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Trip Review - 2 1/2 Days in Boston

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My girlfriend and I were in Boston last weekend/early this week, armed with lots of research on food and some helpful advice and tips from the CH's here. Here's what we found:

Sunday Dinner - L’Osteria
I have to admit, sadly, that I wasn’t blown away. Maybe it was just high expectations or maybe I got the wrong thing. I had the Veal Pizzaiola with linguini on the side. It would have helped had the sauce and veal been put over the linguini and let it absorb the flavor. The sauce was very good, and the veal was good but wasn’t quite as tender as I would have liked.

She had the Linguini with Mussels in Garlic Wine Sauce and loved it. I tasted it and can attest that it was better than what I had. The mussels were great. Overall I was a little let down but she loved it.

Monday Lunch - Galleria Umberto
Most of the places we tried I had high expectations for and Umberto was no exception. They delivered. 2 slices, an arranchini, a pizzette, and 2 sodas for $10! The pizza was perfect for my liking since I’m not a fan of thin crust. The pizzette was just ok, I had never had one before so I thought I’d try it, wouldn’t get it again but worth a try. The arancini was the highlight. Soft and cripsy “shell” and nice and gooey insides. Absolutely fantastic.

Monday Dinner - ICOB
Really excited to try one of the faves here on the board. It did not let me down! We started off with an oyster slider each, and I have to see that the one small slider was possibly the best thing I had on the entire trip. Incredible.

I had the Seafood Casserole, which was scallops, shrimp, and a type of fish (I don’t remember what) in a lobster bisque. Very good. The bisque complimented the chucks of seafood perfectly, and it was a hearty meal that you could finish without making you miserably full.

She had the New Bedford Sea Scallops and although it looked small, the 4 massive scallops were perfect.

We had the chocolate chip cookies compliments of the house (don’t know if this is typical or not) and I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. I don’t typically have high expectations for a dessert like that when they execute so well in other areas.

Tuesday Lunch - Neptune Oyster
I’ve had two lobster rolls before in my life, and both were terrible, I hated them. I couldn’t understand it, I love lobster, and enjoy rolls and butter, how could the combo of them not work? I was a little worried that maybe I just didn’t like them. Fear no more! Neptune Oyster came through. Went for lunch right before 12, only 2 other people in the place, which surprised me. The waitress was really nice and attentive, and the food made the whole experience great. The fries were seasoned great, and the lobster roll... The best bites were when I had waited a while while trying to finish it and the butter had seeped into the roll. Awesome. We both had the same thing, and both loved it.

Tuesday Dinner - Trattoria di Monica
After looking over the two Monica’s menus online before deciding on dinner that night, we chose Trattoria because we just liked their menu better. I had the Fettucini con Pollo Marsala. The sauce was plentiful but very light and the chicken could not have been cooked better. The fettucini was served under the chicken and allowed the noodles to really take in the flavor.

The GF had a special that night, Seafood Risotto (mussels, octopus, calamari, clams, and shirmp). She liked it, but said the seafood wasn’t as good as what she had at L’Osteria.

She liked L’Osteria better, I actually liked Trattoria di Monica better.

The Great Pastry Battle
I had been to Boston once before, and had only had Mike’s, so I was excited to try the other two places, Modern and Maria’s. We had Mike’s the first night, Modern the second, and Maria’s the third. On to the rankings: #1 - Maria’s, #2 - Mike’s, #3 - Modern. I might get crucified for saying this, but we just weren’t that impressed with Modern. I admittedly don’t like the outside super hard and crunchy, and that’s what Modern was when we had it. Mike’s were very good, and Maria’s was just amazing. I wish Maria’s had a more wide-ranged selection, which is another reason I like Mike’s a lot, but hers were the perfect balance between hard shell and too shoft a shell, and the ricotta filling was superb.

That’s my long recap. Much thanks to everyone here for helping to make the dining portion of our trip outstanding!

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  1. Hey Lefty, thanks for the reviews of a number of North End places that I, for one, do not get to at all because I have my more local Italian spots.

    1. Sounds like you had a great trip for the most part. Too bad about L'Osteria, I have had good luck with the chicken dishes there but you are right, the pasta is always on the side. Thanks for the report, we always enjoy reading about visitors' experiences!

      1. What a lovely and comprehensive report....thanks so much! RE: L'Osteria....I like it alot and have had nice meals there, but I wouldn't recommend it if someone wanted to be "blown away". I consider it a solid rec for folks that want more traditional Italian fare. Sounds like it wasn't all bad, though! :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Science Chick

          Glad you liked the pizza at Galleria Umberto, Lefty. It's just ooey old-school goodness.

          I'm coming to Boston in a couple weeks, thinking North End/Italian one night. What would blow you away SC?