I’ve lived most of my life by a phrase my parents always preached: “you can do anything for 48 hours.” There are times where I constantly repeat this mantra back to myself, mostly in times when I’m pushing my body to the limit, often accompanied by little to no sleep, like any Vegas weekend or a bachelorette trip I may never financially recover from. Nowadays, with most of my trips driven by the goal to eat as much as possible in a short amount of time, I am guided by the reminder that I in fact CAN do anything for 48 hours, including eating my way through Boston’s eclectic food scene.
And I did just that.
Day #1 – Thursday
I left New York City on the morning Amtrak Acela train from the newly-renovated Moynihan Hall at Penn Station (which is a dining experience in itself with dining options that include Magnolia Bakery and Blue Bottle Coffee). The train ride itself carried its own romantic beauty as you traveled along the scenic coastline of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and finally Massachusetts.
I spent the three-hour train ride dreaming of what I already knew my first stop would be, beelining straight to Tatte Bakery’s seaport pier 4 location right near my hotel. Whether you’re there for breakfast or lunch, you’re bound to have an experience that will fully explain the convenience of their many locations. For me, that experience is solely based on their almond croissant and iced herbal tea. It is the perfect place for a meeting or to work in their bright and airy café spaces. I don’t personally drink coffee but based on the line that is always present, I assume their coffee is just as great as their bakery items. Luckily, you no longer have to enjoy Tatte only in Beantown as they recently expanded to Washington DC with hopefully many more in the works.
One of my favorite parts of staying in the Seaport District is the walkability between some amazing dining spots. Much of the area is waterfront so you have some amazing views of the city. My favorite place on the seaport is the Harbor walk lookout terrace which is mere steps from many of the best restaurants and boasts one of the best views in all of Boston.
After working in the morning from Tatte and exploring the Harbor walk I made my way from the Seaport to Newbury Street which is another can’t-miss area in the city. Nestled adjacent to the rom-com picturesque ground of Boston Commons, Newbury Street is the most concentrated area of food and shopping that can be explored for hours. After some shopping, I ended up at Saltie Girl for a late lunch. This place seems to be crowded at all hours of the day considering it was 3:00 PM and I could only sit at the bar. Based on their online reviews, I ordered what seemed to be a must-order: their torched Salmon Belly crispy rice and yellowtail crudo and, of course, some Saltie Girl fries.
Check-In Hotel/Lobby Drinks
After lunch, it was time to check in at my hotel so I headed back to the Omni Boston Seaport which has quickly become one of the most impressive destinations in all of Boston. Located in the heart of the Seaport District, it is hard to miss the massive 1,054-room property. This property is not only impressive based on the size but especially for the seven dining options on the property that range from a sports bar (with a bean-shaped bar paying homage to the Beantown nickname) to a pool bar with elevated views of the city. Prior to leaving for dinner, I decided to grab a drink at Crescendo, their hard-to-miss lobby bar that often has an electric violinist.
No weekend in Boston is complete without visiting the North End for old-school Italian. On any given night, the streets are packed with people hopping from restaurant to restaurant and, if the weather is clear, most restaurants have their doors and windows open so the energy of the dining experience pours out into the packed streets. We ended up at a 9:00 PM dinner at Bricco with an extensive wine list and non-traditional, non-family style North End Italian offerings including Chilean Sea Bass in Agrodolce. After dinner, we, of course, had to end the night with an espresso martini.
Day #2 – Friday
Let’s just say after Day 1 of dining and a night in the North End, I wasn’t moving too fast so I decided to grab a quick bite at, you guessed it, one of Omni’s seven hotel restaurants. This time I chose the quick option and grabbed a pastry from the hotel’s coffee bar, Cocorico.
As I was heading out to grab a bike, I stumbled across this dog walker posing his eight dogs.
From here I biked through downtown to North End and found myself in the middle of Boston’s oldest farmers market – Haymarket. For blocks and blocks, all you can see and smell are stacks of fresh produce boxes. While there are many people making their way around the tents you can also see restaurateurs, many in chef attire, buying what they need for the weekend and making their way back to their restaurants, bundles of fresh ingredients in hand.
I have been to Boston plenty of times and walked past the line at Neptune’s Oyster Bar every single time but was never ready to commit to the wait. That changed on this trip after some strongly worded encouragement from a local Bostonian. So I waited in line for 45 minutes for a table that I got quicker than anticipated only because I agreed to sit outside on a chilly day and had a party of two.
Let’s just say after eating this meal, I would have been willing to wait another 45 minutes. From the start with fresh crudo paired with seasonal favorites such as honeycrisp apples and pepitas, to their breathtaking take on Tuna Tartare that sits on a bed of pistachio pesto with grilled crostini to the inevitable lobster roll there wasn’t a bite of this meal that didn’t warrant the line that is often wrapped around the block.
Although we were more than satisfied with our order, we felt like we wouldn’t have shown respect to their craft without sampling their oysters so for the grand finale we toasted to some of the most delicate local New England oysters I have ever eaten.
Last year I stayed in the Seaport over Labor Day and during that time Coquette was only recently open and hosting Friends and Family nights. It seemed like from the second I left Boston, the Instagrammable romantic interpretation of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel bar has become a staple for locals and visitors alike. Every inch of the restaurant transports you from the rustic history of the Seaport to a European-inspired dining experience that makes you feel like you’re floating above the clouds. While I was only there for their perfectly-crafted espresso martini (are you seeing a trend here?), I can attest that based on the energy of the bar, dining room, and line at the hostess stand that this is quite the destination for a night out.
There are few meals that leave me speechless but Lola 42 was one of those places when I last visited.
Maybe it was the group I was with?
Maybe it was the wine talking?
Maybe it was the Labor Day fireworks over the Boston Harbor that we watched from our table on their patio?
I was prepared to have my heart broken revisiting Lola 42 on this trip. While there were no fireworks this time, the meal remained just as impressive as I remembered. I started with a lychee martini which based on sheer size carried me throughout the entire meal. From sushi to bolognese, it is hard to define what exactly is the cuisine Lola 42 is trying to present but sometimes you don’t ask questions or try to define an undefinable experience. The crown jewel of their menu lies in their appetizers: their sushi nachos. Fresh diced tuna and salmon are presented on a bed of crispy wonton chips and fresh seaweed all of which are drizzled with eel sauce and wasabi for a little zap. We also ordered two recommended sushi rolls and lettuce wraps.
After such a strong start with appetizers, where do you go from here? The answer is carbs: pasta, noodles, or however you want to define act two of this show. It is breathtaking to be in a position to order both sushi and bolognese in the same sitting and it’s even more impressive that they would be executed to perfection. So, when it came time to order the main courses, we ordered both Salmon Lo Mein and the Lola Bolognese Gnocchi.
The experience at Lola 42 was everything I remembered and more. It came down to three main things, with number one obviously being the food. Their menu is diverse in the most unique way while also serving their interpretation of classics.
The second element of this experience were the people that I was with and while I love them, I love them more because they were committed to sharing which can alter an entire dining experience. You are exposed to so much more of a menu if you’re willing to go family style and order for the table rather than just yourself.
The last element of the experience at Lola 42 is their music which isn’t too loud but provides energy throughout the dining experience that begs you to stay for one more drink. In fact, as I was leaving, I asked the hostess for the playlist and she was less than surprised that I was asking and happy to share their Lolacation Spotify link.