Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Boston: Wasting Time Until Giacomo's

:: Been a little busy lately but finishing up the last few posts for Boston! ::

Last full day in Boston, we were determined to check out one of the popular Italian restaurants.  A lot in North End do not take reservation so we decided to check out the Giacomo's in South End because they actually accept reservation!  The Giacomo's in North End is probably one of the best Italian restaurant in Boston, and from the reviews, it's South End brother is just as good.

We wanted to grab brunch, but since we woke up late, we didn't get to eat until around 1pm with the wait at the small North Street Grille.

North Street Grille
229 North St 
Between Langdon Pl & Sun Court St
North End
Boston, MA 02113

North Street Grille
One of the highest rated spot for brunch. Waiting outside for a table.  Place is really small.  

We decided to get a pticher of mimosa.

lobster benedict
Jadosn and I both got the Lobster Benedict.  I usually don't go for benedict's, but I've yet to eat lobster in Boston so I went for it.

lobster benedict
Lobster Benedict with light hollandaise.

Lobster chunks and the poached egg.

I wish I can poach eggs like this hahah.

I paid $3.00 for the pancakes add on.  Legit maple syrup.  Didn't care too much for the pancakes.

Diana's Lobster & Asparagus Omelette.

lobster omlette
Lobster chunks + asparagus + hollandaise.

It was good, but not sure if I'd wait an hour for it the next time.  Or maybe I'm just not a brunch person still.  

We really didn't have any plan for the rest of the day until Giacomo's, so we decided to check out the touristy Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  It's essentially a few historical buildings converted into a nice outdoor shopping mall.  It also serves as a visitor center for the popular Freedom Trail.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
4 S Market Bldg 
Financial District
Boston, MA 02109 

quincy market
Quite a few buildings makes up Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  Quincy Market is the building that hosts all the food vendors though!

boston chowda co
Had to stop by Boston Chowda Co., another award winning clam chowder spot.  Better than Pike Place Chowder???

"Soup & other Great Stuff"

chowda and lobsta bisque
Clam chowder was good, but I still think Pike Place Chowder has it beat.  Jadson got the lobster bisque, so I got to try a bit of it.  Very sweet.

boston chipyard
The Boston Chipyard.  They sell mini-sze cookies.  Couldn't resist... I have a weakness, especially with warm cookies.

Around $6-7 for a bag of cookies.  Pretty pricey for 12 small cookies, but at least I got to mix & match!  Pumpkin chocolate chip was the most interesting!

There were also a lot of souvenir shops, as well as some big name retail stores like Abercrombie.  People weren't lying when they said it is very touristy.  Seemed like almost everybody there were from out of town.  There's also some street performers.

Before we headed off to the South End, we decided to stop by Boston Commons, and wanted to make a stop and check out where the area of the recent bombings.  Once we got there, we saw plenty of people around the quick makeshift memorial area, and there was this silence around the area, whether people were paying their respect or just going through.  Plenty of TV station vans around as well.

iced latte
Stopped by Thinking Cup for iced latte before we headed towards the site.

Area near the bombings.

Pretty amazing I must say.  Lots of people leaving flowers, notes, and everything Boston related.

Lots of marathon runners left their shoes here as well to show support.

One of the bomb sites.

You can see the damaged it caused to the building next to it with the boarded up windows.

Boston Strong.

I must say, didn't really know what to expect before I got there, and once I did, really didn't know what to think.  I must've stood at one of the remembrance area for about 10 minutes just reading what people wrote.  It was also a bit surreal to see the boarded up windows, because it really is a reminder that it did happen and that I was no longer sitting behind a TV or a monitor looking at this from afar.

After the visit, we made our way towards Giacomo's, one of Boston's most popular Italian restaurant.  Good thing we made reservations too cause the place was packed on a Sunday.

431 Columbus Ave
Between Pembroke St & Holyoke St
Back Bay, South End
Boston, MA 02116

Outside of Giacomo's.

Very small, and somewhat cluttered.

planeta la segreta 2010
One of the best thing about Giacomo's is that their bottles are extremely affordable.  I believe this was less than $40.

Had to start with some Fried Calamari. Love the fresh seafood Boston has to offer.

mozarella, tomato, basil
Caprese! Tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil.

frutti di mare with fra diavolo sauceWe really wanted to get the Zuppa di Pesce, which was this huge pasta dish with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, calamari, and a WHOLE lobster over linguine, for $55.  BUT they ran out of lobster so it was a no go...  C'mon... how the hell did a restaurant in Boston run out of lobster??? :[  We were all very disappointed since we wanted that meal to be our lobster feasting meal.  In the end, we went for the Frutti di Mare with the Fra Diavolo sauce.  It had mussels, calamari, clams, scallops, and shrimp.

mussels, calamari, clams, shrimp
Ok, it was still tasty, but still, not lobster :[

I wanted the Squid Ink Parpadelle Putanesca with swordfish and tuna since I love squid ink, and it definitely did not disappoint!

Putanesca is a slightly tangy tomato sauce with capers and it goes really well with the parpadelle.  I love fresh parpadelle, especially when made with squid ink.

almond amaretto cake
"I'm okay with anything as long as it isn't an almond dessert."  Guess which dessert they chose?   Freaking Almond Amaretto.  It's good but I just don't like the taste of... almond dessert flavor, like almond tofu.  I like real almonds :P

Seriously so sad that we didn't get to eat lobster, especially we saved up the lobster feast for this dinner too.

A trip wouldn't be complete without visiting a high rise with a view, and for Boston, we decided to check out the Top of the Hub, located high up in the Prudential Tower.

Top of the Hub
800 Boylston St Ste 52
Between Fairfield St & Gloucester St
Back Bay
Boston, MA 02199 

top of the hub
If you've ever been to the Chicago's Skydeck, located at the top of the Willis/Sears Tower, then Top of the Hub will seem very similar.  Definitely not as crowded though!

We wanted to sit in the lounge since they are lined along the glass windows with a great view.  $24 minimum, which was easily achieved wit two drinks.

View from our seat!

live band playing jazz
Also the front for the live jazz band!

black barrel cider
Black Barrel Cider.

boston's bully boy smash
Boston's Bully Boy Smash.  Bully Boy White Whiskey, lemon, mint, and cane sugar for the cocktail. Bully Boy Whiskey is actually a small distillery in Boston! Pretty cool.

strawberry basil lemonade
Diana's Strawberry Basil Lemonade.

chocolate molten cake
Valrhona Warm Chocolate Cake for dessert.  Since I didn't really get a proper dessert (Jadson & Diana did most of the damage of the almond dessert), I wanted something and went with the super rich molten chocolate cake with chocolate toffee crunch ice cream and cherry sauce.

 The best part is probably opening up the chocolate cake and watching the chocolate lava slowly oozing out. Dayum it was chocolatey!

After that we went back to the hotels and prepped for our half day in Boston before my flight out and before Diana & Jadson continue their East Coast swing to NYC!