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Roadtrip! Food & Fun :: Boston and Martha’s Vineyard


Boston, MA

VIEW SLIDESHOW OF PHOTOS FROM BOSTON

Boston Waterfront

Boston Waterfront

I took the most amazing trip to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard over Labor Day holiday and fell in love. Boston is one of those places that feels like a big city but is actually pretty small and low-key if you ask me. I loved the slower pace, the still quietness of the South End on a Saturday night. The views of the harbor, the blue and white hues of sailboats and water surrounding the city’s edge. The amazing Italian food in the North End, the historic architecture all over the city and along the Freedom Trail, and the beautiful campus of Harvard University.

Charles River Sunset

Charles River Sunset

Watching the sunset at dusk over the Charles River. Amazing lobster and seafood on the harbor with views to match…and for a big city girl like me, I think I could live here one day.

The Colonnade Hotel Rooftop Pool

The Colonnade Hotel Rooftop Pool

We stayed at the amazing Colonnade Hotel (with a rooftop pool and bar!) in Back Bay.

Shop in Back Bay, Boston

Shop in Back Bay, Boston

The next day, we headed to Newbury Street in Back Bay for shopping…

Public Gardens, Boston

Public Gardens, Boston

then we wandered through the Public Gardens, heading to historic Charles Street to see all the beautiful old homes in Beacon Hill

The Hill Tavern

The Hill Tavern

before we stopped at The Hill Tavern for drinks and lunch.

Old City Hall

Old City Hall

We spent most of the day hiking the Freedom Trail to see all the old historic buildings and sites around town.

Shrimp & Polenta, Sibling Rivalry

Shrimp & Polenta, Sibling Rivalry

That night we had amazing dinner in the South End at Sibling Rivalry and had some delicious seafood.

Harvard University

Harvard University

Our last day there, we made our way to Harvard University and trekked around Cambridge! Boston is definitely small enough to see in a few days, but the views and slower pace will make you want to stay a lot longer.

Here’s a few places I went to that you don’t want to miss on your next trip to Boston:

The North End, Boston

The North End, Boston

North End (Boston’s Little Italy): If you are in the mood for Italian food and pastries, this is the place to go. Just head straight to Hanover Street and you’ll find a multitude of shops, restaurants and cafes, delis, pizzerias, bakeries, pubs and taverns. Many have lines out the door on a Friday night so reservations are highly recommended!

Lucca, The North End Boston

Lucca, The North End Boston

We had an amazing dinner at a really nice Italian restaurant called Lucca on N. Hanover Street (Grilled Veal with Truffled Mash and Asparagus) and Lobster Tagliatelle!

Cannoli from Mike's Pastry

Cannoli from Mike's Pastry

Then we hit Mike’s Pastry for amazing cannolis and gelato. Um, YUM!

Giacomo's, The North End

Giacomo's, The North End

Here’s a list of my favorite places in The North End that you don’t wanna miss: Lucca, Strega, Neptune Oyster, Giacomo’s, Fiore, Cantina Italiana, Dino’s Pizza and Subs, Mike’s Pastry, Modern Pastry.

Newbury Street, Back Bay

Newbury Street, Back Bay

Back Bay/South End These are two of Boston’s nicest neighborhoods in my opinion. Back Bay is the best place for shopping, art galleries, gardens, cuisine and culture in Boston. There are gorgeous historical homes and churches, clothing boutiques, spas and salons and fabulous restaurants to explore. Head to Newbury Street and make your way to the Public Garden to check out the Swan boats or just hang out in the park. The Charles River Esplanade is a great place to get a gorgeous view of the harbour and stroll along the river on a sunny day.

Sibling Rivalry, South End

Sibling Rivalry, South End

The South End is a tree-lined neighborhood known for its fine dining, art galleries, open market, restaurants and high end martini clubs and jazz bars. Head to Tremont Street and check out Sibling Rivalry, Stella, Tremont 647 for a nice dinner.

Enjoying a Blueberry Martini @ 28 Degrees

Enjoying a Blueberry Martini @ 28 Degrees

Then hit 28 Degrees for some great martinis..

The Beehive

The Beehive

and The Beehive for amazing live jazz and blues.

Seaport, Boston Harbor

Seaport, Boston Harbor

Waterfront/Seaport District – If you want a great view of the Boston Harbor, then you need to go to Waterfront and Seaport District. You can start in the North End near the Bunker Hill Bridge and then continue around Atlantic Ave to Christopher Columbus Park and view the harbor islands. From here you can walk to the Aquarium where there are several cruise lines that take you around the harbor. Head down to Rowes Wharf to check out the show cruise ships and Boston Harbor Hotel and Towers and then cross the old Northern Bridge to the Seaport District.

Legal Seafood

Legal Seafood

The two places I recommend for Waterfront Dining are the famous seafood restaurants Legal Sea Foods and across the street the Legal Test Kitchen

Shrimp Cocktail at LTK

Shrimp Cocktail at LTK

(we ate at LTK and I had the most amazing Shrimp Cocktail

Truffled Lobster Mac & Cheese, LTK

Truffled Lobster Mac & Cheese, LTK

and Truffled Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese – to die for!)

Tia's on the Waterfront

Tia's on the Waterfront

For casual dining and terrific cocktails on the harbor, there’s no other place than Tia’s Restaurant and Bar on the Waterfront! Closer to the North End than the Seaport, but awesome place for happy hour and watching the sunset..

Martha’s Vineyard, MA

VIEW SLIDESHOW OF PHOTOS FROM MARTHA’S VINEYARD

Vineyard Haven Harbor, MV

Vineyard Haven Harbor, MV

If there is ever a place I would like to go after retiring myself from the hustle and bustle of New York City, Martha’s Vineyard has to be top of my list. This charming island is the epitome of beautiful architecture, history, charm, quietness, tree-lined streets, locals, antiques and oh, seafood.

Vineyard Haven, MV

Vineyard Haven, MV

We took a train to Woods Hole from Boston and then took a ferry to Vineyard Haven, a lovely area of the island full of shops, restaurants, beautiful homes and even more stunning views of the ocean.

Black Dog Tavern

Black Dog Tavern

We strolled the streets for awhile and then made our way to the famous Black Dog Tavern, a restaurant and pub established in 1971,

Black Dog Clam Chowder

Black Dog Clam Chowder

famous for their Quahog (Clam) Chowder. Read my full review and get the recipe here!

The Edgartown Inn

The Edgartown Inn

Then we made our way to Edgartown, a quiet, beautiful little village on the island to check in to our Bed & Breakfast, The Edgartown Inn.

South Beach, Martha's Vineyard

South Beach, Martha's Vineyard

We decided to hit the beach immediately, so we headed to South Beach, the smaller, quieter beach on the South side of the island.

The Edgartown Lighthouse

The Edgartown Lighthouse

After relaxing and watching the sunset, we decided to head over to the Edgartown Lighthouse

House in Edgartown

House in Edgartown

and take in the views of the beautiful old homes,

Edgartown Harbor

Edgartown Harbor

harbors and the Harbor View Hotel.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

That night we hit The Seafood Shanty for some delicious Lobster Bisque, Seafood Pasta, and Grilled Scallops and Shrimp. Situated right on the harbor, this is a great place for fresh seafood and great waterfront views. The prices are pretty reasonable too! After we stuffed our faces, it was time to have some fun.

The Atlantic Restaurant

The Atlantic Restaurant

We headed down to a fun area near the harbor and stopped at a local pub, and ran into a wedding party who pretty much took over the whole center of town. To top off the night, we went to the Atlantic Fish & Chop House for a drink and headed back to crash out!

Vineyard Breakfast at Edgartown Inn

Vineyard Breakfast at Edgartown Inn

The next day it was raining so our plans to hit Aquinna Beach on the other side of the island were ruined, but we had an amazing “Vineyard Breakfast” at our B&B with homemade apple cinnamon coffee cake,

Awesome Breakfast at Edgartown Inn

Awesome Breakfast at Edgartown Inn

scrambled eggs and bacon and some juice and coffee. Such a cute place!

Chappy House

Chappy House

We walked off breakfast by strolling around on N. Water Street for awhile..

Main Street, Edgartown

Main Street, Edgartown

and then we took a stroll down Main Street to check out more beautiful old homes, bookstores, shops and antique stores before we had to leave.

Murdicks Fudge, Edgartown

Murdicks Fudge, Edgartown

One of my favorite finds was Murdick’s Fudge – delicious creamy fudge in about 10 different flavors! Who can resist that?

The Vincent House

The Vincent House

The Vincent House was also really cool – the original home built in 1672 was actually transported into Edgartown and you can tour the house to see the classic Vineyard architecture and antique furnishings.

The Vincent House, MV

The Vincent House, MV

Imagine cooking in a big old fireplace like this–Love the cast iron pots!!)

VIncent House Garden

VIncent House Garden

This was definitely one of the most fun trips I’ve taken in a while..and I’ll most definitely be back (maybe for good!)

Edgartown Harbor

Edgartown Harbor

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A Taste of Martha’s Vineyard: The Black Dog Tavern’s Quahog Chowder


The Black Dog Tavern's Quahog Chowder

On Labor Day weekend I fell in love. With Martha’s Vineyard, that is. And an amazing clam chowder from a famous little place called The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven on the harbor. The Black Dog’s story began in 1971 on the beach in Vineyard Haven when Captain Bob Douglas opened an 88 seat restaurant named for his beloved black dog. The tavern has grown from a small island haunt to a nationally renowned restaurant with stores and merchandise branded in the Black Dog Tavern name. No trip to the Vineyard is complete without a meal at The Black Dog, especially to try their infamous Quahog Chowder that’s been on the menu since 1971!

Quahogs are hard shell clams, different from soft shell clams, otherwise known as “steamers”. This recipe is from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook that I acquired on my recent trip. It is fairly easy to make, and a little more time consuming if you are using fresh clams but totally worth the effort for that fresh flavor. It’s rich and creamy, has a touch of thyme and paprika and lots of delicious clams, potatoes, celery and onion making it the perfect chowda’ for a Fall afternoon.

Serve with crusty bread, oyster crackers or croutons and a glass of white wine or a locally brewed ale. Now all you need is the gorgeous view of Martha’s Vineyard harbor to make it a true New England experience! (p.s. I’m moving there – someday!) Oh, and stay tuned for the full report and photos of my Boston and Martha’s Vineyard Labor Day weekend trip. More foodie fun to come! Enjoy. ~AG

Ingredients

2 oz salt pork, rind removed (or 8-10 slices of bacon, diced)
2 c diced onion
1 c diced celery
3 c diced potatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 c shelled quahogs with juice – 6 lbs in shell (or use jarred whole baby clams)
1/2 c salted butter (1 stick)
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 qts. light cream (or 1 qt heavy cream + 1 pint half and half)

Preparation

Dice the salt pork or bacon and saute in a large pot until translucent. If using bacon, saute over high heat until cooked through, then drain fat except for 2 tbsp. and return to the pot. Add the onions and celery and saute for 5 minutes.

Pour in about 1 1/2 cups of the clam juice and add the potatoes and seasonings. Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Roux

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it is bubbling, add the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. This is called a “roux”.

Roughly chop the quahogs, reserving any liquid (if you use whole baby clams you can skip this step).

When the potatoes are tender, add the quahogs to the large pot and simmer for 2 minutes.

Stir in the roux and continue simmering for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. This is your chowder base.

Scalded Cream

In a separate saucepan, scald the cream by heating it on high until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Do not boil.

The Black Dog Tavern Quahog Chowder

Stir in the hot scalded cream into the chowder base, mix together, and remove from the heat.

B.D. Quahog Chowder

At The Black Dog, they serve it topped with croutons and a dollop of butter, accompanied by oyster crackers or crusty bread. Garnish with paprika and enjoy!

Serves 8 to 10.

The Black Dog Summer Vineyard Cookbook

The Black Dog Tavern Martha's Vineyard

The Black Dog Tavern Martha's Vineyard

The Black Dog Tavern

View of Martha's Vineyard harbor from The Black Dog

The Black Dog Tavern

More Clam Chowder Recipes you may enjoy:

Thick and Creamy New England Clam Chowder – Food.com

Epicurious Clam Chowder Recipe

Dave Lieberman’s Clam Chowder

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