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Eat well at Expo East, on and off the show floor

Eat well at Expo East, on and off the show floor

Boston is justly famous for its seafood, but the city offers vegetarian options and local-focused menus as well. Here’s a selection of can’t-miss dinner destinations, with input from Mat Schaffer, food editor and restaurant critic for the Boston Herald.

Waterfront

Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
roweswharfseagrille.com
70 Rowes Wharf, Boston
617.856.7744

Boston is crowded with seafood options; one of the best is located in the Boston Harbor Hotel. Under the helm of Chef Daniel Bruce, Rowes Wharf Sea Grill offers traditional dishes, like oysters and clam chowder, alongside more adventurous fare, such as caramelized jumbo scallops with black quinoa in red kuri squash sauce. Seafood stars in every course here, both at lunch and dinner, and the water views can’t be beat. “Make a reservation for the patio,” Schaffer recommends.

Sel de la Terre
seldelaterre.com
255 State St., Boston
617.720.1300

Specializing in the rustic fare of France’s Provence region, the brasserie Sel de la Terre offers artisan breads, organically grown fresh produce from its own Apple Street Farm and indigenous New England seafood. “They’re located right next to the aquarium, and serve country French with a focus on local ingredients,” Schaffer says. The restaurant has a second nearby location in Back Bay. Both locales serve lunch and dinner, plus a weekend brunch. Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., the restaurant offers a variety of $5 French Quarter food specials.

Chinatown

Montien
montien-boston.com
63 Stuart St., Boston
617.338.5600

In 25 years of business, Montien has collected numerous Best of Boston awards for its healthy Thai cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week (dinner only on Sundays), the restaurant offers the curries and pad thai you’d expect, but with an emphasis on seafood and unusual sauces, like tamarind and pik-khing chili.

South End

Coda
codaboston.com
329 Columbus Ave., Boston
617.536.2632

“The South End is Boston’s dining epicenter,” Schaffer says, “and Coda is a quintessential Boston neighborhood bistro, with great [Black Angus] burgers, interesting cocktails and fresh, local ingredients.” Lunch and dinner menus offer new twists on comfort food, such as mac & cheese with spring peas and pancetta.

Estragon Tapas Bar
estragontapas.com
700 Harrison Ave., Boston
617.266.0443

Chef Julio de Haro is from Madrid—always a good sign when it comes to tapas. Estragon features a deep Spanish wine list, and specializes in traditional dishes such as paella, with a menu that clearly marks vegetarian and vegan options. Try the crispy paprika chickpeas or cider-whipped Cabrales cheese and green apples on toast. Open for dinner; closed Sundays.

North End

Mare
marenatural.com
135 Richmond St., Boston
617.723.6273

Mare (the Italian word for sea) specializes in sustainable seafood dishes from Italy’s Amalfi coast, and also serves handmade pastas and hormone-free meats. Rated one of the 20 best restaurants in the U.S. by <i>Travel + Leisure</i> magazine shortly after opening in 2005, Mare serves dinner only on Tuesdays through Sundays. Where else can you order a tasting flight of sustainable caviar?

Cambridge

Salts Restaurant
saltsrestaurant.com
798 Main St., Cambridge
617.876.8444

Sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients from his own organic farm and preparing French-influenced contemporary American cuisine is chef and co-owner Gabriel Bremer’s mission. Apparently, he’s succeeded. “The signature dish is boneless brioche-stuffed roasted duck with glazed local vegetables, carved tableside,” Schaffer says. “It’s killer.” Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, the restaurant also offers inspired deserts, like vanilla bean and chevre cheesecake.

Oleana
oleanarestaurant.com
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge
617.661.0505

Oleana features Arab-influenced food with a creative flair by Chef Ana Sortun, with many ingredients trucked straight from the restaurant’s organic farm, 25 miles from Boston. “Oleana is harder to get to, but she’s a very talented chef,” Schaffer says. The menu features great vegetarian options as well as meats sourced whole from local farms. Try lamb with Turkish spices for a classic flavor, or go with the fixed-price vegetarian tasting menu, which features 5 meze and dessert for $40. Dinner only; try Sortun’s nearby Sofra Bakery and Café (sofrabakery.com) for breakfast and lunch.

Veggie Planet
veggieplanet.net
47 Palmer St., Cambridge
617.661.1513

Specializing in vegetarian fare, this Harvard Square icon offers meat- and dairy-free pizzas with organic crusts, and a range of vegan desserts like the organic fair-trade chocolate brownie topped with soy ice cream. In the evenings, Veggie Planet shares its space with the folk-music venue Club Passim. Meal-sized salads and sandwiches round out the menu.

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