We weren't able to finish the whole Freedom Trail on our first day so we started day two in the Charlestown area. This is one of the most delightful neighborhoods I have ever been in but after visiting Bunker Hill and the U.S.S. Constitution we were ready for a hearty lunch. We took the ferry back across the harbor and found ourselves on the doorstep of Legal Seafood, begun in 1950 when George Berkowitz opened a fish market in the Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1968, the family opened its first seafood restaurant, right next to the fish market and has continued to expand. they now have restaurants in many major cities and ship fresh seafood nationwide. Whatever you're looking for you'll find it on the Legal Sea Foods menu. The atmosphere is hip and very posh but they are just as comfortable serving a family of four as they are accommodating a working business lunch.
Here we dove into a classic, a true east coast icon, the Lobster Roll. The debate of hot or cold, butter or mayo will remain ongoing for us as they only had the cold, mayo version on the menu. No matter, it was so succulent and delightful I'd be happy to go try it again "in the name of research" of course!
Not a meal but almost as good, if you get a chance, take the time to tour the Samuel Adams brewery. They let you taste a number of different brews and are a lot of fun!
After a busy day we traveled back to the North end where Italian food and culture abounds. We followed our noses to a charming out of the way spot called Antico Forno. My husband tried the Saltimbocca Di Pollo, a seared chicken breast topped with Parma prosciutto and fontina cheese in a Madeira mushroom wine sauce with sautéed garlic and spinach which was simply divine.
I had my first experience with Gnocchi. These homemade potato dumplings are baked in a brick oven and come smothered in plum tomato sauce topped with mozzarella, cheese and basil.
These Gnocchi were a little bit of heaven!
After dinner we wound our way around to a North End icon, Mike's pastry. Even on a Thursday night there was a line out the door. We suggest a Lobster Tail and a Pistachio Cannoli.
If you crave cannoli and can't get there in person or if once you've had it you can't get enough, Mike's will even ship cannoli kits anywhere in the US.
On Friday we were back out of the city and after a short train ride we arrived in the sleepy town of Salem, birthplace of Parker Brothers Games, a once bustling shipping community and of course the infamous local of the 1692 witch trials. I say sleepy but because of the last, less than 48 hours from Halloween, Salem was anything but sleepy. We took a walking tour with local Historian Jim McAllister a well known author and speaker. After a brisk walk through town and a visit to the maritime museum we were ready for some lunch which we had intended to have at a spot we found on the Food Network's "Dinners, Drive ins and Dives." Unfortunately they weren't open yet so we wandered on and stumbled across Tavern in the Square, which was quite a find indeed. This restaurant not only offered an extensive menu with a great selection of creative foods but they also offered some fantastic local brews. We partook of a seasonal special served with a rime of cinnamon and sugar called Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout.
This brew with pumpkin and coffee was dark, rich and full of character. Laced with hints of spice it was a sure winner with us. For lunch a Fig, Prosciutto and Gorgonzola pizza with balsamic reduction was a great pairing and the spicy sweet potato fries were a delightful escape from the norm.
We liked Tavern in the Square so much in fact that we went back later for dinner. We found we were still a bit full after lunch so settled for a starter of lettuce wraps and truly decadent desert, fried snickers with ice cream!
Overall our trip was wonderful and the delightful food along the way just added to the experience. So, the next time you go east I hope you will find culinary bliss at one of these delightful restaurants and share your best eats in return!
Cannoli photo from Mike's Pastry Website