They’re the hottest restaurants in the hottest dining neighborhood in New England. Boston’s Waterfront has exploded with exciting eateries, and these are the Phantom’s picks for the eight greatest.
Kicking off the Great 8 is Rosa Mexicano. Over the past 25 years, this national chain has built a bustling empire of upscale Mexican eateries stretching from New York City to South Beach, all known for their colorful ambiance, an unquenchable bar scene, and eye-catching water walls with cliff-diving figurines. The menu sports authentic Mexican fare like tacos, ceviches and hand crafted margaritas. But a must order is the guacamole prepared tableside any way you like it.
Another Great 8 winner is Strega Waterfront. Celebrity restaurateur Nick Varano brings the flavors of the North End and the style of Old Hollywood to a stunning space at Fan Pier in the Seaport District, including a horseshoe shaped bar, a Las Vegas style lounge, and a 1,500 bottle wine list. Italian favorites include oversized meatballs with fresh ricotta cheese, incredibly tender veal chops, and the fluffiest tiramisu you’ve ever tasted.
Located just off the Greenway, Trade serves up small plates and creative cocktails just outside the Financial District. The action never stops at the bustling kitchen bar where flatbreads are cooked until crispy and rigatoni is baked all bubbly in a wood stone oven located right in the dining room. And since Trade sits on Atlantic Wharf, you can be assured that their seafood was probably caught that day.
“Our seafood vendors are less than a mile away and they’re bringing us the freshest seafood every day.”
75 on Liberty Wharf is the latest addition to the waterfront, with outdoor dining available even when it’s chilly outside. This picturesque spot offers upscale bistro fare like PEI Mussels spiked with chorizo, juicy porterhouse pork chops and the Nantucket Seafood Stew simmered in a tomato broth with vegetables and fresh herbs. But Phantom’s favorite meal at 75 has to be their brunch, where you can indulge on raspberry stuffed French toast and a do it yourself Bloody Mary Bar.
Watch: Great 8 Waterfront Restaurants, Part 2:
Empire is a huge Asian inspired eatery that brings the food of the Pacific Rim to within feet of the Atlantic. The space sports high ceilings, huge tables, scantily-clad servers, and eye-catching architecture. The menu is broken down into sections, including fried appetizers, soups, salads, sushi, and steaks like the signature Korean Beef with sake and soy glazed peppers.
“I am Korean, so I’m really picky with my Korean food but this Korean rubbed sirloin has so much love in it and so much flavor to it. When you bite into it, it really just coats your mouth with amazing delicious flavors;, it’s very, very dynamic.”
Temazcal Tequila Cantina
Another Great 8 winner is Temazcal Tequila Cantina on Liberty Wharf. Temazcal is Spanish for “House of Heat”. Without a doubt, this is one of the hottest spots in the city right now, both in terms of atmosphere and cuisine – like the guacamole spiked with huge chunks of lobster meat and a variety of fun creative tacos. It’s all presented on a state of the art iPad menu that lists the dish’s history, the recipe, even the calorie count.
“They understand my menu much more visually than they ever could verbally.”
With locations in Newport, Rhode Island and one adjacent to Rowe’s Wharf, Pasta Beach serves up Italian food that’s as authentic as it gets. That’s because everything in the restaurant comes directly from Italy, including the chefs. So you can be sure your Pizza Napoli will be perfectly charred, and your Pasta Bolognese will be handcrafted by an experienced cook.
No Name Restaurant
Rounding out the great 8 is the historic No Name Restaurant on Boston’s Fish Pier. This old school institution was on the Waterfront way before it was cool, and they’re still serving no-nonsense seafood from the waters below. There’s the famous Seafood Chowder, loaded with fish in a creamy, dreamy broth, sautéed Lobster with shrimp and scallops, and fresh rhubarb, blueberry or apple pie for dessert.
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