We ate at Woods Hill Pier 4 for the first time Saturday and it was tremendous. We had Black Bass crudo, Bluefin Tuna tartare, beef carpaccio, Bucatini All’Amatriciana, made to order burrata and duck breast. Excellent cocktails as well. Pricy, but worth it. We will return.
Usually lists like this are very disappointing. This is a really good one. @damiano @ZivBnd I know you are both visiting soon - this is worth reading. I have not yet eaten at Woods Hill Pier 4 but have many times at their restaurant in Concord with uniformly great experiences.
Love that they took the broader view and didn’t just focus on the high-end artsy restaurants, or the classic seafood places. A nice mix of casual, neighborhood-y, and more formal food experiences across the the city.
Those are… Ridiculously delicious looking.
What a great article about what look to be great restaurants! I need to do a bit more reading about them but I am really disappointed in myself for booking such a short stay in Boston.
The food appears to go from one huge win to another. And the photography is not doing these dishes any harm either.
I have entered 10 of them into my phone and I have no idea what places I am going to go to now. That is a great problem to have. I think I am adding Boston to my list of cities to return to. I have a steadily growing list of those. LOL!
Thank you for posting this! Some great choices. Happened to drive by Ba Le recently. There was a parking spot right out front, took that as a sign I was meant to go in. It was a Saturday around Noon and yes, there was a line. What an opportunity to see how many items are offered. Some are labelled, some not. Didn’t let that stop me from just picking up what I could recognize and what intrigued me. By the time I made it to order a banh mi I had 1/2 a dozen items in my arms. Helps to watch what others are selecting and listening to conversations. The person behind me was there for 3 BBQ beef banh mi, but still waited online to see everything that was available. I did order a BBQ beef banh mi, easy on the hots (jalapeños) plus 1/2 dozen fried spring rolls, talked myself out of the special for the day - Beef stew with noodles and a pho. I would recommend looking at the website for choices and if waiting online isn’t your thing order ahead and pick up. Definitely see a return trip in my future, another banh mi this time “dac biet” with pate.
Next time grab a bag of dried mango, if that’s your thing. I don’t know where they source it but it’s the best I’ve ever had. Super fragrant, perfect texture. Unlabeled of course, but you’ll know it when you see it.
On that note, I don’t understand why they don’t label half of the stuff in there. Last time I went I rolled the dice with a very plain looking filled pastry. Turned out to be pandan flavored, and fairly tasty; but I wondered how or whether anyone at all would have been able to infer the filling. There was zero external decoration on the pastry and no label of any kind on the case, in any language. Is this pure laziness on the part of the Ba Le staff? Do Vietnamese people have some special pastry sense? Or is it perhaps an attempt to inject some fun and uncertainty into customers’ lives?
Ba Le’s Quincy location (in the same shopping plaza as Kam Man marketplace) used to sell pickled mango with chili. They were sooo good! But sadly they stopped selling them. Does anyone remember seeing these in the Dorchester location?
Wow!!! A listicle that doesn’t suck! A perfectly executed list; I’m blown away and it makes me wonder if they had outside help or did a ton of research? or both? I literally am struggle to come up with such a solid list of places that do a tremendous job shining a light on the variety of food available in Boston. We ain’t just seafood. They even had spots in the 'burbs! (I love you Sarma.)
Thanks for sharing!
I love Sarma, too, and have since Sarma opened, and loved Ana Sortun’s cooking at 2 places (Aigo in Concord, and then 8 Holyoke in Cambridge) before she moved to Casablanca in Cambridge before opening Oleana.
Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville all have contiguous city lines. I live in east Somerville, two blocks from the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown (when we call 411, we get Boston not Somerville) and Cambridge has similar contiguous borders with both Boston (just across the river) and Somerville. Many people don’t think of Cambridge and Somerville as “suburbs” of Boston. I realize there may be other opinions; I’ve only lived in Somerville for 30 years.
Yes, it’s a great list. And our “seafood” wasn’t always any where near as good as it is now.
Go @Madrid! Somerville is definitely not a suburb of Boston.
I went Yunnan Kitchen based solely on this article and had one winner and one so-so dish. The Boiled Fish Filet in Chili Oil was a subtly spicey dish that was a treat. They dumbed down the spice a bit (i am a whitebread looking older guy and this happens to me a lot the first time i go to a cafe) but there was still some of the mouth numbing spice. A very nice dish.
The Stir Fried Rice Cake was way too bland and seemed to consist of well boiled potatoes mixed w nicely pickled vegetables. This dish was too bland and frankly it confused me. I am not sure i actually got what i ordered.
Very nice host, not so nice walk from my hotel up Massachusetts to the cafe.
I would like to dive into the menu more deeply, there are great dishes In there i believe.
Thanks everyone for your response to this article! It was buried on Saveur’s site and I must admit the opening photo of Union Oyster House gave me pause before reading. I’m glad it has been helpful to some and a conversation starter for others. I’m laid up from surgery for the next 5-6 weeks, so I am hoping to get to some of these when I am more up and about (particularly Yunnan Kitchen and Woods Hill Pier 4).
Sorry to hear that. Hope you recover soon. I, for one, eat and cook vicariously through your eating and cooking. Best wishes.