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Looking for dinner rec's from relocated New Englanders!!!

My boyfriends b-day is around the corner - and I would love to surprise him by taking him to a restaurant that reminds him of home - specifically Boston.

Can any Bostonians reccomend a place that makes you nostalgic for home?

A few things he always talks about: the seafood ( I know really obvious ) - the chinese food ( what makes it different I have no idea, but he loves it )

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks chowhounders xoxo

PS - I already know where the Carvel is!

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  1. Enlighten us, where is the Carvel?

    3 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      Carvel is an ice cream company that specializes in ice cream cakes - it is an institution back East1

      1. re: DavidT

        The franchisees in Berkeley and Brentwood have closed. Los Altos Carvel might still be open.

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        Carvel Ice Cream
        2310 Homestead Rd, Los Altos, CA

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          @ David I mis-read your reply - yes there is a Carvel in Los Altos

      2. A complicated request.

        Not because there's no Bostonian fare in the Bay Area.

        Rather, I have learned NOT to order items like "lobsta" outside of New England because it so often disappoints my Boston born/bred palate. It's either too fussy (French Laundry) or has the ever so slightly off aftertaste of shellfish that either has traveled too far or been cooked too hard (Sam's Chowdermobile/Chowder House, in Half Moon Bay).

        But here are some suggestions that work for me (and I get plenty homesick)

        1. Buy a couple live lobsters from a tank in a good fish market (e.g.. Monterey Fish in Berkeley) and steam them yourself (the really helpful guys @ Monterey Fish will tell you how, if you've never done it before and are worried about an Annie Hall moment [lobsters making a get-a-way behind the fridge]). Toss a nice salad, pick up a good baguette, etc. And for dessert, serve Boston Cream Pie w/ a candle from @ Crixa Cakes in Berkeley. Maybe not 100% authentic, as Boston Cream Pies go--on the other hand, maybe even better than authentic.

        2. Take him to Maverick in S.F.--the chef is Scott Youkilis, brother of Red Sox star player, Kevin--the fare, which is good, has nothing to do w/ Boston (the Youkilis family are East European Jews, who fled to Greece to escape the Nazis and eventually emigrated to, I think, Ohio)--but you can buy a bottle of Kevin's hot sauce that benefits a charity. Y-O-U-K!!!!

        3. Another stretch: eat @ Wood Tavern in Berkeley--there's Bostonian lingo on the menu ("wicked," eg.), to let you know from whence the owners came--would that there was real Boston fare (though what they do have is usually topnotch).

        Hope your boyfriend has a great b'day! Good luck to him and the Red Sox!

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        Crixa Cakes
        2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

        Wood Tavern
        6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

        2 Replies
        1. re: sundeck sue

          There's also Wood Tavern's new place, Southie.

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          Wood Tavern
          6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

          Southie
          6311 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            The OP has their restaurant reservations. But for future reference, the only thing Southie about Southie is the name. They don't even claim that on the website. The East Bay Express wrote "The name "Southie" refers to head chef Maximilian DiMare's Boston birthright, but aside from the Cape Cod potato chips that accompany every sandwich, the only overtly Bostonian item on the menu is pastry chef Sarah Ballard's marvelous whoopie pie, a dish claimed by both the Pennsylvania Dutch and the state of Maine but probably invented at the Berwick Cake Company in Roxbury"

            http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/the...

            Grew up in New England, went to college in Boston and I never even heard of a whoopie pie until I started to read Chowhound.

        2. You can also order directly from Legal Seafood and they ship lobster and other items directly to you.

          Every fall we used to go apple picking and that might be something you could do here that reminds him of New England.

          I have found that you can't go looking for substitutes because your memory of your favorites will always be better. He just has to learn to like new things they do well here in CA.

          1. Swan oyster depot reminds me of Boston. Simple, very fresh seafood served at a vintage counter that you have to line up for. Love the chowder. Lobster is most expensive item but worth it if you haven't had it all year. Dungeness crab is better. The guys behind the counter have the same nononsense bustle as folks out east. Only open until 6 I think.

            1. Woodhouse and Old Port Lobster Shack go to some lengths to serve East Coast-style seafood.

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              Old Port Lobster Shack
              851 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063

              Woodhouse Fish Company
              2073 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

              2 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I had a naked lobster role at Old Port Lobster Shack a couple weeks ago. It was great.

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                Old Port Lobster Shack
                851 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I have gone to Old Port to get my annual lobster jones-in over with. I will say that while the meal is quite good be prepared for a bit of sticker shock. However, I very much appreciate that the lobster/crab rolls are served in the NE style hot dog buns, maybe the only place I've encountered them here. The menu is much like a Maine lobstah pound down to the blueberry sodas. Actually lobster is pricey even in Boston/Maine unless you buy it off the boats and cook it yourself.

                  Woodhouse seems like West Coast to me. I can't quite put my finger on it but maybe it's all the different choices on the menu covering both coasts. I can't remember eating many lobster/crab rolls in Boston though they dominate in Maine. Also ambiance at Old Port and Woodhouse is a bit perfunctory and lacks the family charm of Swan IMO.