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Mar 20, 2012 11:54 AM

Recap of our Boston St. Paddy's Weekend Dining

Hello Boston Hounds,

As per usual when traveling, I searched the chow board as the basis for full-throttle chowing. My wife and I spent 4 days last weekend in your great city from Dallas to check the box of watching Boston's own Dropkick Murphys on St. Paddys day and enjoying the city during the time. Please find our dining details below. Thanks for all the suggestions I was able to gleen.

Neptune Oyster - Had a dozen of different local oysters as an app. prior to the meal below since we were in the neighborhood. They were all fantastic. I'd been there on a previous trip and I really like it.

Terramia - Ok, here is the only mis. I had been there a couple of times in the past (4or5yrs ago) and really loved the open face seafood ravioli and wanted it again as I remembered that it was that good. Well, it wasn't this time. The pasta was hard and the scallops and shrimp had a faint amonia taste (you know what that means). My wife had sausage and polenta dish. The sausage was undercooked and that is never good. It bad. Oh well, it is straight up from there.

The Druid - Had lunch on Friday at the Druid based upon input from the board. Wow, what I find. One of the best pubs stateside that I have ever been to. Seemed to be mostly all locals there. The staff was absoultely superb and friendly. The 2 pints of Guiness were perfectly drawn. The fish and chips were as good as advertised. Really light battered cod, cooked perfectly with hose made fries all wraped up like Jiffy Pop in newpaper. Wife had beef stew which had large chunks of beef with very fresh green beans, potatoes, and carrots. Great Irish bread with Irish butter. Heck they even had Chef's brown sauce from Ireland instead of the much more used HP from Brittan. Can't say enough about how we like everything here. Thanks to the staff for showing us out of towners a great time.

Craggie On Main - After kicking around Cambridge for the day, we tucked in to Craggie on Main for dinner. Oh my, this place knocked it out of the park. I had the 9 course tasting menu and my wife had the 7 course vegetarian tasting menu (she's not vegetarian). Firstly, what a great looking place inside with the open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant on the bar on the other side. I've been fortunate to eat all over the country and worl and take it pretty seriously. I'll tell you that this is some world class cooking at Craggie. From the amazing, well made bread, to the well chosen wine list, it was all superb. I don't have the words to recant the entire tasting, but not one dish was less than spectacular. Also, the staff was empecably trained and very knowledgeble. This is a truly great American Restaurant, IMO.

Galleria Umberto - Tried to get into Neptune for early lunch on Sat.(St. Paddys) but there was an hour wait, so we decided to pop into Galleria Umberto for quick lunch since we were in the hood. Really like this place too. Had a square of pizza and an Arancini. Pizza was definatley different, but perfectly cooked with goopd color on the cheese that I like. The Arancini was big, hot, crunchy and filled with meat sauce and Mozz. Perfect lite lunch.

Island Creek Oyster- Wife was tired and full and went back to the hotel as we were up for a late night, later. So, I went over and bellied up to the bar around 4:30 when they opened. The bar staff was really friendly and helpful in suggestion wine pairing for the dishes I tried. Had a dozen local oysters and clams to start paired with a sparkeling Muscadet (which I didn't even knew existed). Had a bowl of clam chowder which was excelent with house made biscuits instead of oyster crackers floating in it. The bartender recommended an oyster slider which was fab. It came on a freshly made roll with pickeled onions and spicey aioli. Being from the south and spending lots of time in NOLA eating Oyster Po Boys, this slider was right up there. Finished with a Lobster Roll. It was very traditional with a little Mayo, little Celery, lots of tail, and claw meat on a home baked roll. I really like the openness of this place compared to say Neptune. It got crowded and festive in a hurry. I'd highly recommend.

Summer Shack - Yes, I know he's got a few of them, but I was going to have a Lobster and and fried belly clams before I left. There was one close to our hotel in the Copley Square as we were pressed for time getting to the Parade in Southie before we caught our flight home. So, I had fried Belly Clams which were fine. A little oily, maybe. Then I opted for the 2 lb Pan Roasted Lobster in Bourbon Sauce. I'd had this before at the Mothership in Cambridge when it first opened. It is a dang good preparation of Lobster IMO. I really liked it. My wife had the fried chicken which was also very good.

Well that was it except for many pint and Irish Whiskey at McGreely's on Boylston while watching March Madness. Not terribly chowish, but a fine place to watch sports, listen to good music and drink.

In closing, everyone we met in Boston was just so nice and helpful. We really enjoyed our time in your great city.

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  1. Glad you had a great trip, and thanks for reporting back. Craigie, Island Creek, and Gallaria Umberto are three of my favorite places in town, though I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe Umberto's as a "lite lunch' before!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kimfair1

      Umbertos' is light compared to fried clams and a 2 lb lobster :-) Thanks for the great writeup and report back. You definitely hit some Chowhound favorites. BTW, I think the Summer Shack that you went to was the first one prior to the place in Cambridge.

    2. Can't tell you how helpful this is,all your details. So many visitors don't report back, which is not helpful when we go to advise the next visitors. So glad you found us welcoming!

      1 Reply
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        You are welcome. It's the only way to be a real hound. gotta share. In fact, I got alot of ideas from your posts.

      2. We were at the Druid for lunch on Friday - if you were there between 12 Noon and 2:30 p.m. you may have seen our large party. The food there sure is good. Thank you for the rest of the report - all good choices. You will have to get to Neptune next time! :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Small Plates

          Indeed we was there then. We were sitting right next to you guys at the end of the bar.(probably looking like tourists) Ya'll had cupcakes and everything! Looked like it was a fun party. Thanks for mentioning!!!!!!

          1. re: J.R.

            Yes! That's funny - we offered to buy you drinks because we felt our overgrowing gang was crowding you out! If you come back next year, we owe you those drinks! We are at the Druid every St. Patrick's day - and if it falls on a weekend, we are there the Friday before. Slainte!!

        2. Great report back! Love your picks especially Druid for a real REAL place. You done well! And please spread the word... this hype about us not being friendly is bogus! Anytime I see people struggling with a map and looking lost I help them whether they like it or not. I bet most people here do too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: yumyum

            "Anytime I see people struggling with a map and looking lost I help them whether they like it or not": yumyum you are my kind of girl. I do the same thing and am frequently not shy about steering visitors to restaurants in the North End.

          2. This thread was featured in the Overheard section of this week's Boston Digest. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the thread.