Eating and Drinking in Boston

The Boston food scene is starting to perk up.

I went to Somaek the new Korean restaurant from the Bin 26 team. I had actually had dinner two nights in a row at the Atoboy x Anajak collaboration in NYC prior to Somaek. Atoboy is my absolute favorite casual Modern Korean so a tough comp.

Overall it was very good. Not at the Atoboy level and some dishes were better than others. But it has only been open 4 weeks. I will definitely go back. I really like the vibe. The wine list is excellent.

It is also a very cool set up. Next door to Somaek is a vinyl bar also with excellent wine and cocktails and a small bar menu. And below the vinyl bar is a small Sushi counter called Sushi at Temple Records.

Nadar Asgari Tari who is the wine and beverage director for the entire group is very talented.

Excited to have these places in Boston where admittedly I struggle to find places to eat.

are you struggling to find places to eat because your focus is Korean? or is that a comment on the Boston scene in general. Sure it’s no NYC but I’d be surprised if you are saying there are not many restaurants you like here.

No not Korean. Period. I don’t mean to be obnoxious but the restaurant scene in Boston is just now anywhere close to other big cities in the U.S. I am there often and have tried a bunch.

2 Likes

Good restaurants I went to in Boston:

Ostra
Atlantic Fish Company
UNI
Casarecce

I’m sure I haven’t scratched the surface.

I am in the Boston area about one week per month for work and I completely agree. There are some very nice places, but on the whole the dining scene is not on par with other cities. Tellingly, neither is the classical music scene, sadly, though there was a marketing attempt at one point insisting that “Boston is an opera town”. No, it’s not. There’s not even an opera house left. Boston Lyric Opera is nomadic, as is Odyssey. It’s not enough of a opera town, or even a classical music town, to sell out performances by groups like Odyssey Opera. Programming by the resident big guns, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (which does have a splendid home in Symphony Hall) is sadly unadventurous. So as with food, local tastes in music are largely timid, if not frankly boring. I find this really surprising given the number of universities and attendant industry in the area, and can only attribute this to the general New England puritanism and insular attitude that still exists.

I do call out some bright spots like Rebel Rebel :heart:, haley.henry, Nathalie, Puritan & Co. :heart:, Urban Hearth, and Season to Taste. And for music, Odyssey Opera :heart: and their partner Boston Modern Orchestra Project :heart:, both shamefully underattended by the locals.

I’m putting this on my list to visit sometime (going to give them time to get their game going). But honestly–they charge for banchan?! :-1:t2: Kind of takes away the idea of hospitality, doesn’t it? :expressionless:

Bin 26 is nice simple food with a very good well priced wine list if you have not tried it.

The other spot I have found that I enjoy is in Somerville.

1 Like

I agree that the food scene in Boston is generally underwhelming; there are a few decent spots but nothing worth writing home about. Glad a few new places are opening.

As I find lobster and oysters and scallops better in Boston than points south, I’m usually very happy with B&G, Neptune, Ostra, Select, Saltie Girl etc. Ostra has the best monkfish I’ve ever had (for the price, it should be).

So for me, it’s great.

I also like Fox and the Knife for Italian, and Oleana might be the best Middle Eastern restaurant around… And the original Pizzeria Regina is a top 10 US pizza place. Modern Bakery has the best cannoli outside Sicily (blows Mikes away).

Since I’m not there more than a week a year, my dining card overflows. But I just need great ingredients, not much creativity needed with oysters.

(I will say that Guilia is overrated, and a sign of non seafood driven standards there).

Yeah if you’re willing to wait for Neptune, it’s great. Oleana is good but I wouldn’t say it’s nearly the best middle eastern restaurant around. Deuxave is pretty good.

Neptune is the only one with a line.

I should have mentioned it- For Middle Eastern, I’m taking the perspective of my Vegetarian wife. Be interested in another suggestion where the vegetarian plates outshine Oleana. But understand for meat eaters, lots of other great places.

Deuxave looks great for me (fish and fois gras diet).

Zahav and Nopi (London) off the top of my head.

Love Nopi - guess my definition of “around” was more limited.

Will try Zahav if I get to Philly.

as a vegetarian living in Boston, I feel qualified to chime in with recs… I think Sarma and Krasi both deliver every time and are my go-tos for a mixed group of veg and non-veg. I love Oleana too but not like I did 15-20 yrs ago.

1 Like

Neptune Oyster remains one of my favorite restaurants in the world.


That is the Johnnycake with smoked white fish, crème fraiche, caviar and honey butter. I dream of this dish. Is it touristy? Yes, lots of tourists go there. Excellent wine program and incredible oysters/raw bar. Go there.

I’ve also eaten recently at Krasi, Hokkaido Ramen, Banks Fish House and Select Oyster Bar and heartily enjoyed each one. Fun places with a nice range of experiences between each one.

I live in Boston and wholeheartedly agree! My adult children complain about it too. There just aren’t many good mid-range restaurants. Plenty of fine-dining establishments but that is not our style. Love visiting relatives in San Francisco and Houston because there are so many good options, even Charlotte has more!

I would tell them to check out Somaek. It is a cool vibe. The ground floor is separated into a vinyl bar with snacks on one side an Somaek, a Korean restaurant on the other. And then downstairs is a Sushi counter.

Sadly in related news this group announced Bin 26 is closing. Bummed as it was always a great option and never hard to get a reservation.

I was at Krasi last night and as I was enjoying my meal I thought of this thread :slight_smile: very comprehensive Greek winelist as well…

1 Like

It’s good! Fun place, too.

Another great experience at Krasi - we had a group of six and had the large table at the back. Lots and lots of great nibbles, interesting Greek wine list and great service.

1 Like