Below is a transcript of a live online panel discussion on seafood restaurants in the Boston area and beyond, which took place on Thursday, May 9, 2013. The chat included several panel members, with media people, restaurants folks, and food writers participating. The hour-long chat included talks with the panel about seafood shacks, fish markets, family spots, and higher-end eateries for seafood in the Boston area as well as elsewhere in New England. [Note: The original discussion can be replayed at the following link: http://www.hiddenboston.com/online-discussion-0513.html and please go to the restaurant discussions link to check out our other chats.]
Marc H. (hiddenboston): Hello, all! Welcome to another live online discussion, with this one being on seafood restaurants in the Boston area and elsewhere in New England. As always, we have a panel of folks who you may know, including media people, folks in the restaurant business, and food writers. Before we start, let's do some introductions. I'm Marc, the founder and owner of Boston's Hidden Restaurants along with the news-based blog Boston Restaurant Talk. http://www.bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com
Patrick Maguire: Author of Server Not Servant Blog at http://www.servernotservant.com/
Drew Starr: Local food nerd. Recently starting contributing to Eater Boston @thedrewstarr
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Good morning all!
Leah: and mom to one raw oyster, seafood eating child and one prefers not to eat much especially not formerly living things.
MC Slim JB: MC Slim JB, restaurant critic for the now-defunct Boston Phoenix and Stuff Magazine, occasional blogger at http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/, still tweeting about Boston food and drink at @mcslimjb
Marc H.: "Now-defunct." That still saddens me...
Jennifer Kain DeFoe: Good morning
Marc H.: Hello, Jennifer!
Leah: just what I was thinking re:Phoenix and Stuff
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I'm a food nerd, restaurant publicist, and blogger @myshinymonkey. Tweets about food and whatever this group tweets about. Working hard to limit my RT'ing obsession. And yes, I miss the Phoenix too. :)
Aaron K.: Hey gang - Aaron K. from Eater Boston here.
Marc H.: Hi, Aaron! We definitely have a full house today!
Leah: I prefered it when it was just funct.
Jennifer Kain DeFoe: Ah...just getting the hang of this; I need to introduce myself. I'm the editorial director of Lighthouse Publications, a reviewer and worked in the restaurant biz for many years.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: So many great foodies in one place. And just before lunch.
MC Slim JB: On the upside, now that I'm not researching restaurant three nights a week, the pounds are just melting away!
Patrick Maguire: Go Bruins!!!
Marc H.: Maybe we should talk about that game for the next hour. ;-) Wow--that's all I can say.
Patrick Maguire: Who you calling a "Foodie," Fool?!?
MC Slim JB: Try to balance out the foie gras poutine with the occasional salad.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Patrick - I think it was that referenced the book "Back of the House" last discussion, yes? I bought and loved it - great recommendation.
Marc H.: So we may have one or two others coming by, but we can probably start...
Marc H.: Today we'll be looking at all kinds of seafood spots in and around Boston as well as in other parts of the region. We'll start by working our way out from Boston, looking at everything from clam shacks to higher-end restaurants, and will eventually look at the Cape, Maine, and other areas.
Marc H.: And as was the case with a few of the previous discussions, this is mainly a panel chat, though there might be a few guests and readers here and there along the way.
Marc H.: But before we start, a couple of stray comments from you. :-D
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I got a pair like that at home too, Leah - one adventurous, one... NOT.
Patrick Maguire: No, I was just being a smart-ass.
Marc H.: So why don't we start with the Boston area from, say, Beverly to Plymouth and everything in between...
Marc H.: How about looking at the "lower-end" spots first? Clam shack, cheap eats, etc. Any favorites in the area?
Aaron K.: Can't say enough about Alive & Kicking Lobsters in Cambridge.
Marc H.: I have been dying to get there, Aaron. They don't have any seating, do they?
Galen: They do have seating. Lobster sandwich is good. They still use Roma bread?
Marc H.: Hey, Galen! Feel free to introduce yourself!
Aaron K.: There's some plastic tables outside in warmer months, maybe by now.
MC Slim JB: I used to think Boston was rather overrated as a seafood restaurant town, but it has improved a lot in the past few years. At the low end, I love Morse Fish, which has been operating as a fish market and fish-fry restaurant for close to 80 years.
Leah: I haven't been in ages but for cheap we'd always go to Dolphin Seafood.
Drew Starr: Belle Isle. It's one of the 2 places I always recommend when people come to Boston and ask for seafood.
Marc H.: And Belle Isle is now in a new, larger home just across the bridge in Winthrop.
MC Slim JB: Belle Isle Seafood, which recently moved over the bridge from Eastie to Winthrop, is also a terrific market and value-priced shore-food joint.
Galen: Oh sorry. Galen Moore, Boston Business Journal.
Galen: Morse is awesome MC. If you like that you should try Star Fish in Egleston.
Leah: I also really like Fresh Pond Seafood which is no longer in Fresh Pond area of Cambridge but now in Arlington. They added seating so you can eat in.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Let's just get it out there... there's something fascinating about going to the NE Aquarium and then across the street for seafood dinner at Legal Seafoods... so wrong, yet so delicious. And agree about Dolphin Seafood in Natick - best quality seafood, good prices.
Kendall Walker: Hey there. Great greasy spot in Brockton - Frank's. Seafood platter is great and really bad for you
Marc H.: Hi, Kendall! I like Frank's for its hot dogs, actually.
MC Slim JB: Good to know about Star, Galen; hadn't heard of that one!
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Captain Marden's in Wellesley, same as Belle Island - great market, small restaurant, affordable prices.
Kendall Walker: I do love their hot dogs too
Drew Starr: the aquarium itself also has a catering program that is fish-centric. iirc, Barbara Lynch was supervising the menu design there at one point, but I'm not sure of the current status of that
Leah: Oooh...I meant Dolphin Seafood in Cambridge. Not sure if they are related.
Marc H.: They are. I've only been to the Dolphin in Natick
Sally Alexander: A favorite cheap eat/bar and wonderful seafood especially the Lobster Salad Roll is at "The Anchor" Beverly, Ma.. The owner has her own boat and brings in the Lobster.. Good place to have a steamed Lobster too!
Sue L.: Dolphin is in Cambridge too - hard to park though. Bus and subway available however.
Marc H.: I'll throw out a couple of my favorites--Tony's Clam Shop in Quincy (amazing clams and great fish sandwiches) and Moulton's in Medford (everything is good there).
Leah: Love Captain Marden's too....it's usually my daughter and I surrounded by blue/grey haired ladies.
MC Slim JB: I think our Portuguese-heritage (mainland, Azores, Brazil, Cape Verde Islands) restaurants offer great seafood at nice prices. Cambridge near Inman Square has a bunch: Muqueca (Bahian seafood), Casa Portugal, Portugalia, Sunset Grill, Bom Cafe.
Marc H.: MC, what's the place in Cambridge with the man o' war sandwich? Is that The Snack Bar? Do they still have that?
Galen: While we're in East Cambridge don't forget New Deal Fish Market.
Aaron K.: I second Muqueca.
MC Slim JB: O Senhor Ramos, a/k/a The Snack Bar, does the Man o' War sub. It used to do much better Azorean specialties, but it changed hands, is not so interesting now.
MC Slim JB: No surprise there are some great seafood markets nearby, like Courthouse and New Deal. And we can thank Azorean ex-pats for manning our fishing fleets out of Boston for many decades.
Marc H.: What are some of your favorite seafood spots in the Boston area with actual water views? Not many, are there? I like Tony's and the Inn at Bay Pointe in Quincy, both of which have outdoor decks.
Kendall Walker: Not so many in Boston. I think there are some great spots once you get down to Plymouth, Cape, etc.
Marc H.: We'll hit the Cape in a bit, but do you know of any specific ones in Plymouth?
Leah: I guess you could include Summer Shack's outings to the harbor islands.
Marc H.: Yes! We were at Castle Island last night and looking out at the islands, talking about how they do the outings.
MC Slim JB: I guess I could grudgingly admit to liking the rooftop bar at Legal Harborside, but I don't really go for the food. Sam's at Louis Boston does a bit of seafood (it's not cheap), and has maybe the nicest harbor views in the Seaport.
Aaron K.: Re: waterfront views - still haven't made it over, but KO Pies at the Shipyard looks like it has more character than anything in, say, the Seaport.
Marc H.: KO does have some seafood dishes, and the views are outstanding.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Third for Muqueca
Drew Starr: Third Muqueca, and I wish someone would open a New Deal-like market on my side of the river. I haven't checked out Bee's Knees yet, do they have a fish section? I also still need to check out the Japanese fish market (not to be confused with Fish Market) in Allston
Sally Alexander: This past weekend we tried Shea's in Essex on the causeway.. Wonderful food and atmosphere overlooking the Essex river..(Across from that other well known spot Woodman's that really is a clam joint in the rough.. Good after the beach.
MC Slim JB: We have some good, inexpensive Italian seafood specialists, too, like the Daily Catch (I only really love the North End original -- warning: no bathroom, cash only) and Pescatore in Ball Square, Somerville.
Leah: I have to say that I'm not a fan of Bertucci's because it's so far from what it once was, but occasionally we end up there for convenience...plus all we all eat anyway are the rolls, but recently I've had their seafood bake and its actually really clean, good, fresh, loaded with seafood, tomatoes, garlic, and baked in the pizza ovens.
Aaron K.: There's also this little gem I love to recommend to out-of-towners called Legal Sea Foods. They have clam chowder and everything.
Marc H.: Legal....Sea Foods? Never heard of it.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I mentioned that a while ago. :)
MC Slim JB: Love KO at the Shipyard, though the harbor views there aren't great. The scenic part is if you take the City Water Taxi from behind the InterContinental Hotel over the East Boston Shipyard and Marina. They'll give you a nice discount if you tell them you're headed to KO.
Marc H.: The sunsets at KO can be pretty memorable, and you can walk to Piers Park just down the road.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: What do you all think of Barking Crab? Just not my scene.... but happy to hear that you all love it.
Kendall Walker: I think the Barking Crab is more of a tourist spot vs. local. I personally haven't been there in years
Marc H.: Great views, but totally a tourist spot.
MC Slim JB: I call it the Sewage Crab, and steer people away from it.
Aaron K.: Ah, the Barfing Crap. Excuse any typos.
Marc H.: Don't sugarcoat it. Let us know what you really think. ;-)
MC Slim JB: It always smells of stale beer and disappointment.
Guest: Overpriced and the service is terrible.
Sally Alexander: I like the baking Tavern off season. The chowder is good!
Galen: You can see the water from the No Name.
Patrick Maguire: Barking Crab is the quintessential tourist trap, and who can let go of the sewage issue?
MC Slim JB: KO has some seafood, too (Thai-style fishcakes, a Jonah crab entree), but mostly I go for the boat trip over and the Aussie meat pies.
Drew Starr: They're also opening up a patio with beer cocktails for the summer manned by one of the guys from JM Curley
Sally Alexander: Julie.. Right in Medway is The Medway Cafe that has great fried seafood plates.
Aaron K.: If that floating restaurant off Eastie happens, that should have some good water views.
Marc H.: All right--time to move on just a bit....
Leah: Can we go North yet? It's a swamp not ocean view, but I love Woodman's
Marc H.: Soon! Not just yet, though (I'm cracking the whip here!). :-D
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Well then. Moving on.
MC Slim JB: Other cheap, good seafood: the Kelly's knockoffs: North Shore roast beef sandwiches and excellent fried seaafood. I like Liberty Bell in Southie and Royal Roast Beef & Seafood in Eastie.
Marc H.: How about some of the higher-end spots in the Boston area for seafood? Any come to mind?
Sue L.: Neptune Oyster is one of the best if you can get in there. (and I agree about the Barking Crab - it's the running joke in my extended family)
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I just thought of another nice restaurant with great seafood, great views: Alma Nove in Hingham Shipyard. Bonus: Firepit outside in the summer, parking is easy, etc.
Marc H.: I've been by Alma Nove many times, but have never tried it. The fire pit looks very nice.
Aaron K.: Neptune, Island Creek Oyster Bar.
Leah: I love Island Creek Oyster Bar. Also Rialto does some great seafood whether you just want dollar oysters, or their bar food (grilled clams) or dinner.
Sue L.: Also higher end - Atlantic Fish - good fish, good cocktails. (did I mention I like higher end?)
Drew Starr: Island Creek Oyster Bar is my previously alluded to other recommendation I give all visitors. The oyster slider is my favorite 3 (ok, maybe 1) bites of food in the city
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Sally - unfortunately for my waistline, I'm at Medway Cafe at least once a week... great local recommendation. :)
MC Slim JB: Peruvians do great, reasonably priced seafood: Peruvian restaurants like Rincon Limeno in Eastie. Awesome ceviche (lime-cured raw seafood) and jalea (deep-fried seafood).
Leah: Puritan & Co. makes the best (and only) seafood charcuterie. I fell in love with it at the pop up in Truro and still love it in Cambridge.
Jennifer Kain DeFoe: Agreed - Island Creek Oyster Bar... a regular on our 'best of' lists and deservedly so. Love it.
MC Slim JB: Neptune Oyster was a turning point for our seafood restaurants. Easily my favorite seafood restaurant, even though the crowds and lack of reservations are painful. Island Creek Oyster Bar is nearly its equal for food, and trumps it in several ways: awesome craft cocktails, reservations, more room to stretch out, a lovely patio. Can't wait for Row 34 in Fort Point from the ICOB team.
Marc H.: Fort Point continues to get more and more interesting.
Guest: ICOB has a patio?
Galen: 'Trumps it in several ways': Service.
Sally Alexander: We'll have to meet when Oli comes to town!
Aaron K.: I've had good seafood at Area Four: bluefish pate, squid stew.
Hector Z: Can not wait to see what the crew does with Row 34
Drew Starr: Leah -- at times, Eastern Standard has done a seafood charcuterie plate that almost eclipses their excellent regular plate. ICOB can be hard to get into on a whim, so we'll often end up happily getting our seafood fix at ES
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Reservations are key if you are dining with business guests/groups.
MC Slim JB: I guess I should qualify that: favorite New England seafood restaurant. I also love the Hong Kong style live-tank joints in Chinatown like Peach Farm, Jade East, and East Ocean City.
Marc H.: East Ocean City is terrific.
Patrick Maguire: One of the best meals I've had in a long time was at erbaluce in Bay Village Last week. Chef/owner, Chuck Draghi, has great relationships with niche purveyors who give him first dibs on select items. The Nantucket Bay scallop crudo, and Island Creek razor clams were tremendous.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I gotta say - those live tanks make me want to be a vegetarian.
Drew Starr: I had an off-menu halibut collar at West Bridge the other night that was the best of 15 dishes we had. You can find hamachi collar on the menu regularly at Fish Market. I think lots of chefs are finally discovering fish collars as something to serve not just at family meal
Marc H.: Not upscale and not really a seafood place, but the off-the-menu seafood items at Joyful Garden are really interesting. They have some lobster dish that I can't really describe all that well, but it made the entire room smell heavenly when we were there awhile back (a Chinese couple next to us ordered it).
Sue L.: Have you been to Jumbo Seafood in Newton (live tank, Cantonese style) - it's excellent.
Aaron K.: One of the best fish dishes I've ever had was at Shanghai Gate. It was a special whose name eludes me, sorry I can't be more helpful. The fish was served in a chop-like cut and the sauce was sort of a soy-caramel.
Marc H.: Shanghai Gate is maybe my favorite Chinese restaurant in the Boston area.
MC Slim JB: Enthusiastically agree with Patrick on the seafood at Erbaluce. I've had stunning local seafood there: tautog, razor clams, periwinkles. Draghi is an artist (and not just with seafood). One of the best Italian restaurants in Boston. Few are so deeply rooted in a traditional, regional Italian cuisine.
Dan: How about sushi? Not just at o ya or Oishii in South End.
Hector Z: Totally agree with you, Patrick.
Patrick Maguire: Douzo does an excellent hamachi collar, Drew.
MC Slim JB: Have to give props to the Taiwanese joints, too, like Taiwan Cafe, Dumpling Cafe, and JoJo Taipei. Fabulous seafood dishes, like Sichuan-style flounder.
Marc H.: Whenever I'm waiting for folks at South Station, I run over to Taiwan Cafe, get some takeout, and run back. I don't know why I focus on them--maybe because they're pretty quick, I guess. (And good.)
MC Slim JB: I can't afford O Ya or Uni very often, and my favorite budget sushi joints tend to be in the suburbs: Toraya in Arlington, Sushi Island in (a strip mall in) Wakefield, Oga's in Natick.
Galen: Douzo is really surprisingly good in many ways.
Marc H.: Douzo always gets high marks whenever I do sushi polls.
Marc H.: All right, time to move on once again...
Kendall Walker: Great Sushi place in Canton - Mai Place. They make a mean mai tai too.
Galen: Thanks for the recommendations everyone. Got to sign off for a few.
Marc H.: Thanks, Galen!
Drew Starr: in addition to Fish Market, which people seem to know about fairly well now, it's worth noting that Cafe Sushi in cambridge has recently become amazing. Perhaps my new favorite omakase
Patrick Maguire: Full disclosure, I was a minor investor in Neptune upon opening. (No current affiliation, but still a fan.) The sardine pate I had at Neptune a few Tuesdays ago, was one of the best dishes I have had in recent memory.
Leah: Uni's Sake Bomb Sunday was one of the best meals I've had.
Marc H.: How about looking at the North Shore from Cape Ann up to Newburyport?
Marc H.: Any favorite seafood shacks in Rockport, Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich, etc.? I love going to the Lobster Pool and Roy Moore.
Leah: Woodman's of Essex
Marc H.: Woodman's is definitely a favorite among many.
MC Slim JB: For fancy, it's also hard to a Southern French place like Bistro du Midi (chef is ex-sous at Le Bernadin). Other more fine-dining places I like in town are Vee Vee in JP (lots of seafood and vegetarian-friendly dishes), Coppa and Toro in the South End (always inventive treatments of local seafood, like fluke crudo), and Rialto (which does my favorite version of Provencale soupe des poissons, even though it's ostensibly Italian).
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Woodman's is amazing. In Newburyport, Michael's Harborside has a pretty good lobster roll and a great patio view.
Aaron K.: I'm a Bob Lobster (Plum Island) fan. It's not the best, but it's so evocative of summer, and really that's what I want from a shack.
Marc H.: I suppose we should include mid-level and higher-end North Shore spots here as well, just to save time. I like The Village in Essex--fairly cheap, comfortable, good place to go with family.
MC Slim JB: My favorite North Shore fried-clam joints in order: The Clam Box (Ipswich), J.T. Farnham's (Essex), Dube's (Salem). Dube's gets extra points for very cool old neighborhood atmosphere, very mid-Century.
Marc H.: Dube's? Hmmmm.....never been. Where is that in Salem?
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Fried clams at the Lobster Pool, on a picnic table, overlooking the ocean in Rockport. Bam.
Marc H.: The Lobster Pool has some of the best views from any restaurant in MA. Tough to beat this... http://www.hiddenboston.com/LobsterPoolPhoto.html
MC Slim JB: I don't know what the neighborhood of Salem is called, but it has long been a French-Canadian ancestry area.
Marc H.: Hmmm, I wonder if it's near In a Pig's Eye. I'll have to Google it later.
Sue L.: Seaport Grill right in Gloucester is a fun place. Varied prices, good beer, ocean side, outdoor seating. Pretty good food. (love Lobster Pool - I just like being in that spot)
Leah: I forgot one more locally. Celebrity Pizza (of all places in Watertown) has really good fried clams, whole belly.
MC Slim JB: Roman Catholic churches, hockey on every bar TV, and Dube's fried clams.
Leah: Sounds like Quebec to me
Marc H.: Any others on the North Shore? If not, let's head down to the Cape.
MC Slim JB: Celebrity is a great Chowhound find. Never would have guessed it does great fried clams, but it does.
Marc H.: All right, let's look at Cape Cod and the islands. So many places to choose from, but what are the best of the best?
Marc H.: I'll start--the warm lobster roll at Arnold's in Eastham is a near-religious experience. I can't say enough about it.
MC Slim JB: In Dennis, I have a soft spot for Captain Frosty's: fried clams and soft-serve. The nearby Inaho is one of my favorite sushi joints, too.
Marc H.: I also like Pearl in Wellfleet for their scallops, calamahhhhhhhh, and the crazy good views of the ocean from their upstairs deck.
Drew Starr: I'd be curious to hear of anyone's personal experiences w/ Summer Shack catering on the harbor islands. I'm disappointed by the state of their Back Bay restaurant currently, but am curious if the catering is better
Marc H.: Oops--got a few more North Shore posts.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: If you are going to the North Shore to eat seafood, an ocean view completes the picture. My Place By the Sea in Rockport is way out on Bear's Neck (I think that's the name of it), and has great clam chowder and ocean views.
Patrick Maguire: Dube's sounds great. Train ride from North Station to Salem is only 21 minutes. I had a beautiful piece of halibut at Matt Brady's (former CODA GM) new place in Salem, Naumkeag Ordinary, last week. Sweet spot.
Sue L.: Well, not only fish, but Ohana and Alchemy in Gloucester and Ithaki in Ipswich always have fish options - high end, and excellent.
Marc H.: Patrick, do you know Matt Brady? I know him well from O'Sullivan's in Somerville. One of the nicest guys in the business.
Leah: Okay...I need to sign off now, but I have my summer dining planned out!
Marc H.: Thanks, Leah! Have a great day!
MC Slim JB: On the fancier side, I think Blackfish in Truro is better than just about any fine-dining place in P-Town, and Straight Wharf on Nantucket is also superb.
MC Slim JB: I wish we had more nice Greek restaurant like Ithaki in Boston.
Leah: Thanks all! (MC Perkins Cove was great...in Maine..great ocean view especially fun on a stormy night.) and Summer Shack in Cambridge I think is the best one. (also happens to be near me.)
Marc H.: All right, back to Cape talk...
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: In Sandwich, Seafood Sam's is a local fave for affordable fried seafood that is delicious. It's near the coast guard station (bonus for families, great views) and casual and fun. Plus, they have beepers shaped like lobsters. And giant whoopie pies. http://www.yelp.com/biz/seafood-sams-sandwich
Marc H.: Wow, I go to Sandwich all the time and have never been there. Hmmm....are they open for the season yet?
MC Slim JB: Numkeag Ordinary is an awesome restaurant name.
Marc H.: It sure is. I need to ask Matt about that one. :-)
Patrick Maguire: As a former bartender at The Beachcomber in Wellfleet, I have to plug my old alma mater. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, and the raw bar and seafood is some of the freshest available. Aaron K's phrase, "evocative of summer", defines The 'Comah!
MC Slim JB: I saw (and half-remember) a lot of great live music at the Beachcomber. They booked a lot of punk rock back in the day.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I think it is year-round. A local place.
Sally Alexander: A fun place in Chatham and good reasonable food is 'The Red Nun" A fun bar and outside patio now..
Marc H.: The Red Nun?
Sally Alexander: Correct.. My nephew is an owner.. The Red Nun is a buoy marker I believe but it also the Name of the restaurant.. Right before you get into the town on the left.
Patrick Maguire: The crab cake at The Club Car is one of the best I've ever had. NO filler.
Marc H.: I like the crab cakes at P.J.'s Family Restaurant in Wellfleet. Such a classic roadside joint.
Patrick Maguire: Marc, yes, I only know him from CODA. True gentleman. Hope he does well lots of competition up there.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: no sorry, you asked about seafood sam's in sandwich. it is open year round.
MC Slim JB: South Coast, not the Cape, but the Azoreans are doing seafood right in Fall River at places like Marisqueira and Lusitano.
MC Slim JB: Pricey and in a weird spot, but Mashpee's Raw Bar is rather good. People drinking frozen mudslides with their raw oysters is weird, but I'm in favor of people liking what they like.
Patrick Maguire: Agree 100% about Blackfish in Truro. They source from the best available. Love the place.
Kendall Walker: Great North Shore spot = Brine in Newburyport. Fantastic oysters. I'll be heading up there for Mother's day
Marc H.: We have 10 minutes left, so how about spending it talking about seafood places along the RI, CT, NH, and ME coasts, as well as the South Coast of MA, as MC just alluded to a minute ago.
Marc H.: One of my favorite seafood spots is way way WAY up in Maine in Northeast Harbor--a real seafood shack in Northeast Harbor called The Docksider. They don't get more real than that place.
MC Slim JB: More southern New England, and not seen much up here: clam cakes at places like George's of Galilee in Narragansett and Quito's in Bristol.
Marc H.: Oooooooh, Quito's. That's in my top 5 for seafood places in New England.
Jennifer Kain DeFoe: Best hidden favorite on Cape for me is the lobster rolls at George's Fish Market in Harwich Port. Don't know how they sell them for 15 bucks - chocked full and delicious. Bring your own good Chardonnay and sit outside at picnic tables.
Sue L.: ME - anyone of those lobster places right on the harbor anywhere on Mt. Desert Island. (trying to be quick)
Marc H.: Sue, have you been to Thurstons on the "working" side of the island?
Sue L.: The Docksider is exactly the one I'm thinking of.
Drew Starr: Portland ME - Eventide. Wow. Evocative of B&G in some ways. But the coup de grace there for me was their lobster rolls. They have 3 varieties at any time, including a warm one w/ brown butter. But they're in taiwanese steam buns.
Drew Starr: You guys are fast filling up my summer wish list here... it's embarrassing how few places I've been to outside of Boscamberville
Marc H.: Ha ha, road trip? Say the word!
Sue L.: No - I'll have to get there.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Bandaloop in Kennebunk - amazing.
Marc H.: Perhaps the best lobster I've tried in New England is from the Ogunquit Lobster Pound. It may be because of the salt water in that area--something about it that makes the lobster taste better than most other spots.
Sally Alexander: Let's all take a day trip to The Docksider.. sounds fun!
Marc H.: Sally, that's a LONG day trip. :-D
Drew Starr: the word!
MC Slim JB: Up in Maine, I like the lobster roll at Footbridge Lobster in Perkins Cove, fine dining seafood at Street & Co. in Portland, and the touristy but still awesome Red's Eats in Wiscasset.
Marc H.: Red's is great. Amazing lobster rolls...
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I second Ogunquit Lobster Pound - that's a go-to.
Marc H.: I really want to explore the thin strips of land between, say, Portland and Rockland in Maine. So many seafood shacks on those little peninsulas. Any suggestions?
Patrick Maguire: My seafood "bucket list" is longer now. Thanks to all for a fun, lively, and informative chat. Grateful to be included, Marc. Have a great weekend, all. See u on twitter @PatrickMBoston.
Marc H.: Thanks, Patrick! Hope to talk soon!
Jennifer Kain DeFoe: I have to run to a meeting. Thx so much for including me. Great stuff!
Marc H.: Thanks, Jennifer!
Sally Alexander: ogunquit is good!
Dan: Don't forget Fore Street in Portland as well! Sister restaurant of Street & Co.
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: I'm going to Portsmouth NH next week - any recommendations for seafood for the birthday girl?
Marc H.: Happy birthday! My favorite seafood places around Portsmouth are a bit south of there, actually--Brown's and Markey's, both of which are in Seabrook.
Drew Starr: the mussels at fore street are impeccable!
MC Slim JB: Lots of reasons to go (pork belly buns, for one), but Pai Men Miyake in Portland, ME does a superlative sashimi ramen, though all their ramen are amazing.
Sue L.: Wait - I totally lied - I have been to Thurstons. I went there on my honeymoon - we went to the island. It was sixteen years ago (don't tell my husband I forgot)
Marc H.: Ha ha, we won't tell anyone, Sue.
Aaron K.: Re: Portsmouth - haven't been but hear great things about The Black Trumpet.
Marc H.: Black Trumpet gets very high marks...
Julie Dennehy, Dennehy PR: Thanks, Aaron... will look up Black Trumpet.
MC Slim JB: I had a weird grab-bag of specific dishes that have stayed with me: Salvadoran sopa de mariscos at La Frontera in Eastie; lobster caramel at Local 149 in Southie (weird, amazing dish), fish tacos at Dorado Tacos y Cemitas in JFK Crossing, Brookline.
Marc H.: Lobster caramel?!
MC Slim JB: It's a bizarre pile-up: batter-fried lobster, caramel sauce, cheese. Shouldn't work, does. Chef is David Nevins, once of Neptune, more recently at Nix's Mate downtown.
Marc H.: All right, it's time to call it a day, but if you could anywhere in New England right now for seafood, where would it be?
Marc H.: I'll go first--the aforementioned Ogunquit Lobster Pound for lobster.
MC Slim JB: The bar seat near the kitchen at Neptune Oyster.
Sue L.: Maine - probably Oqunquit.
Drew Starr: ICOB. (has that caramel/lobster dish traveled w/ him? I had it back when he was in that short-lived place in CT called Osetra)
Sue L.: Thanks everyone! I'm sending my dad off to Erbaluce. He's a great Italian cook (I'm not kidding) and he was just lamenting the other day that he can't seem to find anyplace to get razor clams (he made them a lot when I was a kid).
Patrick Maguire: The Beachcomber, Wellfleet, after a looong walk from Cahoon Hollow Beach to Marconi and back.
Aaron K.: At my friend's summer house in Maine near Buck's Harbor. Mackerel right out of the cove.
Marc H.: Aaron, when are you going? Is the house big enough for all of us? :-)
MC Slim JB: The lobster caramel is indeed on the Local 149 menu. Nevins originally did it at Osetra, his bygone restaurant in Norwalk, CT.
Marc H.: Sad to say that it's time to go....thanks to all of you for chatting today. This was a really fun one!
Aaron K.: Sounds like a party.
MC Slim JB: Great fun, as always, Marc! Thanks for having me!
Drew Starr: Thanks for hosting, Marc. Take care everyone and thanks for the tips
Aaron K.: Thanks for having us.