Top Five from Boston
In no particular order, here are some of my highlights from Boston.
Boston's man made strip of park land gives onto the Charles river and is perfect for an evening stroll along the water. Sit on one of the docks and dip your feet in the water while watch the sailing boats bob in front of the popular sailing school. It's also a good place to sit on a bench and attempt to eat an enormous lobster roll purchased from Mike's Bakery.
2. Strip T's
We headed to Watertown on Friday night, a place that rang a bell at the time of noting down the address, then later was remembered for being the place where the shoot out happened after the Boston bombings. Strip T's head chef trained at Momofoku and took the reins from his father (see Bon Appetit's article) to create this diner meets restaurant, with an exceedingly eclectic menu about a 20 minute drive from Boston. Some of the offerings were failsafe favourites, like buttermilk chicken (served only at the bar at lunch) and the chicken wings, which were the best I had ever eaten, charred and succulent, doused in a savoury sweet bbq sauce. We also tucked into green fried tomatoes (which seem to be a thing here in Boston), which came on a walnut sauce with a rhubarb mostarda.
3. Oysters, oysters and more oysters
New England, it turns out, is home to an exciting array of bivalves for seafood aficionados like myself, and they are celebrated in all their glory at the oyster and seafood bars around town. Neptune, in Little Italy, is one such institution with an equally epic queue even at 3 pm on a Friday afternoon, be sure to stick to the raw shucked oysters. B & Gsin South End is better still, with some dozen Oysters of the Day, all exceptionally different from one another, with much more delicate shells than our European offerings and varying from meaty and creamy to teensy and sweet. The garniture of choice here is grated horseradish and a spicy ketchup, their mignonette seems to be an afterthought.
4. Puritan and Company
Across the river from Boston is Cambridge, and in keeping with its English namesake, is the academic hub of the city, with MIT and Harvard both based there. Saturday night, we headed to Puritan and Company following the recommendation from eater.com(a guide I would definitely recommend for dining in the US). Labelled "the single most essential Boston-area restaurant of the moment", we were equally enthusiastic after tasting the striped bass escabeche, swordfish pastrami, squid and beans (a take on the famous Boston baked beans), and that's not to mention the fluffy brioche buns with butter.
You would expect nothing less from such an academically significant city as Boston, than a great public library, and this beautiful 'palace for the people' is one of the city's landmarks, slap bang in the middle of Copley Square, dating back to 1895. Head upstairs to the main hall, embellished with elegant wooden chairs and those green glass and brass lamps, and while away a couple of hours surrounded by the books.