Thursday, May 29, 2014

Classic Modern Pastries in Boston

Seattle doesn't have much of an Italian community. At least not in the same way that you find on the east coast.* While here in Boston, I had to try Modern Pastry Shop to get a taste of what I was missing. The shop itself is located in the old Italian community in the North End. This area is the older part of town and while there is a lot of history here, it is pretty obvious that the narrow streets and twisting roads that are today popular again for their charm were once written off as "obsolete" and in need of urban renewal.

The interior doesn't seem like it has changed much in a long time. The shop itself has been there for over 70 years, but the pastry chefs have, according to their website, been making pastries for over 150 years. I'm happy to say that the cannoli live up to the expectation: The sweet ricotta was perfectly balanced and who doesn't like pistachio?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Boston's Neptune Oyster

So, I didn't care to much for this trip to Boston, but that doesn't mean everything was horrible.

Just look at that lobster roll. Hot buttered lobster. Delicious!

This is the type of lobster that is hard to come by in Seattle and that you wouldn't really see on the menu in the same format. This particular roll comes from Neptune Oyster, which has a near perfect rating on yelp. The restaurant itself retains a bit of classic 1920s charm while serving up some fantastic seafood. The raw bar served up some of the largest prawns I've ever seen (below) and the sandwich above would be welcome for just about any meal. It is a rich, decadent sandwich that I would actually recommend you split between two people (Half a sandwich is just about a perfect amount. More risks lobster overload).

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Much ado about Boston

I almost always have something good to say about a place, but I have to admit that I'm a little ambivalent about Boston. Perhaps it was the biting cold weather and time of year or perhaps it was the relatively short period of time that I had there, but I don't have much to recommend for Boston besides some really good lobster rolls. Even the skybar was ho-hum compared to many that I've been to (and there are some very meh skybars out there).

First the facts: Boston is one of the birthplaces of the nation and there is a lot of history embedded within the main downtown city itself. The back bay neighborhood, as much as it is a commercial strip today, is also an excellent example of late 19th century brick work and urban design. There are prestigious universities (Cambridge) and classic institutions, such as Fenway Park, throughout. There is also the Boston Commons, which for some reason I thought would be larger. The Boston subway system includes the oldest subway segment in North America, which is always nice for a transit nerd like myself. There ARE nice things there, but...

...I don't know. I obviously didn't go to the right parts of Boston and the well-below-freezing weather probably didn't help either. Next time I'll try the summer. At least the food is good.