Wharf Sea Grille

Open Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30AM-10:00PM; Sat-Sun 7:00AM-10:00PM 

Phone number: 617 856 7744

Price Range: $33/person for restaurant week (not including tax and tip)

Address: 70 Rowes Wharf 

Website: www.roweswharfseagrille.com 

T Station: Blue Line Aquarium Station


For my suite of four to gather around the same table for a meal is extremely rare. Was it a special occasion? Well, certainly…restaurant week is a “special enough” excuse for us. After a struggle-bus week trying to get back into the routine of school, it was nice getting away and spending some quality time with the girls.

Situated on the first floor of the Boston Harbor Hotel, the blue and white nautical-themed restaurant seats you right next to the docks so you’re sure to have a nice view of the port. The hostess was all smiles as she seated us at our table where we eagerly made our orders.

 Our bread basket was first to arrive and gotta say, we couldn’t get enough of their warm, freshly baked corn bread.

First appetizer we tried was the Maine Lobster Bisque. 

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We were a tad disappointed that there was only one shrimp dumpling (less is definitely not more), but we liked the light yet creamy texture of the soup.

Next we had the Pan Seared Silver Hake Cakes.

 

The dish came with sweet corn, peas and a touch of tomato essence. It was quite meh – I’ve definitely tasted better elsewhere so I wouldn’t recommend getting it here.

For main, we ordered the Grilled Prime Filet Mignon.

Meat was grilled until tender and juicy and the accompanying golden potato cake was a nice crispy side. Recommended.  

My friend decided to opt out of the restaurant week menu and ordered her own entrée of Bucatini Pasta.

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Snaps to her for taking the risk because this dish was probably one of the highlights of our night. Drizzled garlic sauce was light, but memorable.

For dessert we had the Warm Spiced Pear Cake.

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Pretty standard, but paired nicely with the vanilla bean gelato.

 We also had the Dark Chocolate Pave.

Guess some places do like to save the best for last because this was the winner of the night. With an initial thick, velvety chocolate texture that eventually melts in your mouth, this desserts sits between the lines of mousse and cake. Rich in dark cocoa, yet not too overwhelming. Our whole suite gave this a thumbs up.

Overall highlights of this restaurant include the scenic harbor view, amicable staff and chocolate dessert though I will admit most of the $$$ you’re forking over contributes more or less to the view rather than the food. But regardless, this place is a classic if you're looking to treat visiting friends and family out for a nice meal. Next time we come, we'll be looking to try their famous afternoon tea by the harbor.  


Mare

Open Hours: Sun-Fri 4:00PM-11:00PM; Sat 2:00PM-11:00PM

Phone number: 617 723 6273

Price Range: $33/person for restaurant week (not including tax and tip)

Address: 135 Richmond Street

Website: www.mareoysterbar.com

T Station: Green/Orange Line Haymarket Station, Blue Line Aquarium Station, Purple/Green/Orange Line North Station


On Wednesdays we eat seafood…lots and lots of seafood. North End may be a trek, but we’re willing to do pretty much anything when it comes to restaurant week. When our Uber arrived at this place, I was surprised to find how small the actual restaurant was (hint: make reservations beforehand). But they say good things come in small packages and I had a good feeling about dinner when I stepped in and got a whiff of what they were cooking.

Upon being seated, we got right down to business. Our first appetizer was the 3 Oysters (chef’s choice) and 3 Cherrystone Clams.

I’ll say the oysters, with their somewhat mild brininess, were a hit, but the cherrystone clams were way too salty for me.

Our second appetizer was the Sauteed Mussels.

Yes sir, I’ll have some more of that. Mussels were lightly cooked in olive oil, garlic and white wine. We liked the mild spiciness, which gave it a little extra kick.

For main, my friend ordered the Rock Crab Spaghetti.

Nice sized portion that came with fresh shrimp, clams, scallops and crab. Note: the crab was a bit hard to maneuver so don’t go wearing a white shirt if you’re planning on getting this.

 I ordered the Stuffed Calamari.

The outer calamari shell was delightfully chewy while the inner mix of lobster, clam, scallop and shrimp was lightly seasoned with a lemon zest; accompanying broccoli rabe was a bit too greasy for my liking. Portions may look small, but don’t be deceived, this was actually quite filling. Would definitely recommend this dish.

Finished it off with a slice of their Tiramisu.

Having had authentic Italian tiramisu last summer, I can be a pretty harsh critic when it gets down to it (so just keep that in mind). Although relatively standard, I do have to say their tiramisu is one of the better ones I’ve had so far in Boston. Texture is quite fluffy and the coffee amaretti and mascarpone are rather light so you don’t feel weighed down after having so much seafood.

We also had their Flourless Chocolate Cake.

You’d think that eating flourless cake would be madness, but I’m quite surprised to report that they do a darn good job of it. The cake was pleasantly light and paired nicely with rich chocolate ganache and hazelnut gelato. Recommended.

Overall highlights of this place include the busy, but intimate atmosphere and their seafood. Options are definitely pricey so I’d make sure you brought good company with you for this dining experience. 


Flour & Bakery Cafe

Open Hours: Mon-Fri 7:00am-8:00pm; Sat 8:00am-6:00pm ;Sun 9:00am-5:00pm

Phone number: 617 437 7700

Price Range: $5-$15 

Address: 131 Clarendon Street, MA 20116 

Website: www.flourbakery.com 

T Station: Orange Line Back Bay or Green Line Copley 


A quiz, midterm and project coming up this week before I leave on Thursday for my case comp, yet somehow I still find myself sitting at this cafe chewing on my second oatmeal cookie and chatting with the different people who come in and out. Let's face it, today's weather has been the warmest it's been in the last few weeks aka my face doesn’t hurt when I walk outside. Besides, I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to get off campus and have a little time to myself before the busy week proceeds.

I've been meaning to try out this place for awhile now, but just never got the chance with all the blizzards snowing me in (pleaseee Boston, no more). Upon entering, I instantly became a fan of the quirky bubble lights, the playful chalk written menu and the full window-paneled walls that let the warm sunlight flood in. Seems less like a place to study and more of a place to chat and catch up. 

Salad menu includes kale (with tuscan bean, mozzarella, focaccia), quinoa (roasted veggies, tofu, spinach) and chopped Greek (lemon-thyme chicken and green goddess dressing). Sandwich menu consists of items such as smoked turkey, lemon-caper tuna, applewood-smoked bacon, breakfast egg, etc. Drinks vary from coffees to chia lattes to black/green/herbal teas. As for their bakery, they offer cookies like oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, double chocolate and chocolate chip as well as sticky buns, muffins, rolls, tarts, cakes and pies. 

I ordered the Roast Chicken, Mashed Avocado with Jicama.

Loved the avocado spread and how tenderly seasoned the roast chicken was. The jicama gave it a nice, slightly sweet kick. Also liked that I got a choice of white or whole white bread. Would definitely recommend. 

I also gave the French Roast coffee a shot. 

Coffee here is pretty standard. 

And of course, can't finish without ending on a sweet note. I ordered two of their Oatmeal Raison Cookies. 

All I can say is: these cookies made the trek downtown worth it. Crispy outer edges with a chewy soft center. Who needs coffee during midterm season when I can have these to fuel me?! 

 Think I'm in love with their takeaway doggy bags

Think I'm in love with their takeaway doggy bags

Overall, the highlights of this visit include the colorful eccentric atmosphere, their wide variety of sandwich options (some of which are vegetarian, nut free or diary free) and of course their bakery items. The service here is extremely amicable and I'll definitely be returning with a good book in hand when the weather outside becomes more bearable.

 

Hei La Moon

Open Hours: 8:30am-11:00pm

Phone number: 617 338 8813

Price Range: $10-$15 per person 

English Address: 88 Beach Street, Boston, MA 20111

Website: http://www.heilamoon.com/

T Station: Green Line Bolyston or Orange Line Chinatown 


It's the start of Lunar New Year and you know what that means...an endless stream of hong baos (red packets), supermarkets packed with people stocking up on groceries/snacks and workers rushing to travel home on time just to sit at that round table with the rest of the family for new years dinner. This will mark the second year that I miss celebrating CNY with my family, but no matter, spending it with friends can be just as heartwarming - even when the weather outside is an unbearable -13C.

Dim sum is a traditional meal popularized in Hong Kong where a variety of small portioned dishes are served alongside tea. It is typically eaten during lunch on weekends when people are more free to relax and socialize over bite-sized food. Since all of our class schedules were busy, we decided to have dim sum at night as well as order some family styled Chinese food. 

The first dish to arrive was our Hot Spicy Tofu (Ma Po Tofu)

A bit watery for me - I've had better Ma Po Tofu elsewhere. 

Next we had the Scallion Pancake.

We also ordered the BBQ Honey Glazed Pork. 

The pork was too dry for me. There's a restaurant across the street that I'd recommend; they serve BBQ pork that's more tender and sweeter in flavoring. 

And of course, we can't have a new years dinner without lo mein because noodles symbolize the hope of a "long life". We decided to have the House-Pan Fried Noodle Special. 

The egg noodles were fried until crispy gold drizzled in oyster sauce and topped with shrimp, carrots, Chinese veggies, chicken and beef. We all agreed that this was a winner.

We also felt the need to order some wontons since it's tradition to have dumplings on new years (they symbolize wealth because they look much like the silver and gold ingots used in the ancient Chinese times). The medium sized wonton soup provided 1-2 wontons per person at a 7 person table.

The broth was tasteless, but the wontons were chewy and well seasoned. 

Next came our actual dim sum orders. One of my favorite dishes was the BBQ Honey Glazed Pork Buns,

Unlike the BBQ pork served as a main dish, the BBQ pork within the buns were tender and rich in flavor. So good that I had a whole steamer basket of buns to myself...oops. No brainer that I'd highly recommend this order.

Another staple dim sum dish we ordered was the Shrimp Hargow. 

Personally liked the way they make their Hargow; thick skin with a hearty jumbo-sized shrimp in the center.

And of course we had to order our staple Pork Shui Mai. 

Second favorite dim sum dish at Hai Le Moon (the first being Baked BBQ Pork Cake which they sadly didn't serve at night). Would recommend to those of you who are looking for a solid shiu mai order in Chinatown. 

Lastly, just to make sure we live reaaaallyyyyyyyyyy long lives, we decided to place another order of noodles - Beef Chow Foon. 

Not a bad way to end our massive Chinese New Year feast. 

Overall, Hei La Moon is a great place to bring a big group of friends or family. Although I'd say you could get better Chinese dinner elsewhere, the dim sum is really their strong suit (and still my favorite place to take people visiting Boston). I would highly encourage you to come for lunch on the weekends where they push fresh carts of dim sum dishes around on display for you to pick and choose. That is when they offer the most variety of dim sum plates and when the restaurant is the most alive and bustling. Note: great thing about this place is that if you come with a big group of people, the total split cost won't damage your wallet too bad.