I’m originally from Montreal and I moved to the West Coast about 5 years ago. I used to spend summers up and down coastal Maine and I would often drive down to Boston for long weekends. It’s been approx. a full decade since I’ve last visited.
I’m taking my wife upstate to Saranac Lake for her birthday this fall, and in trying to plan the logistics of our trip, I decided that a direct flight from SFO-BOS would be the easiest route, with a short haul on Cape Air into the Adirondacks. Because most carriers (VX/UA) who operate non-stop SFO-BOS are flying red eyes, with the transcontinental jump and the 3 hour time difference, it would be exhausting to do it all in a single day. I figured we might as well spend one or two nights in Boston. It may sound kind of silly but that decision is dependent on what I can dig up in the way of food…
I’m having some difficulty finding restaurants well-suited to what I’m looking for - old red brick, dark wood, Colonial feel with dim lighting and a menu/kitchen that’s not geared to the tourist market. Transport Fraunces Tavern to Beacon Hill but with Minetta’s kitchen, I guess? Better yet, bring back Locke-Ober! I don’t know… something distinctly “Old” Boston. Preferably seafood, for obvious reasons, though I suppose beggar’s can’t be choosers. Something that leans towards the upscale, though I’m fine with a good chophouse or meat and martini type of place. As long as the food is good and with plenty of atmosphere to spare – Does this exist any more?? I’ve got Neptune Oyster down as a strong maybe for lunch, but I really want to lock in at least one dinner that ticks off the right boxes. I’d even be cool with Durgin-Park if I was confident we could enjoy a good meal, but most reviews aren’t optimistic.
I’m going to post my “list” below of (mostly) old restaurants in the greater Boston-Cambridge area; bear in mind that this is years old and covers everything from old out-of-the-way neighborhood red sauce joints to sandwich shops and sausage carts. I’m not sure if it’s of any help and I’m not limiting our choices to what follows. I’ve kind of browsed through it myself and have been disappointed to find a number of closures and even more old institutions that have just given up altogether and seem to cater to tourists. Here goes:
• The Harvard Faculty Club
• Locke-Ober - (CLOSED)
• The Marliave
• Mamma Maria
• Neptune Oyster
• Union Oyster House, Downstairs Bar
• The Daily Catch
• Cantina Italiana
• Ida’s Italian Cuisine - (CLOSED)
• Jeveli’s Restaurant
• Regina Pizza
• Santarpio’s Pizza
• Pleasant Cafe, Roslindale
• Galleria Umberto
• Parziale’s Bakery
• Jacob Wirth Co.
• F.J. Doyle & Co.
• Green Dragon Tavern
• Warren Tavern
• James Hook + Co.
• Belle Isle Lobster & Seafood
• Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe
• Sausage Stands at Fenway Park
• Courthouse Seafood Market, Cambridge
• Mr. Bartley’s, Cambridge
• Simco’s Old Tyme Franks, Mattapan
• The Bell in Hand Tavern
• Oak Bar, The Fairmont Copley Plaza
• Parker’s Bar, Omni Parker House
• Caffé Vittoria
• Bova’s Bakery
• Betty Ann Food Shop
• L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates, Cambridge
I wanted to post some basic criteria on the forum before really immersing myself in research, as I figured it’d be helpful and time saving. Nothing is really jumping out at me from the above places I’ve run through so far.
I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, input, opinions, and feedback!
Thanks very much.