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May 14, 2012 06:50 AM


are there any reasonably priced restaurants along Boston's new waterfront?

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  1. It would probably help to define what you mean by "reasonable". If you're visiting Boston from some parts of the country, the local prices can be shocking.

    Generally speaking, I think there are some places in the Seaport (which I believe is what you mean when you say the "new waterfront") that are cheap, and some that are expensive, and some in between, but very few that I consider a good value.

    My perception is that most Seaport restaurants are targeting conventioneers, tourists, and suburbanites, which means they have to aim for a kind of market sweet spot, or to put it less charitably, a lowest common denominator. This accounts for the large proportion of national and local chain outlets there. There is clearly a huge demand for this -- the Seaport is humming with restaurant patrons these days -- but it's not the formula I generally seek when dining out.

    1. Have a visitor from Toronto coming who knows Boston -- looking for something less expensive than Legal, Morton's, etc.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jmanfarm

        I think most of the moderate options range from just okay to pretty grim. In this category I'd put the Daily Catch (a Sicilian seafood place with much lower quality and less charm than the North End original), Jerry Remy's (a good sports bar with unremarkable food), a handful of fake Irish-American pubs with forgettable food (Whiskey Priest, M.J. O'Connor's, Atlantic Beer Garden), Salvatore's (a middling, middlebrow Italian-American joint), a few just-fair-to-awful tourist-trap seafood joints (Barking Crab, No Name, Yankee Lobster), a bunch of unprepossessing hotel restaurants in the American/New American vein (City Bar, 606 Congress, Aura, Sauciety) and several upscale Yankeefied Mexican places (Temazcal and Rosa Mexicano, the latter of which I have not yet tried).

        In the general area, I tend to prefer a few places that are not explicitly in the new-new Seaport area, but on the Financial District side of the channel or a few blocks away over on Congress Street: Trade, Sportello, and for more casual fare, Lucky's and Flour.

        1. re: jmanfarm

          I agree with MC Slim JB's assessment -- I don't think there's anything great around here. For fairly casual sit-down places that are less expensive than the noes you mentioned, you could try Legal Test Kitchen, Lucky's, Papagayo, or Channel Cafe. If you want something nicer, I think Sportello is your best bet.

        2. Very sad that the waterfront and most of the convention area seems to have mostly big-box restaurants. Ate at Smith & Wollensky for the first time and it was basically Longhorn with a better wine list. Big TV just blurs the distinction further.

          I wish Boston could open places like Portland's Duckfat, but maybe such small volume can't sustain our rents. Maybe some of the food trucks will park down there to provide some variety.

          9 Replies
          1. re: nightsky

            rent in a place the size of smith & wollensky is between $40-$50 k per month. before you even turn on a light or pay a dishwasher.

            as much i love duckfat, the economics simply won't cut it in most of boston proper.

            sam's, behind louis', does some very nice food, (much improved with newish chef) reasonable wine list and stunning views.

            1. re: nightsky

              The daily catch in the seaport district has the same quality food as the one in the north end. They have the same owner and the same person over looking operations for both.
              Yankee lobster is pretty good. It is like a claim shack and lacks the glorified details that many look for. I would put their lobster roll up against anyone's and its price is reasonable. Their chowder, fish chowder is the best around.

              The barking crab has improved over the last few years. Nice place to go if in your 20's or 30's. Go for a beer and an appetizer.

              Hook is strictly for a lobster bisque to go. I have heard their lobster roll is better and again for a decent price.

              1. re: libertywharf

                Hook's has a great lobster roll..$12/15 and crab roll; even better now that they're toasting the buns. Far better than the 1 I had from the food truck, Lobsta Love a few mins ago.

                Haven't tried Yankee's lobster roll, but I like their chowders.

                1. re: 9lives

                  Wish I had seen this post an hour ago.

                  I just finished a disappointing $15 lobster roll from Lobsta Love. The lobster meat itself was properly cooked, and had a good selection of meat (claw, etc). Not that much meat, but enough.

                  The big problem was that it was WAY overseasoned. I could barely tell it was lobster. I would consider going back for a couple other items on their menu, but the truck usually parks far away, so I doubt I'll make much effort. Hook is better than this, for less dough.

                  P.S. on the way back to the office, I passed another truck called Monstah Cookie. Lobsta, Monstah... basta!

                  1. re: Alcachofa

                    You coulda had a chowdah and made it the full fake-beantown experience!

                    I've found the same thing with Lobsta Love - fine roll, really well-cooked meat, but they definitely are of the more-is-more school of seasoning. Too much salt and something else - lemon pepper? Would probably be great for tuna salad but totally drowns out the flavor of the lobster. Same problem with the "asian fusion" style roll - basically a sriracha mayonnaise if I recall correctly.

                2. re: libertywharf

                  Regardless of their common operations management, that is not my experience of the Seaport Daily Catch, nor of several others who have reviewed it here. I'm a big fan of the original. Some things apparently do not carry over a mile across town, or to places with their own bathrooms.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I will give the inside of the seaport location has less charm but it has more room between tables. The outside during the good weather has it all over the north end location. I would much rather be dining next to the harbor then in a sweat box.

                  2. re: libertywharf

                    I assume the Barking Crab must have resolved the sewage issues, but that was one level of ick I don't think I can shake (as unfair/irrational as it might be). Used to be a decent place to bring visitors but now i'm still reluctant.

                    1. re: nightsky

                      now, now, you kids dont stop i will pull this car right over and we will go home! but seriously it is REALLY unfortunate that the rents are so brutal as to not warrant an interesting try by anyone. competent but, zzzzzzzzzzzzz. oh well not my demographic anyway, as the only times i am out that way the entire populous is CLEARLY not from the bay state. people seem happy, the money is flowing into boston, i will be at strip-t's if anybody needs me....

                3. You need to define reasonable, but by my definition, if we are discussing lunch options I find Sullivans out on Castle Island more than reasonable and good basic burgers and fried fish where you can sit right on the water on a picnic tanble or one of many benches.

                  I'll probably get blasted for this, but I also think the lunch, (weekdays only), is reasonable at Del Frisco's, shame they don't serve it weekends, but today I had the businessman's lunch with a spectacular rendition of seafood soup, a nice fish stock loaded with bits of haddock and shrimp with just a touch of cream. The wife opted for the house salad with house vinegrette. Typical salad with two thick cut smoked bacon slices featured on top. Very fresh and crispy. We both opted for the 6 oz. filet instead of the grilled salmon. Perfectly cooked. Nicely seasoned and not heavy handed as I've often read as criticism. Sure it's a chain. But it's great food, a beautiful view in an upscale setting, and the business lunch at least, at $22 is very reasonable to this man's eyes.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Agree completely re Del Frisco's. A friend and I went for RW..and noticed the regular lunch menu was only $1 or 2 more. It doesn't work for me as an everyday lunch for me; Casa Razdora often fills that spot, but for a treat or to take someone out, it's very worthwhile.

                    1. re: 9lives

                      Stopped by Casa Rezdora today on a lark, had never seen a mention of it here, and all I can say is WOW. We bought a few dishes to go for dinner tonight and tomorrow. The pizza was mezza mezza, but the pasta dishes...oh my. Sandwiches also looked awesome. Would definately be my go-to regular lunch place if I lived or worked in the area. Great food and an incredible value.

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        I was trying to be a little "tongue in cheek." I saw your write up on Casa Razdora. It doesn't get a lot of ink here but is definitely on the radar. Glad you found it.


                        I know I posted a great review some time back of the lasagna that you mentioned..great stuff!

                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          I've heard nothing but raves about that place, here and elsewhere. I hope their word-of-mouth success prompts them to open nights/weekends.

                          1. re: nightsky

                            They were opening nights on the weekends to get the club crowd. Keep in mind that this is a mostly takeout..4-5 tables with no waiter service. The quality is high but it's far from a "dining experience." Think Viga. Again, quality is superb. Great food at deli prices.

                          2. re: CapeCodGuy

                            Re pizza at Casa raz , did you eat it the next day.I ve had the pizza,and thought it was excellent, being from the cape, I would think that hockey rink would be good.

                            1. re: Salami hands

                              Yes, the pizza was a reheat that evening and not as good as reheats I've had on several Cape Cod pizzas.

                              Sorry, I don't understand the hockey rink statement?

                        2. re: CapeCodGuy

                          morton's does a 3-course lunch mon-fri also, for $29. very good deal and one option is a prime ribeye.

                        3. I work in the Seaport area (which is where I'm assuming you mean by Waterfront area) and while there has been a recent explosion of new dining options sadly there's not really much to get excited about. The view at Legal's is nice (and is the same view you get at Del Frisco's) but it's Legal's. Their spin-off restaturant, LTK, is across the street and can be decent. Jerry Remy's is typical bar food at Waterfront prices. Temazcal wasn't worth the price. Not impressed by the quality at the Mroton's over here vs. the one in Back Bay. Salvatore's has a decent lunch menu at reasonable prices. J Pace has their giant sandwiches made to order as well as hot options at typical city prices (if the weather cooperates I like to get a sandwich & sit on the grass at the little park by the Seaport hotel). My family enjoys the No Name on the pier, it's very no frills (in ambiance & food) - just basic seafood cooked "naked" style. The Barking Crab is always full - great place for a beer outside & apps.