on eating in boston.

i adore living in boston.  even though i've been visiting this amazing city regularly [at least 2x a year] for over a decade now, i still consider myself pretty new.  we've lived here full time for six full months now.  we have lots of regular and go-to places that we enjoy frequenting, but we also continue to try new places that never cease to amaze.

and i don't mean 'places' like places to hang out, or places to get a good view of the city.  i mean places to eat.  obvi. 

i have a love affair with food.  as does my brother.  as does my dad.  it's in my blood.  i'm not a great cook but boy do i love to eat.  i'm not an uptight foodie type - i love my mac + cheese as much as i love fresh oysters.

so maybe it's this non-discriminatory taste i have, but i have been getting some requests to share some restaurant recommendations.  even restaurant guides to boston.  now, i am nowhere near qualified to do that.  but what i can do is share my favorite places that i go, from new picks to our old trustworthy haunts.

so i am going to start doing just that in my series mangia!, starting today.  over this past weekend, with the mom visiting, we tried a new restaurant and also took her to one of our staples.

restaurant: cinquecento
cuisine: italian
neighborhood: south end

my breakfast - eggs with prosciutto and grilled bread

we visited cinquecento on sunday morning for brunch.  the only things i knew about the restaurant going in were: 
  1. it is owned by the aquitaine group, which owns gaslight - another one of our favorites
  2. they serve italian food 
  3. my brother had been for brunch and raved about it
so that was enough for me, and we booked a table well in advance.  at 11am the restaurant wasn't crowded, but it filled up quickly.  by the time we left around 12:30, there wasn't an empty table.   guys, this food is epic.  not overly fancy, but great quality and well-priced. 

we started with the pastry basket and ate every crumb.  also for the table was grilled bread with warm ricotta and a honey drizzle - and i think we may have fought over who got the last bite.  on the table for brunch was fried eggs and prosciutto [mine], poached eggs with ricotta and truffled polenta, a panini, bolognese [yes, at brunch, and yes, it's fabulous], and steak and eggs.  some traditional dishes and some a little out there for brunch.

it was fab.  my plate was just right - not too much food, not too much flair.  the service was great, and - BONUS! - they were playing she + him when i walked in.  now that is a restaurant that knows it's way to my heart [good music and bolognese].

cuisine: seafood
neighborhood: waterfront

so i didn't actually have pictures of the rowe's wharf, just of us having fun outside on their patio.  sorry about that. 

this was my third trip to the boston harbor hotel's rowe's wharf restaurant.  i took the mom out for a birthday tea here back in february, and the other two times have been spent lounging away on their patio.  yep.  they let you sit around and drink on their patio without ordering food, which is key in boston.  not a lot of places let you do that [insert exaggerated eye roll here].   

this also means that i have only had oysters here [and tea snacks, which don't really count].  sunday the grille served up two kinds of oysters, and both were fabulous.  they let us mix and match as many as we wanted - and we could not stop at just one dozen.  the wine list is sublime, they have ocean-inspired cocktails, and the patio is right on the water.  nothing will get in between your glass of wine and the sea breeze.  the service is friendly and they totally don't judge if you just want to sit outside and get day drunk. 

it started raining as we sat outside - and the staff said we could move inside if we wanted or hang out with umbrellas.  guess what we picked? 

i'll keep sharing my favorite places to eat in boston from time to time, so be on the lookout!