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Jul 6, 2011 07:08 AM

Thanks to Chowhounders - First stop - Neptunes! Second stop - Reginas!

Wow. The suggestions on this board are spot on. I had asked for help with our brief stay in Boston and received many great suggestions. We arrived in Boston yesterday afternoon and headed out immediately for Neptune's.

The original plan called for us to hit the restaurant late (around 2) thinking that the line would be shorter. As it happened, we arrived around 12:45. No one was taking names (they were short a server) so we just waited in line. (a little inconvenient, but 2 in our party took off and I gathered them back via text when I was first in line) We waited about 45 minutes. Not bad.

We loved the atmosphere. My daughter who came from Madrid to meet us said it has a "buena pinta" - a nice look or feeling. I agree. We were asked if we wanted a table or the bar. We opted for the bar to be able to watch the action.

We started with a bottle of Cava and things only got better from there. I know nothing about oysters except that I adore them. We decided to order 3 each of 3 different varieties so we could all compare. They were brought on a beautiful display and we were told that the order of the oysters was clockwise from how we ordered them. Cool.

First up were something "Royale". Medium salty, large, succulent. Yes. Then came the Peacock Cove. Less salty, smaller, clean finish. Last were the Kushi (don't remember the spelling). Tiny, very round, cucumber finish. We loved them all.

We only ordered two items on the menu to split between the 3 of us. We are believers in the "Law of Diminishing Returns" when it comes to food. The first few bites are the best. We ordered the Buttermilk Johnny Cake with Tuna Tartare and Caviar and also the Warm Lobster Roll.

The Johnny Cake was sublime. Such an unusual concept - a soft, delicious Johnny Cake with crispy edges (very important) and an awesome tuna tartare with some kind of creamy element in it. Caviar added a salty finish, One person in my party loved this even more than the lobster roll.

You all already know how great the lobster roll is. I had never had one before and now I probably never will again unless it is from there.

I had read that the service can be lacking, but we found evidence to the contrary. While our server was extremely busy, she was quite pleasant and helpful. The experience was fully satisfying.

When we left around 2:30 there was still a line outside. . .

Dinner was pizza at the original Reginas. We also loved the genuine atmosphere at this place. The somewhat brusque service seemed to go along with the setting. We ordered one 18" pizza with sausage, peppers and carmalized onions. Fantastic. Loved, loved, loved the crust especially - crispy bottom, great taste, not overdone with sauce. Maybe not the absolute best pizza I have had (that honor still goes to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix where I live), but a solid contender. We are eager to pit it against pizza from Grimaldi's in Brooklyn when we visit there in a few days.

Today we are heading to Charlie's Sandwhich Shoppe for breakfast/brunch and Oleana's for dinner on the suggestions from this board. I will report back when I can.


134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. Are you from New England or did you pick up New Englanders' habit of adding an "s" to the end of every restaurant name while you were visiting?!?! : )

    3 Replies
    1. re: Blumie

      I don't think that's a New England thing. My Pittsburgh relatives do it constantly. We all like to think that the behavioral and verbal quirks we notice around us are uniquely regional, but it's rarely true.

      1. re: robwat36

        There certainly are pronounced regional differences in speech, not just in accents but in language. I always had thought this was one of them.

        1. re: robwat36

          My New Yorker relatives have always done it as well, FWIW.

      2. so glad you and your group had a good first day! I don't know how anyone could eat one of those lobster rolls alone...

        I was going to recommend that you share the vegetarian mezze tasting at Oleana but then I just looked at the current menu and the octupus, squid,and tuna mezze look wonderful. The sultan's delight is always a treat if you like beef. I once shared the veg tasting with on friend and we added three other mezze and it was plenty (I can't eat much) so with three maybe you can try more. I hope you get to sit in the garden!

        134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. I think Grimaldi may have the edge! Great report!

          1. Great report and glad you had a good time. It was really nice of you to take the time to give such a detailed report. So often we never find out how someone made out. Glad you enjoyed!