Yours truly coming back for a visit and would love your opinions on several food categories.
Will be there July 25-28th and my goals are the following.
-The best Italian-should be in fine dining place anywhere within walking distance to Copely Sq including the N end. ( I walk a lot)
-the best Lobster roll-more for lunchtime meal so casual fine.
--the best clam chowder-on my last visit I tried 5 places and Legal's was my favorite. I plan to do that again but willing to try something else if it's out there.
-best sushi-no dumpy place with ghetto food-I want quality inventive sushi/sashimi done by experts in the field.
-best martini in a place that has larger bar-I want a fun crowd but not so crowded to enoy my libation.
As usual-thanks in advance!! UES Mayor dying to revist old stomping grounds!!!
My thoughts -
Scampo in the Liberty Hotel for Italian
Lobster roll - Neptune Oyster or Island Creek Oyster Bar, but there are many posts on this topic on the board. A to-go roll from James Hook is fun too..
Chowder - do you like this thick or Rhode Island style?
Martini - hit Drink in the Seaport District..
Best sushi is probably O Ya.
the lobster roll debate is pretty endless, and there are several long threads debating the best ones. I like the roll at Legal's, and I like Legal's harborside location.
Martini...I suspect the best to be had is at the Oak Bar, but I haven't been there since they remodelled and re-opened. But that is right in Copley Square, so a good choice. I also love the bar at Eastern Standard, and the Hawthorne right next door, and I feel sure they both make a quality martini.
o ya or uni for sashimi.
if you're looking for a nice space and a simple gin martini i'd vote one of our 4-star hotel bars, like the 4 seasons or the oak bar. no need to shoulder bump at drink unless you're looking for craft cocktails. if you ARE looking for something more like an aviation or a pisco sour, i'd head towards esk or the hawthorne.
i'll offer erbaluce for italian. the food is understated and delicious and the wine list is terrific.
I think the idea of a singular best anything is kind of silly, but that's besides the point I guess.
Italian, places like Scampo and Prezza probably fit the bill.
There are roughly 519 threads about lobster rolls on this board. I'd suggest doing a search and using location & ambiance as your deciding factor.
Oishii, Uni and O Ya are the best sushi/sashimi spots at the high end. You can drop some serious coin at any of these spots.
There are any number of places to get a good cocktail. Eastern Standard comes to mind if you want a more traditional restaurant experience. Places like The Hawthorne and Drink would be good choices if you're thinking a cocktail bar.
For sushi/sashimi, if price isn't an object and you have never been there, O Ya is a great place to visit once. It is a bit non traditional, but highly inventive as you requested. I wouldn't waste your time at Uni, it doen't deliver for the $ and you have far superior places in NYC. Oishii SE would be a bit less pricey than O Ya and does a very good job.
If you are looking for a higher end type meal and place, Sorrellina would be my choice for Italian and it's right in Copley Square.
My new favorite go-to sushi is in Union Square, Somerville - Ebi Sushi - an unassuming little place - but charming, and the product is fresh and delicious!!
The photo is of my niece's plate a few weeks ago - so it is only spicy maki and some toro... the other selections are just as fresh and delicious - the toro, btw, was only about $6 for 2 pieces - that is cheap, I think! :)
re: Small Plates
I second this, the location and space are nothing to write home about, but the staff is good, the owner is super friendly, prices are good, and the sushi is really great. I got takeout on saturday night and was marveling at the quality of the fish, and the perfection of the texture and flavor of the rice.
We actually took his sushi making class that the Somerville Arts Council hosted a few months back. He spoke of how beginning sushi chefs spend years learning to make perfect rice before they are elevated to assisting the sushi chef with cutting the fish. He also discussed perfecting the technique of spreading the rice over the nori - and the nuances and taste difference in cutting cucumber batons differently. He takes a lot of pride in his work, and it shows!!
Italian: have you been to Taranta? Pre-dinner martini can be had at Bricco, across the street.
General martini: Yeah, try the new Oak Bar and let us know how that works. Haven't been yet. I really need to check it out, as I had several important cocktails there before the renovation.
I wouldn't really call O Ya a "sushi" place, but it does have a lot of what you're looking for. Also, Uni and Oishii (not to be confused with Osushi).
re: UES Mayor
I like Oishii in the south end for its elegance, food, and service and East by Northeast in Cambridge for it's risk-taking and personal approach to Asian. I haven't been to Prezza since the fire but pre-fire liked it very much. Erbaluce is my favorite Italian restaurant and it's walkable from Copley but it's definitely not everyone's favorite. Lucca on Huntington and Sorrelina are walkable as is Via Matta and all are good. Oddly, I prefer Lucca and love their bar. While Neptune's lobster roll is great, you can read endless discussions on the board on this topic and I like sitting outside at weird old Alive 'n Kickin in Cambridge.