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Old 04-26-2013, 09:44 PM
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Only 3 days in Boston and want to have the best seafood the city has to offer.

Places near T-stops are our best options. Is Legal Seafood all it's cracked up to be? What about Barking Crab?

All your opinions are greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:55 PM
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In Quincy, on Wollaston Beach, there are two or three great seafood places with great view. But not near T station.
Legal Seafood is good but with his/miss service.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:36 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Legal has gone from stellar to over-rated as it's expanded into a chain of restaurants all along the East Coast. You can still acquire a delicious, even memorable, meal there. But the pretentiousness of some of the menu selections can be a bit much (Cape Breton scallops or Ipswich? "Shandong" rice. Etc.) And you'll definitely feel a lighter wallet afterwards.
The Barking Crab is a favorite of mine for seafood eatin' on the decidedly casual, fun side. Once spring is finally here to stay, and on into summer and fall, it's all the more enjoyable to go there. Their patio with picnic tables, featuring unobstructed - and cooling - views of the Fort Point Channel, will be open. And live bands will be playing. As for the food, it's nothing to jump n' shout about exactly but is quite OK. You get the "basics," no shellfish from an array of places to choose from or exotically-described rice.
A long-lived local favorite is Kelly's at Revere Beach, near the Blue Line, where the fried-clam plates are heaping and the competition with the gulls is not for the faint-hearted. (Those birds don't play! I can vouch for that. They'll march right up and snatch an entire cluster if you turn your head for one second. LOL)
Near the Prudential Center on the now famous-for-a-bad-reason Boylston St you'll find The Atlantic Fish Company, which is in league with Legal (no play on words intended.) They've been around in this town longer than I have - that's saying something. Also in the Back Bay is Skipjack's, often and undeservedly overlooked.
There's also a McCormick and Schmick's in town at Park Plaza, where you "can't go wrong." But we're far from the only city to have one of their restaurants.
If you like the sort of place that puts their menu on a chalkboard every day (and ain't all that cheap) a lot of people swear by The Daily Catch in Brookline. They're on Harvard St between the B and C trolley lines.
As for my own personal favorite? That would be Dolphin Seafood in Cambridge, just up Mass. Ave from the Trowbridge St stop on the #1 bus (its actual route number.) Lobster is always available, the menu isn't all that "adventurous," and the atmosphere is casual short of grungy. Pricing is quite reasonable by way of comparison to the other spots mentioned. The staff is very engaging and the conversation at the tiny, nine-seat, bar can be memorable indeed.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:52 PM
Location: Dallas
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Frankly I think the *must do* in Boston is the Union Oyster House. It is on the Blackstone Block, adjacent to Quincy Market. It is debateably the most beautiful and fascinating block in Boston.

Union Oyster House, Boston, MA: History

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Old 04-27-2013, 07:26 AM
Location: New Hampshire
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The answer to your question is found here.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:08 AM
Location: Providence, RI
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Yeah, I know everyone has their own preferences, but I would suggest avoiding Legal Seafood like the plague. I used to enjoy it. Then I didn't mind it. Now it's one of a handful of places I actually go out of my way to avoid. Their chowder is good (it's actually from a place called Blount Seafoods in Fall River, MA and they have their own clam shack which is much better than Legal), but the rest of it is mediocre and overpriced. Skip Legal Seafood.

The Union Oyster House is definitely worth a visit, but I'd probably stay away from doing a full meal there. I think the best way to experience Union Oyster House is to go in, sit at the semi-circular raw bar, order sampler of a variety of shellfish (oysters, cherrystones, etc.) and sip a Sam Adams. After a round and a few oysters, I'd walk the short distance to Neptune Oyster in the North End and sit down for the real deal. Definitely order from the raw bar again (the options at Neptune get more exotic) and get an entree. Specials here are a GREAT idea because it's typically something very fresh and not common enough to be added to the regular menu. Neptune isn't cheap, but it's not overpriced. What you will get is fresh, simple dishes. For a seafood purist, it's tough to beat Neptune Oysters. It's quintessential Boston seafood at its best.

Barking Crab is definitely a lot of fun. No frills, not expensive, but a lot of fun. It's never been a disappointment.

Clio is one of my favorite options for the other end of the spectrum. It's high end, intricate dishes. It's not cheap, but it's an experience you won't forget.

If you simply want the best seafood prepared in the best way possible, you cannot beat O Ya. It's a tiny place, you'll need a reservation, but it's one of the best restaurants in the country (not just my opinion... James Beard award winner, Food and Wine 10 best of the world, Andrew Zimmern, top 5 favorite restaurants, etc). It's a Japanese style of preparation and the serving style is sort of a Japanese Tapas. Each plate is 2-3 bites of food. It's going to put a dent in your wallet, but I know of no other restaurant like O Ya and the food is perfect. Best to do Omakase (let the chef choose).

The other thing is that since this is Boston, almost any decent restaurant will have good seafood even if the words "oyster" or "seafood" aren't in the restaurant name. The better Italian restaurants in the North End will have some really good seafood options (I like Terramia, but that's partially just nostalgia).
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:17 AM
Location: Massachusetts
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Anthony's in the seaport district is a classic.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:47 PM
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Island Creek Oyster is fantastic. It's right in Kenmore Square. The food and service are both great.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:28 PM
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re: Legal Seafoods. Once I saw how many there are, I was skeptical and evidently, rightly so.

I will check out your recommendations! Unfortunately, choices will be somewhat limited since my traveling companion only eats lobster, crab, scallops and shrimp. No fish, no oysters, no clams.

Thanks so much for all posts! Not looking forward to air travel , but can't wait to visit. Haven't been to Boston in decades!
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:37 AM
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It should be said that I've never had a bad meal at Legal, but it's not even close to the best. Barking crab is fun in the summer, though I will disagree with an above poster about its expense. For loads and loads of (really good) fried seafood, it's pretty pricey, in my opinion.

James Hook (a couple blocks from Barking Crab) has the best lobster roll, I think, outside of maybe Neptune Oyster which will charge you three times as much (or so).

I'll second Island Creek Oyster Bar. It's expensive as well, but absolutely fantastic.

Go have a beer at Union Oyster (they have a unique Sam Adams brew called Colonial Ale). You can have some oysters and chowder (they do have good chowder) and your friend can have...another beer? Don't eat a full meal there. You can do so much better for the money. For the record, the fish and chips at the next door Bell in Hand (stay away from there on any weekend night) are awfully good, and they have the Bell in Hand Ale, unique to that place, as well. Enjoy your stay!
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