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Seafood in Boston

s
sevendust Dec 7, 2010 03:42 PM

What is the best seafood restaurant in Boston and why?

  1. rubysdad Dec 27, 2010 06:28 PM

    Jasper White's Summer Shack is the best all around seafood restaurant in Boston. They are passionate about fish: freshness, proper preparation, and overall quality. The service is prompt and unpretentious. They don't take themselves too seriously, ("eat oysters, get lucky") but they take food very seriously. Legal is at best inconsistent and at worst atrocious. It is also overpriced, overrated, and a classic tourist trap. Poster above might consider ordering the RI style calamari at the Summer Shack as a case in point for comparison to Legal...

    -----
    Summer Shack
    310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

    3 Replies
    1. re: rubysdad
      b
      Blumie Jan 5, 2011 11:24 AM

      Summer Shack??? Ewwww!!!

      1. re: Blumie
        j
        Johnny West Jan 5, 2011 11:31 AM

        I have only eaten at Legal at the airport manned then it was lunch.
        The raw oysters were fresh from PEI, the lobster roll was excellent
        and the vodka martinis were ice cold. Our waitron was just fantastic
        and very attentive. Folks were looking at our food and ordering the
        same.

        If you ever get to Martha's Vineyard, check out Atria for seafood. My
        son is chef there. He makes killer lobster rolls but not sure they are
        on the menu. I had his when he cooked at the Coach House/whatever
        it's called now.

        1. re: Blumie
          g
          Gabatta Jan 5, 2011 04:02 PM

          Not sure that I would call is the best, but the Alewife Summer Shack location has excellent seafood. The one criticism I can level is that it is a bit over priced. However the specials are always fresh and excellent. I also contend that they have some of the best oysters in Boston.

          -----
          Summer Shack
          310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

      2. s
        scotty27 Dec 24, 2010 10:46 AM

        Legal is consistently good, but not fine dining. Bistro du Midi has the ex-sous chef from Le Bernadin. O ya? Well...you decide if spoonful sized portions are worth these prices:

        DIVER SCALLOP
        sage tempura, olive oil bubbles, meyer lemon* 18

        MEDAI
        white soy ginger, myoga, lemon oil* 21

        DIVER SCALLOP
        summer truffle, sake sea urchin jus,
        chervil* 24

        Why not go to New Deal, spend $60 on fish, and have three great meals at home?
        www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

        -----
        Bistro du Midi
        272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

        10 Replies
        1. re: scotty27
          t
          teezeetoo Dec 24, 2010 11:00 AM

          oddly enough, in spite of the fact that I've loved my few visits to Le Bernardin, I do not love the fish at Bistro and, in particular, do not like the Bouillabaisse. And, in general, if the OP asks for recommendations, why would you tell him/her to stay home and cook?

          1. re: teezeetoo
            s
            scotty27 Dec 24, 2010 11:09 AM

            Because I can't think of an all fish restaurant in Boston as good as good fish from New Deal cooked at home.

            1. re: scotty27
              t
              teezeetoo Dec 24, 2010 11:52 AM

              I love New Deal and all the folks and fins there. Last night, grilled sardines and red snapper from ND and they were divine. I'm glad you love it to and Carl and family deserve the kudos. But that's still not what the OP asked.

              1. re: teezeetoo
                s
                scotty27 Dec 24, 2010 11:54 AM

                Hey, was that you with the beard and glasses?
                I did answer earlier: Legal Seafoods and Bistro du Midi.

                -----
                Bistro du Midi
                272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                1. re: scotty27
                  t
                  teezeetoo Dec 24, 2010 01:37 PM

                  so will i recognize you next time by the red carnation?

                  1. re: teezeetoo
                    s
                    scotty27 Dec 24, 2010 02:02 PM

                    Newspaper clutched to chest, headline: GIANTS WIN SERIES!
                    I will hand you a fish wrapped in that paper.
                    Take it out: Marinate fish in miso, broil for 2 minutes, serve with barley shochu.

                    www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                    1. re: scotty27
                      t
                      Torolover Dec 28, 2010 05:03 AM

                      Hey Scotty,

                      I'm going to New Deal to get some seafood. Do you have any good recipes that can make a dish better then the restaurants?

                      Thanks!

                      1. re: Torolover
                        s
                        scotty27 Dec 28, 2010 05:31 AM

                        I use "The Young Man and the Sea," by Dave Pasternack (Esca) a few times a week. It's fast and easy.
                        www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

          2. re: scotty27
            barleywino Dec 28, 2010 05:50 AM

            to be fair, the portions of the first two dishes you cite are not spoon sized, but perhaps 3 or 4 x spoon sized, so appetizer sized. haven't tried the 3rd dish you mentioned so can't comment on size.

            1. re: scotty27
              g
              Gabatta Dec 28, 2010 06:05 AM

              Legals is consistently over priced and under whelming. It is a tourist trap where the quality of ingredients and prep has gradually declined over the years.

              My favorites in the area are:
              - Island Creek (we'll see if it stands the test of time)
              - ECG (need the tuna tacos and specials are always excellent)
              - Neptune (great food; obnoxious service and ownership though)
              - Moulton's (great value, simple old school feel)
              - Oceanaire (chain or not, they turn out some excellent fish; steak house sized portions are a turn off though)
              - Summer Shack (specials are always fresh; best oysters (Alewife loc); wish it were a better value though)
              - Belle Isle (lobster roll only)

              A little searching will give you more detail on the why's.

            2. PinchOfSalt Dec 24, 2010 10:08 AM

              Sorry but you have hit a sore point with me. What is best really is an individual matter. Different people weight different factors differently. So many times people come to CH and ask for the best. Who knows if any of the responses really will be what they are looking for. Plus questions like this one almost inevitably result in a revisiting of old arguments about what is good that have been beaten to death many times over.

              So, so we can better help you, what do YOU look for in a seafood restaurant? Tell us what is important to you, and we will do a much better job of helping you find a place where you will enjoy your meal.

              3 Replies
              1. re: PinchOfSalt
                t
                teezeetoo Dec 24, 2010 10:34 AM

                As Pinch says, it depends on what you like. For me, I like Island Creek right now and Cognac Bistro where the fish is beautifully prepared. I also like Legals for certain things and I'd like Neptune Oyster but it's too much of a scene for me. I guess its about range: do you love sushi or a lobster roll? raw oysters, or trout almondine?

                -----
                Neptune Oyster
                63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                Cognac Bistro
                455 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

                1. re: PinchOfSalt
                  b
                  bizkat Dec 26, 2010 10:29 AM

                  I agree. You could break this topic down to styles of preparation:
                  Peach Farm for chinese-style, Rincon Limeno for ceviche and fried seafood, Desfina for Greek-style grilled fish.

                  -----
                  Peach Farm
                  4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                  Rincon Limeno
                  409 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128

                  1. re: bizkat
                    t
                    treb Dec 28, 2010 05:56 AM

                    Rincon also does a great shrimp in a Peruvian cream sauce.

                2. e
                  emilief Dec 24, 2010 09:59 AM

                  There are strong mixed feelings on this board about Legal Seafood. I assume that must be because of differences in the various locations. As for us, we frequent Legal in Chestnut Hill and sometimes Framingham and have never had anything but the freshest, most well prepared seafood. We were there yesterday for lunch. Oysters were cold, briny and delicious- perfectly shucked, no shells etc. I had a scallop roll - sweet succulent scallops with a very crispy exterior on a brioche bun. Also had a spicy soup with shrimp wontons. DH had the calamari RI style-with garlic and hot peppers. Yum.
                  There are many restaurant that serve fish, but none that are truly "fish" restaurants like Legal. Go ahead, throw rotten eggs at me. Merry Christmas to all.

                  1. c
                    cambridgedoctpr Dec 7, 2010 06:01 PM

                    o ya - try it and decide for yourself

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                      f
                      Fstein02 Dec 27, 2010 06:10 PM

                      It has been alleged that the chef-owner unfairly appropriated the recipes of other restaurants by pretending to be a fan-
                      and the prices are silly

                      1. re: Fstein02
                        tatamagouche Jan 5, 2011 05:21 AM

                        Who, where, why, what? This is news to me...

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