Ask MenuPages: A Honeymoon In The Hub

Dear MenuPages,
I’m coming to New England for honeymoon with my wife and will be spending four days in Boston and rest on Cape Cod. I’d be interested to hear about any great eating spots in the city ranging from splash out fine dining restaurants to unknown quality cafes and seafood shacks. So would you be able to recommend interesting places for couple of Europeans who want to sample the best of Bostonian culinary scene?
-Henri, United Kingdom

First of all, congratulations on your marriage! May the two of you have a long life together, filled with plenty of good food! We’ll certainly do our best to get you started on the right eating path. Boston has a multifaceted culinary identity. Obviously, seafood is a huge part of the Boston dining experience, but we think you’d be remiss to leave the city without also sampling some of the city’s neighborhood spots or the cuisine of some of the city’s most innovative chefs. Here are some recommendations to start you off.

•Obviously, you can’t go to New England without feasting on seafood, most especially lobster. For our money, we think Summer Shack features the best and most consistent traditional New England fare in town, but if you’d rather a more authentic atmosphere, head to the tiny Yankee Lobster. We recommend two visits: one at lunchtime to try the clam box and one at dinner for the lobster. For a more romantic seafood dinner, duck into Neptune Oyster, where the raw bar is superb and the Monday night lobster spaghettini is absolutely to die for. For a very different kind of crustacean, stop by Mike’s Pastry for the “lobster tail”, a delicious custardy pastry concoction.
•As a pizza lovers town, Boston may not have the cache of New York or Chicago, but we still make quite a respectable showing. We cannot encourage you strongly enough to have lunch one day at Santarpio’s Pizza. It’s very near the airport, so perhaps right after you fly in. The menu is a testament to minimalism: pizza, grilled sausage and lamb tips. Get a pie with garlic and get the sausage.
•Boston has one of the fastest-growing populations of Brazilian immigrants in the United States, so Brazilian restaurants have started cropping up. Muqueca Restaurant is by far the best. Make sure to try the feijoada.
•What would a honeymoon be without romantic dinners in beautiful restaurants? Splurge on meals at No. 9 Park and L’Espalier. Both feature elegant dining areas and impeccable food from two of Boston’s best chefs. For a more bohemian vibe, hit the garden at Oleana, where Beard award winner Ana Sortun serves innovative takes on Turkish cuisine. Finally, Eastern Standard has perhaps the largest following of any restaurant in the city. The restaurant’s updated take on classic dishes wins raves, as do the truly excellent cocktails.

Have a question about Boston dining that’s burning you up inside? Ask us!

[Photo: Maureen Murphy Music]

Ask MenuPages: A Honeymoon In The Hub