We admit it. We’re total groupies of Melissa Clark, author of both The New York Times’ A Good Appetite column and the only diet cookbook for which we have any use (seriously? try the recipe for roasted chicken breast with rosemary apples. It’s AMAZING). We look forward to her column in the Times every Wednesday and yesterday, as we started to read her ruminations on spinach dip, we had several thoughts in rapid succession:

1) Why did she use mayonnaise? (We have a near-pathological hatred/fear of mayonnaise.)
2) We should make spinach dip. We bet we could totally use our new favorite toy, our immersion blender.
3) Nah, too much trouble. Let’s just go somewhere and order spinach dip.

If you’re thinking what we’re thinking, here are Boston’s best places to indulge your desire for the dip.

Elephant & Castle provides what is perhaps the area’s most basic spinach dip: spinach, artichoke, and cream cheese. Intensely sticky and quite appealingly creamy.
•The dip at the Cottonwood Cafe comes with a much better than average spread of accoutrements for dipping: in addition to the inevitable tortilla chips, there are also bagel chips and fresh veggies, which lets you fool yourself into thinking you’re eating a healthy snack.
•At Stephanie’s on Newbury, spinach dip gets gussied up with sauteed onions, gouda, and lavash chips, making it quite the international treat.
•After reading so many menus that feel the need to inform you of the provenance of each and every item, it’s a bit refreshing to read the description for the spinach dip at the Sports Depot: “Chopped spinach mixed with selected cheeses and spices.” Yeah. That’s right. Selected cheeses.

Summery, Smoky and Spicy: Nudging Spinach Dip Upward [New York Times]
Elephant & Castle [Official Site]
Cottonwood Cafe [Official Site]
Stephanie’s on Newbury [Official Site]
Sports Depot [Official Site]

[Photo: Exclusively Food]

Amuse Bouche: Craving Spinach Dip