I'm back from my memorable trip to Boston and New England and thought I would give you a brief overview of the Boston eateries I tried, many recommended by the kind folks here. I actually printed the pages with your suggestions and took them with me. They proved very useful.
First of all, try as we would, we could never get seated at Legal Seafood, and to be honest, it looked like too much of a chain restaurant for me to get really excited about it. We also opted to stay down-market and casual in our choices so we never made it to Sel de la Terre either, although it looked very good.
On to what we did do: Mare, in the North End was recommended to us by the concierge at our hotel and we loved it. I had wonderful Wellfleet oysters with limoncello sorbet and a divine seafood stew - zuppe di mare. My husband had striped bass and his very first-ever cockle. That was our first night.
The following day we walked the Fredom Trail and had lunch at the Union Oyster house. It was there that I realised I had never had good clam chowder before. Theirs was excellent; creamy but not overly rich, and sweet tender clams. The lobster roll was a bit disappointing; I could swear the lobster had been living in a freezer and the dressing was very bland. I jacked it with a squeeze of lemon and it was palatable. The roll was a hotdog bun in another life. But I was warned this place was more about the atmosphere than the food and that part was true.
We also dined at the Barking Crab, ditto on the food vs atmosphere thing but it was fun.
Pizza Regina was more than fun, it was surreal. We loved it but felt the toppings were overly ample and thus not cooked or even warm on the white pizza. The giambotta was excellent however and the crust was sublime. Great rec there and we considered it a highlight of our stay.
The last place we dined was a bit of a disappointment but we opted to roam the North End and just see what we could find that felt old school and family style. Those places were all either closed, jammed to the rafters or too expensive and we ended up at Artu which had zero ambience, wretched service, rocky, unstable (and not very clean) tables, hideous art on the walls and far too bright of lighting. The shrimp on my pasta was delicious and very, very fresh, but what passed for antipasto was nothing more, to my eyes, than stemed veggies dressed in some sort of vinaigrette. What the heck? The gelato I got later as we contnued to wander, was, however, sublime.
BTW, Harpoon IPA rocks!
We had a great trip and would love to come back, if only for the food. I'll post some of our New England dining experiences on the appropriate board, if anyone's interested.