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Proposed itinerary for a visitor from Seattle – please critique


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Proposed itinerary for a visitor from Seattle – please critique

Tom Armitage | | Oct 4, 2011 01:07 AM

My wife and I will be in Boston (from Seattle) from Tuesday night, October 11, through Saturday afternoon, October 15. We will be together for 3 or 4 dinners, 3 lunches, and Saturday brunch/lunch. Because my wife is not a breakfast person and because of her work schedule, I will have 3 or 4 breakfasts and 1 lunch where I will fly solo. With some help on a different thread (about O-Ya) from opinionatedchef and others, and based on some previous visits to the Boston area, I’ve come up with a proposed itinerary. Any help you can give me in critiquing it will be much appreciated.

I know it’s very late in the season, but will fresh bluefish still be available during our stay in Boston? If so, where’s the best place to have some? On a previous trip in April 2010, I had very simply grilled, moist and tasty bluefish at Legal Seafood. The current sample menu on the web for Rialto has grilled bluefish, but we all know how iffy and unreliable web menus are. I guess I could call them and ask about availability.

Here’s my proposed itinerary:

Tuesday dinner: My wife and I will be driving from Providence, RI to Boston/Cambridge in the late afternoon. Since my wife is giving lectures at Harvard starting at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning and needs some time after dinner to prepare for her lectures, she asked me to keep the dinner on this night relatively short and simple (i.e., not a three-hour extravaganza). Is Erbaluce too much of a “big deal?” Same question for Hamersley’s and Rialto. (The $40 “Piccolo menu” at Rialto, with corn chowder, eggplant parmesan - one of my Italian wife’s favorites - and butterscotch budino sounds pretty appealing.) Island Creek? Bondir? Ten Tables (is one location better than the other)? East Ocean? New Shanghai? Café Lulu? Taiwan Café? I just read the thread on “Rendezvous revelation” and maybe Rendezvous would be a good choice. I apologize for such a long mish-mash of possible places, but both my wife and I are adventurous eaters and don’t have any boundaries around the type of food we like, as long as it’s well prepared. Instead of focusing on Boston area restaurants, Is there any special or unique place along the way between Providence and Boston where we should stop for dinner?

Wednesday breakfast: Mike & Patty’s

Wednesday lunch: I might drive out to Ipswich for another try of the fried clams at the Clam Box. I think I dismayed many Boston Chowhounds by a previous write-up where I confessed that I wasn’t crazy about them, especially when compared to the fried clams at Neptune Oyster. Why drive to Ipswich (other than for the local atmosphere) when the fried clams at Neptune are so amazingly wonderful? Since my wife and I are planning to go to Neptune for lunch on Thursday, I may try something other than fried clams today. I’d appreciate some lunch ideas here.

Wednesday dinner: Oleana? Rialto (if we don’t go there Tuesday)?

Thursday breakfast: ???

Thursday lunch: Neptune Oyster. Ever since my first visit here, this has been one of the “musts” on every visit to Boston. I’m completely and utterly addicted to oysters, and have the good fortune to have wild oysters on my beach on Hood Canal, Washington. In addition to the oysters, I found much to love at Neptune.

Thursday dinner: Cragie on Main. I confirmed that Cragie is still serving the confit-and-roasted half pig’s head, so this moved Cragie (along with Neptune Oyster) to the top of my list. There is nothing like this in Seattle and when I had the pig’s head at Cragie a year and a half ago I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

Friday breakfast: ???

Friday lunch: ???

Friday dinner: O-Ya? As I explained on another thread, I’m on the fence about O-Ya. If my wife and I don’t go to O-Ya, what would be a good substitute? Hamersley’s? Prezza? Sorrellina? Locke-Ober?

Saturday brunch/lunch: ???

As you can see, I haven’t done as much research on breakfasts as I have on dinners. And so, I have some holes in my itinerary, particularly for breakfasts and lunches. Two final comments: First, Seattle is a mecca for craft cocktails, and I know that Boston also has some great places, such as Drink, Green Street, Eastern Standard (the ES Prospect Park is dead-center in my flavor profile), Clio, Deuxave, Russell House Tavern, and No. 9 Park. I can’t hit all of these, so if you had to pick the top 3 places in Boston for craft cocktails, what would they be? Second, in looking over my proposed itinerary, it seems kind of “top-heavy” on expensive, high-end places. I’d like to at least consider mixing in some great, relatively inexpensive, interesting ethnic restaurants. Suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your help. I love Boston and am looking forward to squeezing the most I can out of my four days there.