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Eat Like the Maestro in Boston

Oooo kiddos––it's been a busy time in the Maestro's life, and I have a backlog of blogs that resembles a California freeway at 4pm. So let's start with the inauguration of a new series: "Eat Like the Maestro."

Spring Break Round 2 started with a little jaunt to see some fantastic friends in Boston, one of my favorite cities. Of course, this involved becoming a confused goose and flying north in the New England still-winter, sort of defeating the "spring" component of "spring break," but here I was, ready to reunite with good people and consume some good goods. Though I could have written up stuff individually, there was so much that was excellent that weekend that I thought I'd do a little different style of blog––short and sweet with some killer highlights for the traveler who might want to see what the Maestro would eat in a city they might be visiting!

First up––here's how to Eat Like the Maestro in Boston, one of my very favorite cities in the country!

Arrival in Boston!

The natural wine bar haley.henry should be on any food-minded traveler's list when in Boston. Right in the heart of downtown, this cheerful little spot has one of the most impressive and niche collections of wine I've seen, emphasizing natural and biodynamic producers. Can't decide? Order glasses or half bottles of wine from their bottle list, and throw in an arctic char crudo, artisan charcuterie board, and a selection from their menu of tinned fish for good measure.

Have some time and not feeling tipsy enough after a few glasses of "Jumping Juice"? Round the corner and snag some cocktails at Roxanne's. With an easy but cozy Miami Beach-style vibe and killer agave-based drinks, you'll leave happier than when you entered! Tara, a fab teacher I met at a bar in the boonies outside Denali National Park in Alaska, and I were certainly happy by the end!

I haven’t done a ton of dining in Boston, but I know after two visits to Pammy’s that it’s among the most fantastic places in New England. Their food is routinely outstanding, and the people are some of the most fabulous I’ve met in the industry. We started the evening with a cocktail called “Sunflower,” a special in honor of the Ukrainian people the profits from which all go to humanitarian relief. Food highlights from this landmark meal at Pammy’s included a spectacular beef tartare made even more delicious by fish sauce, luscious lobster “bisquette” that I could drink out of a cup, and a truly unique turnip gnocchi. And of course, the wine program, led by the incomparable Katie, continues to be esoteric and exciting, and even though Tara and I were overserved by the end, we enjoyed every drop of her curated selections. Love this place and the fabulous people!

Being in Boston, lobstah should be on order, and a quick search uncovered the local favorites for the best lobster roll in town. Saltie Girl is one hell of a popular spot––occupying a corner storefront in the ritzy Back Bay, it was brimming with people seeking a Saturday brunch even in the late afternoon. I happened onto a seat at their downstairs bar right when I entered and settled in for some pristine New England seafood. Maine uni was first, served in the cutest little urchin-shaped bowls and with an inventive dropper vial of dashi. As promised, the warm, buttery lobster roll was outstanding, but the star of the meal was a breathtaking scallop crudo with watermelon radishes, avocado, and caviar, one of the highlights of the year so far. Top it off with some northeast oysters and longneck clams (so good) and a glass of funky garganega for one of the best seafood feasts in the city.

Dinner on Saturday found me reunited with one of my dearest friends from my undergrad, Malia Jane French, recently relocated to Boston from Copenhagen. At the behest of our mutual friend and fellow foodie Ruby, we selected a Sichuan restaurant and tiki bar combo called Blossom Bar at Sichuan Garden. Don’t miss the dan dan noodles or the Chengdu-style chicken wings, then wash it all down with one of their inventive tiki cocktails like the tequila-based Broken Spanish.

What is a weekend with friends without a Sunday brunch? Malia and her boo Kevin walked me through a chilly and freshly snowy Jamaica Plain park to one of their favorite neighborhood haunts, Brassica Kitchen + Café, a beguiling combo of Jewish- and southern-inspired casual fare. An everything bagel with avocado and brown butter was a perfect helping for brunch, especially when finished with a peachy sweet tea-inspired whiskey cocktail.

This could be a fun little series! Let’s try another one next week recapping my recent jaunt to San Francisco. Stay tuned––there’s a big blog backlog (a backblog, if you will) from New York, San Francisco, Sonoma County, and Charlotte!

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