For our first food trip of 2016, Sonia and I made the quick drive to Boston for some fresh seafood. Top of our list of must haves were lobster anything and clam chowder. While Sonia did plenty of research for the trip, she also got some recommendations from locals once we got there.
Our first stop once we got in was Bostonia Public House. The restaurant was within walking distance but because of traffic on the drive up, we missed our original reservation time. There were no issues moving it to later, and when we got there, we were seated quickly. The staff was very attentive and quick to help with comments and recommendations as to both food and drinks. Overall, the environment was friendly with everyone, both staff and patrons, having an enjoyable time.
In hindsight, I think we could have ordered more food items, but I think we were trying to stay light because we had a full day of eats the next day. For our meal, we pretty much shared the Spice Rubbed Pork Ribs and the Lobster Mac and Cheese.
The ribs were nice and tender, and I would suggest using the sauce provided when eating them. The sauce added a nice dimension and helped make the flavor of the ribs pop.
As for the lobster mac and cheese, it was good as well, but not what I was expecting. When I think mac and cheese, I think of the baked kind where the cheese is not too saucy and the top is a nice oven-baked crunchy and cheesy blend. The mac and cheese here seemed more like a pasta dish cooked on a stove top with breadcrumbs then added on top. The dish was still good, and for me, the lobster was perfect. It was cooked so that it was tender and the amount and size of each piece was just right so that each bite was the perfect ratio of cheese sauce, pasta, and lobster.
Unfortunately, we missed out on some other items that were highly recommended, but all that means is that we will have to go back. Bostonia Public House is located at 131 State Street, Boston, MA 02110.
Now to the real purpose of the trip – Lobster Rolls and Seafood Soups.
For lobster rolls, our 2 top choices were James Hook & Co. and Yankee Lobster Co. At both places we ordered the large roll, and both came stuffed with an overflowing amount of perfectly tender lobster. There’s a reason they give you a fork with it. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
As for the differences, James Hook & Co. serves their roll in a hot dog bun and the lobster comes with more dressing on it. The nice thing about their roll is the size of it. With each bite, there was the perfect proportion of bread to lobster. While Yankee Lobster Co. used what seemed more like a thick piece of bread versus a roll. With Yankee Lobster Co.’s roll you also got fries and cole slaw, so that was nice.
Both places have menu items in addition to the lobster rolls, but we didn’t get a chance to try anything else at James Hook; however, the oysters seemed very popular and the clam chowder looked like a good mix of chunky and creamy.
James Hook & Co. is located at 15-17 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA, 02210, while Yankee Lobster Co. is located at 300 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210.
Now for the soups! While we went in February, the weather was surprisingly warm, which made eating a lot of soup tougher. But we were able to get some.
Our first soup stop was based on recommendations Sonia received from a few locals she chatted with while at Bostonia the night before. The restaurant is Boston Sail Loft, and she was told that this was the best spot for clam chowder in Boston. Since we had missed getting the chowder at James Hook & Co., we made sure to head here during the trip. The restaurant is definitely not a place we would have discovered if not for the recommendation.
When we walked in, the place was pretty packed, but we were able to get a table in the bar area immediately. Service was prompt and our server was courteous and attentive to our needs. After a lot of debate, we both ended up ordering a bowl of the clam chowder, but in hindsight, I think we could have shared a bowl. The serving, like just about everything we had in Boston was overflowing. The soup itself was the perfect creaminess, but one thing that surprised us was the dill. It’s like no other clam chowder that either of have ever had, but the dill does take some getting used to. Definitely, the most unique clam chowder we found in Boston, well really anywhere.
Boston Sail Loft is located at 80 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110.
For me though, the surprise delight from the trip was the Lobster Bisque at Yankee Lobster Co. I consider myself lucky, if I can see and taste the chunks of lobster when I order this soup, so what I got here was a surprise. The soup is flavorful and the amount of lobster is beyond expectations. The soup is so good, that not only would I come back to Boston just to have it, but I would consider moving there for it.
While we were fortunate enough to try a number of places this trip, I can’t wait until our next trip back there. There was so much we missed at the places we went to as well as the places we didn’t get to.