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Jul 26, 2012 01:43 PM

Trip Report - Part 1 (more to follow)

Trip Report – Boston – July, 2012

I will start with Day 1 today and hopefully be able to finish the rest soon. My favourites of the trip were East Coast Grill, Oleana, Finz, Paramount, Neptune Oyster and Toscanini’s. My least favourite was Erbaluce – perhaps it was my choice of meal or perhaps it was the fact that Italian can sometimes be a little “boring”. I far preferred Toascanini’s ice cream to Christina’s. Here is the report from Day 1. More to come.

Day 1 – Pizzeria Regina, Emack and Bolio’s, Erbaluce

Our lunch at Pizzeria Regina was delicious. The atmosphere at Regina’s takes you back a few years – I enjoyed the wooden booths and old style décor. We shared a Margherita pizza and both had a glass of wine and really enjoyed it. The sauce was the perfect consistency and flavour. Toppings were okay. The crust was done just as it should be – a little blackened and slightly crispy. The service here was a bit inattentive at times and we practically had to flag the waitress down to get our bill. I would say this pizza was almost as good as the pizza from Keste in NYC. Definitely in my top 5 pizzas of all time and I will be back!

We had a snack at Emack and Bolio’s – I tried the maple walnut and co-traveller had a blueberry smoothie. Both were good and the place is worth a visit but it was not my favourite Boston ice cream.

For dinner we went to Erbaluce. I had the Wild Boar pasta and a nice glass of pinot grigio. The pasta was cooked soft but not soggy and the sauce was very flavourful. I believe they brought us a mini dessert platter and the truffles on it were amazing! The waitress was attentive and helpful but I did not find her to be overly friendly. The hostess was excellent though - very friendly. The atmosphere here is kind of sterile – I think they need to redecorate. My meal was good but I would try somewhere different on my next trip.

Day 2 – Sorelle, East Coast Grill, Christina’s, Oleana, Toscanini’s

Day 3 – Finz, Legal Seafood

Day 4 – Paramount (was supposed to go to ICOB but had a headache and didn’t feel like seafood so just grabbed a bite at the game)

Day 5 – Flour Bakery, Neptune Oyster, Legal Seafood (yes again – as our flight was delayed and it was a decent option at the airport)

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  1. Looking forward to hearing more details on the rest of your days.

    Please keep it all on this thread as it is difficult to follow when people split up their reports on multiple threads.

    1. 150+ posts and this is where you ended up? Sounds like your trip fizzled out foodwise after day 2.

      4 Replies
        1. re: barleywino

          And people wonder why tourists don't report back. The OP did manage to hit up some Chowhound favorites Day 4 and Day 5.

          I'm looking forward to reading more from the OP about their trip since this first report has been so detailed.

          1. re: barleywino

            Huh? Fizzled?? Nothing wrong with taking a breather day in the middle of the trip. Flour and Neptune are both stellar choices (Day 5)...hope they delivered on the visits there.

            1. Curious to hear what you thought of Finz. I have only been to the now closed dedham location and thought it was horrible and overpriced.. Also curious to see what you thought of East Coast Grill, a place that has a cult following on this forum but never impressed me the slightest.

              2 Replies
              1. re: hargau

                I was going to say that I feel ECG is much, much better for brunch than dinner - and then reading the report for day 2 it looks like they went for brunch. Who knows if that would have affected their thoughts on the matter.

                1. re: jgg13

                  Yes it was for brunch - and we loved it. The place was packed.

              2. Trip Report Days 2 and 3 - still more to come...

                Day 2 – Sorelle, East Coast Grill, Christina’s, Oleana, Toscanini’s

                I picked up a lemon-cranberry muffin and a coffee at Sorelle to start the dat, mainly because it was right around the corner from the hotel. Nice little place – the muffin was large and tasty – not too sweet, and my coffee was good as well.

                After visiting MIT we headed to East Coast Grill for brunch. I had the Smoked Pork Carnita Enchiladas and she had the breakfast platter. She enjoyed her breakfast platter. I absolutely loved the enchiladas. I savoured every bite – it was so delicious I am salivating as I remember! It came with a tomato-avocado-mango salsa on top and the flavours of this with the enchiladas were amazing – every mouthful was a delightful blend of sweet and savoury. The Crispy Jicama Slaw on the side was also delectable. There was cilantro in it which is an herb I adore, and it added that perfect bit of uniqueness to the dish. The service here was fantastic and I will return to this restaurant next time I am in Boston.

                We stopped at Christina’s (it was next door, how could we not?) for ice cream. I tried the burnt sugar and Mexican Chocolate. The ice cream was delicious, but I preferred the creamy texture at Toscanini’s. It is definitely worth a visit here to try some samples and enjoy a cold treat.

                After a heat-waved afternoon exploring Harvard we went to Oleana for dinner. We arrived before opening and quite a line formed before they welcomed us inside just after 5:30. We chose to sit inside as we were roasting from all the walking in the 90+ degree weather. I tried the deviled eggs and the muhammara, and I had one of their specials which was Grilled Scallops with Four Star Farms' Fresh Corn Polenta, Corn Broth, Spicy Harissa Green Beans and Almond Crumb. The starters were very good but it was the main of scallops and polenta that really won me over. The scallops were soft and flavourful and extremely fresh tasting. The polenta was smooth and creamy. It came with green and yellow beans which also tasted incredibly fresh. There was a sprinkle of almond crumbs and spicy harissa. The spicy harissa had finely chopped red chilli peppers which were really hot. I endured because it was so good – lots of water and some bread helped. The atmosphere here was lovely and the service was outstanding – our water glasses never reached empty. This restaurant reminded me a lot of Aziza in San Francisco which I also loved.

                We left the restaurant and started walking in the direction of Toscanini’s. We stopped a young man on a bike and asked if he could give us directions. A huge smile spread across his face at the mention of Toscanini’s and he gave us directions, told us to ask for samples, and told us it’s the best ice cream in Boston. We sampled a few flavours and I chose Chocolate #3 and Burnt Caramel. The ice cream was silky smooth and I enjoyed every bite.

                Day 3 – Finz, Cobbs, Legal Seafood

                We caught the early ferry to Salem and visited the Witch museum. The history was interesting. We decided on Finz for lunch. They have a really nice patio that looks out on the water. I had wanted to try the fried oysters but was not in the mood for it so I ordered the crispy fish burrito. Co-traveller had the pan seared scallop salad. My burrito came with black bean corn relish salad that was very tasty. The burrito was very good as well – flavours mixed nicely, however I felt there could have been more fish and less rice. I had a strawberry fields cocktail which was really good and not too sweet. Our waitress was pleasant and helpful.

                After a visit to the Witch village, where our guide was very informative but seemed in fast-forward mode, we walked out to Cobbs at Salem Willows Park. I had blueberry and maple walnut ice cream. The maple walnut was good and blueberry was incredible. It was creamy and the flavour of the blueberry was good, and naturally, not sugary sweet. I also got some of their buttered popcorn, molasses popcorn and a few flavours of the salt water taffy. The popcorn was great - freshly popped with mouth-watering butter. I have yet to eat the molasses popcorn and the rest of the taffy – I tried the banana taffy and it was really good.

                After returning to Boston and having a rest at the hotel we decided to go to Legal Seafoods for dinner as it was a close walk. We both had the fried fisherman’s platter which was good, but a LOT of fried! I wouldn’t order this again here, I would get fish or scallops or something else. And I likely would only eat here again if it was at the airport location (best option there) as I have now had it three times and am ready to try something else.

                11 Replies
                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                  Loving these reports. Keep 'em coming!

                  1. re: bear

                    Glad to know someone is reading! Thanks!

                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                      so glad you liked oleana, one of my absolute favorites. I love the meze/appetizers but when she is on, all her seafood dishes can be amazing. I'd love to try that scallop special.

                      keep them coming!

                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                        Not only are we reading now, but reports like yours come in very handy for other visitors.

                        I'm glad you enjoyed Boston! And, I've saved your report for future reference.


                    2. re: TeacherFoodie

                      I am crazy for the food found at Salem Willows. The stand with the screened in dining area makes great hamburgers and hot dogs. And I agree, the popcorn, ice cream and taffy are all great.

                      1. re: CookieLee

                        not to mention it's one of the few places left to find that old new england foodstuff, the chow mein sandwich!

                        1. re: passing thru

                          There are no chow mein sandwiches at the Willows. The Willows specializes in the Chop Suey sandwich, which is a different beast, based on pictures I've seen of the chow mein sandwich.

                          1. re: Fly

                            ack! you're totally right, it's the chop suey sandwich out that way at the Willows. The chow mein sandwich is more a Fall River thing, my mistake.

                            1. re: passing thru

                              Have you tried the one in Fall River (I think) that Emeril likes?

                              1. re: walker

                                nope, unfortunately I've never been to that place. Though I can admit to having a couple of boxes of local fave Hoo Mee Chow Mein Mix in my pantry...

                      2. re: TeacherFoodie

                        Great report. I like the anecdote about the biker!