Thanks to you Northeastern chowhounds, we ate well during a combined family reunion/college tour trip this past week.
An added challenge to finding good places to eat was my restricted (weight-loss) diet - never easy when you're eating out 3 meals a day. But I even managed to lose another pound or two while enjoying great seafood & lots of salads. (Tip for dieters--order baked potato as your starch option - then eat just the skin & a bit of the inside).
We especially enjoyed:
Legal Seafoods (Cambridge MA--check for locations at www.legalseafoods.com) -- had dinner there twice. My son adores their clam chowder (then has steak - go figure!), and simple grilled fish (several kinds available) is the perfect diet option. My husband enjoyed cioppino in a very light, fresh-tasting broth. I saved half my salmon from the first night for lunch at our hotel the next day; it was just as good cold. Dinner for the 3 of us with drinks, salads & entrees was about $100.
Chart Room (Bourne, on Cape Cod) -- relatives arranged a Sunday lunch here. It's right on the water and only open in summer season, we were told. Nothing fancy, but nice fresh fish, prepared as requested. A few of the family had scallops in a gratin dish that appeared to be swimming in butter, and they all looked very happy! I had scrod, simply grilled (the usual way involves butter & crumbs); my husband opted for a lobster roll. The bill for 13 people was $180 (not including tip).
Hemenway's Sea Food Grill & Oyster Bar (1 Providence Washington Plaza, Providence RI) - the kind of restaurant I'd visit regularly if I lived nearby. Everything well done, starting with the beautiful room -- comfortable deep dark wood booths, many with glass partitions featuring a sandblasted shell design. Nice high ceilings (great acoustics) and perfect lighting - bright enough to read menus but soft enough to flatter faces and avoid glare. Views of a lovely adjacent city garden/park from where we sat. Brisk, efficient, friendly service. Excellent crusty rolls, an overflowing bowl of oyster crackers at all the tables, big glasses of water. The first night I had lobster, which was brought with the tail & claws separated & the meat ready to remove. My son the meateater devoured another steak. Too few restaurants provide the simple seasonal dessert we shared: a big bowl of fresh berries, very lightly sweetened. We went back for lunch the next day. My husband and I both had lobster salad (fresh & sweet, lots of big chunks of lobster) on mixed baby greens and our son had a turkey club sandwich on what looked to be homemade white bread. We thought the prices were extremely reasonable for such a nice restaurant -- my 1-1/2 pound lobster was only about $20, for example. Lunch for the 3 of us was $47 with tip; dinner was $108 including tip (for 2 glasses of wine & 2 soft drinks,2 courses each for the 3 of us, two coffees and one dessert).
The Terrace at the Hanover Inn (Hanover, NH--check out "dining" at www.hanoverinn.com). We met relatives for lunch on the sunny terrace, the better to enjoy the perfect summer day. Apparently when The Terrace is open, lunch is only served at the bar in Zins (the more casual, and apparently less expensive of the two regular dining options in the Inn, though they appear to share a similar menu). My husband and I both ordered the special of chicken souvlaki (which the menu, oddly enough, didn't note was served sandwich-style in pita bread --- no matter, though). There were nice strips of grilled marinated chicken, served with a small cup of tzadziki and a side of Greek salad. My son had a hamburger, and the potato chips with my cousin's grilled vegetable sandwich and her husband's "knife-and-fork" reuben, which looked to be packed with corned beef, looked as if they were homemade. A very pleasant place to eat if you're in the area (and the Inn has a spacious, comfortable sitting area where we were able to visit a while longer after we finished lunch). Lunch for 5 was about $60 (some sodas & iced tea, no alcohol, not including tip).