Dinner at Mare Oyster Bar11:31 AM
If you're not looking for it, you'll miss it. It's the North End's hidden gem, and it's tucked away just off of Hanover Street. An upscale version of your typical home-style North End Italian restaurant, Mare Oyster Bar features a surprisingly large dining and patio area, outdoor fire pits, and a full bar.
From the moment I saw the menu at Mare Oyster Bar it was like I had died and gone to seafood heaven; trio of crudos, a raw bar, two kinds of tartare, and octopus galore. It was difficult not to order everything on the menu. We started with a dozen oysters from various New England locales, the Grilled Octopus appetizer, and I of course, indulged in a glass of rosé. The oysters were fresh and not too briny and I quickly consumed my half of the dozen so I could try the grilled octopus. It arrived beautifully plated with a nice black char over pickled cauliflower and greens. I have had some excellent octopus this summer and this was among the best and most flavorful!
Shortly after, the chef sent over two popular samplings from their menu: Fried Zucchini Flowers and a sampling of their Tuna and Salmon Tartares. The fried zucchini flowers were fried to perfection and served alongside a fresh lobster and greens salad. The tartares were light and fresh, and served with beets, mango, pesto, and crostini. I think the unusual complements really made these raw treats unique.
For dinner I ordered the Wild Boar Pappardelle while my date opted for the Risotto di Mare (not pictured). Wild boar isn't a popular menu item so whenever I see it I like to indulge. It can be a tough ingredient to get right due to it's distinct flavor but the hearty sauce and hefty pappardelle pasta were the perfect pairing for this dish. I was too full to taste the Risotto di Mare but my date assures me it was delicious and the risotto to calamari/shrimp/seafood ratio was perfect. (His words, not mine.)
For dessert, we elected to linger at our table on the patio with a selection of Italian cookies and coffee. A perfect way to end such a lovely evening. It was a delicious meal, a great date night spot, and by far one of the best seafood experiences I've had in Boston.
I was provided a complimentary meal for review and promotional purposes. All content and opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Style-Wire.com!