Happy 2014! Our Happy Jar has crossed my mind a lot, but blogging has admittedly fallen by the wayside recently. In my Thailand post, I had intended to blog about the Hong Kong portion of our recent Asia trip, but there’s so much to say about the city, my family, and my longtime friends that make it hard to fit into a single blog post. Maybe the inspiration to write my heart out will come soon…
Anyways, this past Family Day long weekend, Matt and I had planned time off to go somewhere, one of the options being a close city like Boston. As luck would have it, I had an offsite meeting at our Burlington, MA office last week, so Matt and I decided to tack on some days at the end to make it a weekend getaway.
The weekend got off to an interesting start, with the big snow storm falling on the day that Matt was supposed to fly in. His afternoon flight was canceled, but he was fortunately able to catch an earlier one on standby. I ended up sharing a cab with a stranger who was rushing downtown to catch a train to New York. The trip from Burlington to downtown Boston took us 2 hours, but we made it! Definitely would want to visit Boston again (and Cape Cod) in the summertime; I’m sure it’s beautiful!
Where We Ate: The Highlights
Neptune Oyster has received a number of glowing reviews, and rightfully so—everything was delicious! The oysters were fresh and perfectly shucked, the buttermilk johnnycakes (with honey butter, smoked trout tartare, and caviar) were outstanding, and the lobster roll with hot butter was to die for.
The restaurant is incredibly small, and as promised in reviews, there was a line (even at 3pm on a weekday!). Luckily, our wait was short, and we were seated in a roomier table in the back. Definitely recommend going on a weekday during off-hours.
Other than Neptune Oyster, there were a LOT of places we wanted to try in the North End. We were fortunate enough to hit up two pastry shops. The cannolis at Mike’s Pastry and the giant lobster tails at Modern Pastry are AMAZING!
Dollar oysters and clams every day between 4–6 pm and 9–10 pm… need I say more? We arrived much earlier than our original 9pm reservation, so we ended up starting off some wine, beer, escargots, Brussels sprouts, and artisan cheeses and meats. Everything was really good, and the oysters and clams were worth the wait. They also had a variety of oysters to choose from, which is kinda great because many buck-a-shuck places often limit you to one kind.
Our hotel was right on the edge of Chinatown, which is where Shōjō was located. Matt and I are fans of tapas-style restaurants and it had good reviews, so we decided to give it a shot. We ordered the suckling pig bao with kimchi and jalapeno, duck confit dumplings with parsnip puree, almond shrimp balls with pumpkin chili puree, BBQ pork ribs, kimchi fried rice with quail egg, and the charcuterie board. I personally thought some items were hit or miss (dessert, sesame balls filled with chocolate, was definitely a big miss), but overall, it was a yummy meal. The mural in the restaurant is also really cool!
Matt and I had a low-key Valentine’s Day—we generally avoid dinner at fancy restaurants like the plague. And because we had a very late lunch at Neptune Oyster, we wanted to have an inexpensive, casual dinner. After a lengthy search (and a long nap for me :P), we ended up picking up a pizza from Boston Kitchen Pizza in nearby China town and taking it back to the hotel to watch the NBA all-star rookie-sophomore game. The pizza was not bad at all!
We visited the Back Bay area in search of Cole Haan and Niketown. Unfortunately, Niketown Boston is closed until spring (the same thing happened to us during our first trip to Chicago Niketown!) Before our Niketown plans got cut short, we stopped off for lunch at Atlantic Fish. To me, the restaurant was a bit more old school (I also didn’t like being segregated in an area with all the other Asians, but I think that might have been a coincidence), but the food, especially the clam chowder, was really good.
The Good Kind of Muffin Tops
And last but not least, the muffin tops! SO many coffee shops seem to have these in Boston… why aren’t they more common in Toronto?
This week it’s back to the usual grind… thank goodness for a short week!