it more than the globe did but their complaints were valid IMO
must-avoids in my book:
Whiskey Priest, Anthony's Pier 4, Barking Crab, Del Friscos', Aura, and sadly Rosa Mexicano until they learn to use salt like the NY Rosas do. I also didn't like no-name restaurant but respect that it's about the experience there, not the food.
As for the North End, you'll have to individually pick restaurants. There are some good ones (Neptune, Mare, IMO) but a lot of burned garlic.
Lance Houston is a regular jazz musician at the Tamo bar. Don't miss him if you like good jazz if he's there.
James hook or Yankee lobster for good lobster roll close by.
Sebastians is next door to the hotel and has good breakfast sandwiches and coffee.
I like salvatores.
was recently impressed by a meal at Sam's, in the Louis building next to the ICA. was amidst a (shortlived) veg bender and cobbled together a fantastic meal of their sides. DC had a nice fish dish. kind of tucked away, GREAT views, patio and cocktails.
im on the Blue Dragon train, even if every dish wasnt a homerun.
There is nothing wrong with Legal's - its just not terribly creative. But very reliable and tasty, and their location and views cant be topped. Not sure what it was at last count but I recall the clambake being in the $30 range, comes with chowder. a deal. Do Legal's Harborside - not Test Kitchen.
You're also an easy walk into Chinatown or Downtown Crossing.