Big Deets on New Eats: The 411 on the 617’s Hottest, Happening and Up-And-Coming Bostonian Restaurants, Lounges and Pubs of 2019
We, at the Pioneer, would like to think that we know a thing or two about Greater Boston.
And, since you can’t discover what you don’t explore, we believe it’s our duty to keep you informed -- so, here’s a big secret...(except, not-so-secret.)
Being a Bostonian means... a lot, to be honest. But most importantly, it means you have access to the finest. Of everything.
When we say everything, we really mean it! Think about it: The best in education, shopping, nightlife, events, opportunities, and last (but certainly not least), the best food.
From award-winning five-star luxury dining to the most satisfying take-out you’ve ever had in your couch-bound, exhausted (maybe even hungover) life, you’ll never find a bad bite on these historic streets (and don’t @ us!) Collectively speaking, Boston has your back (and your belly) for any occasion, any mood and any budget. #fact.
And you want to know something else? It’s only getting better.
As we’ve always said, the only thing you need for a good time is, unquestionably, undoubtedly, unerringly: Food. It’s often a centerpiece of cultures far and wide, and it’s certainly no exception here. Only difference is, Boston is truly passionate about variety.
Boston and beyond, but especially The Mystic Side, have always been a big haven for foodies everywhere, and a good time. Though we gotta hold it down for the OGs and cornerstones of our beautiful city, always, we have to be honest -- there is more to Boston cuisine and culture than just Faneuil Hall, Dunkin’ Donuts and Cheers, but don’t get us wrong -- we’d still love a bartender like Norm in our lives, (and a large iced dark roast turbo doesn’t sound bad right now either...)
Nowadays, It’s difficult to talk about Bostonian cuisine and not mention the legendary seafood fare; the kind you can only find here at home in terms of quality, freshness, taste and presentation. Legal Sea Foods didn’t just change the game -- they set the new standard and revolutionized New England-style seafood, and it’s tough to find an empty seat any night of the week at any location. Pretty big shoes to fill, thanks to masterminds George and Robert Berkowitz (check out the official cookbook some time, great gift idea!) but this past decade alone has brought plenty of fresh catches to Boston’s table, and not just the chowda. We have a bit to discuss, so we hope you don’t fill up on bread. We’ve got a lot of choices around here now.
Boston got pretty big in 2019 as the fastest growing state in the Northeast, and did our appetite. Lucky for us, we’re always hungry, and we’ve got a few new neighbors who’d like to have us over for dinner and cocktails and maybe a little entertainment. Let us introduce you to a few, shall we?
The Oyster Club
Award-winning chef (and as lore would have it, a pretty good banjoist) Chris Parsons’ (yes, THAT Chris Parsons) newest venture in the Back Bay area, which opened just a few short months ago, is what you’d expect from the leading seafood expert himself. It’s more than a reputable name -- it’s a show-stopping, exquisite and posh addition to Boston’s collective of raw-bar centric, business-casual-style seafood establishments, located a stone’s throw away from the Public Garden and Common and a few steps from the Arlington T station. Hosting an impressive list of wine and spirits (craft beer too!) to compliment a comprehensive shellfish and seafood-focused selection, the menu might overwhelm even the biggest fish fanatic with some really enticing choices, both classic and nouveau. We’re hearing a lot about that bluefish pate lately, too. There’s a lot offered, from the simple to the not-so-simple, ceviche to lobster, and steak and chicken dishes for folks not of the persuasion. You just might have to come back again and again -- we recommend it. We also recommend a reservation!
Looking for something a little more laid-back? Rough day at work, and you need to unwind? Good news -- Beacon Hill is heating up.
The beloved 6B Lounge on Beacon St shuttered its doors, but as one door closes, another will open. Enter Roxanne’s, the spiritual successor, flying into our little corner of the world just a few weeks ago and standing out in the flock like a bright, pink flamingo. Remixing the heart and soul of the 6B Lounge (90s Night is back, baby!) with a hot, Miami-Vice-ish 80’s-chic, tropical, relaxed-vibes-only aesthetic, a collection of fun cocktails (may we recommend the Pink Flamingo?), velvet seats, and of course, some great pub-style eats to boot. It comes with a more-than-reasonably priced snack and cocktail menu (try those buffalo cauliflower bites, and the fries while you’re at it!), as well as lunch and dinner options. You’ll be enjoying some affordable, traditional American-pub comfort classics in a delightful, colorful and fun atmosphere, and you’ll probably be snapping some selfies for the ‘gram in here, too. It’s hard not to.
The Mystic Side is being #blessed lately with some great take-out options. Bun’s House is really not to be missed! This isn’t just the best Sichuan-Chinese take-out spot in Everett (and just a six-minute ride from The Pioneer, hello, delivery!) Bun’s House hosts what are possibly the best dumplings in Boston, bar none, no joke. This menu is serious business: a lot of traditional, homemade-style dishes available, (and we mean some really cool choices), things we’ve never seen offered at your standard American-Chinese delivery place, are available here. If you’re not feeling adventurous, don’t worry, the lo mein and crab rangoon, of course, is fantastic as well. The quality is top-notch, food obviously delicious, and the prices are reasonable.
But really, those dumplings though.
Ebisuya Japanese Noodle House
#winteriscoming. Soup would be nice for those cold evenings, right? Alas, our neighbors in Malden finally have an authentic Japanese ramen shop to answer your call to fight the chilly atmosphere, and not a minute too late for our next hidden gem’s arrival; right off the Malden Center T stop.
If you’ve only had the instant stuff in the 12-packs, and maybe you swore to never touch it again after your senior year in college, prepare to forget everything you’ve ever known about ramen noodles. Make no mistake: This isn’t your microwaved, flavor packet and boiled water affair -- this is the real deal. Real Japanese ingredients, presentation, and flavor accompany what you may think is just a basic noodle dish, but is a passion for these folks.
A modest, no-nonsense, simple spin-off noodle shop venture from the folks at the famed Ebisuya Japanese Market, down the road in Medford, known for their Ramen Sundays, the Ebisuya Japanese Noodle House opened in September and serves flavorful, satisfying, and most importantly, true-to-tradition ramen, complete and with the works. For the time being, they’re available only for dinner hours from 5PM to 8PM, Monday through Friday. Set up in the styling, fashion and taste of an average, traditional Japanese ramen shop, you’ll note that while the seating, menu selections and payment options are a bit limited (cash only!), this is an experience you’ll have a difficult time finding anywhere else -- unless you have a passport. We couldn’t decide what we liked better: the shoyu or spicy miso, so you’d better try both. Don’t forget to top it with an egg!
We’re not sure what to say about the delights of the North End that haven’t been said already. This historic community was established centuries ago by Italian and Jewish Americans from all walks of life, and thus, Boston’s very own Little Italy was born. St. Anthony’s Feast, a yearly three-day festival in the area in the Summertime, is a testament to the North End’s dedication to their heritage and culture, and their unrelenting love of food. Home to countless Italian-American family-owned businesses, Domenic’s joins the ranks of the many southern European and Mediterranean-style restaurants that are the hallmark of the quality and authenticity that the neighborhood prides itself on. These eateries are not just Italian “inspired” -- they’re the quintessential Italian-American experience, full-stop. Domenic’s is no different. Owned by the family behind the acclaimed Carmelina’s just down the road, come prepared with high expectations and they will not only be met -- they’ll be exceeded. A sensory, savory wonderland awaits you, and we think Domenic’s does a terrific job of wrapping up what we love about the North End with a bow and delivering it right to your table in a frying pan. The gnocchi and stuffed calamari are out of this world, and you’ll likely have a new favorite spot off the Haymarket Station stop.
So, we know we’ve barely scratched the surface, friends, but we’re even hungrier now and we’ll have to excuse ourselves. It’s like that time we went to Village Fest and couldn’t stop eating everything at the food trucks… Maybe you can join us. After all, you can’t discover what you don’t explore, and you can’t explore with an empty stomach. But, as you can tell, there’s a lot more to explore just about every day. We don’t mind doing the exploring for you in this case, though, just remind us to bring you back some leftovers.