New England — the northeast states of the USA — is well known for its delicious, fresh seafood, typically served in rather “Puritanical” plain, simple recipes — showing off the freshness of the ingredients and their wonderful flavors. While Boston was historically known for its scrod (fish) and the northeast coast of Massachusetts for its clams, it is Maine’s delicious cold water lobsters that are the number one favorite of the panoply of local seafood. When it comes to fresh, the top spot in the Boston area (including Cambridge, across the Charles River and home to both Harvard University and M.I.T., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is Legal Sea Foods. Founded in 1950 in Boston, this small collection of excellent restaurants is known for its motto: “If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t legal.”
Starting 30 years ago, whenever I was in Boston on business (having flown across the US from San Francisco), I always tried to get to one of the Legal Sea Foods locations for a meal, with the small restaurant and take out shop at Logan Airport a last reprieve. (How many fresh lobsters packed in boxes did I take on airplanes as the extra “carry-on” over the years? Even my wife has lost count.)
Legal was declared “#1 Best Seafood Restaurant” in USA Today newspaper’s national poll in 2013. Back in 1981 Legal Sea Foods’ clam chowder was called upon for civic duty. It was served at the Presidential Inauguration, beginning a bipartisan tradition that is still going strong today.
Having had the “chowda” last night at the new Legal Crossing in the Downtown Crossing area adjacent to the Boston Common — in walking distance of our overnight lodging — we started today’s feast of a luncheon with the local “steamers” (steamed Ipswich Clams).
Fresh, simple, and delicious, as shown above (eaten with the tail “skin” removed, washed in clam broth and dipped in melted butter). Watch the front of your shirt!
Of course, no visit to the Boston/northeast Massachusetts area would be complete without fried Ipswich clams. Tartar sauce is the preferred dip for these scrumptous morsels.
The caption says it all: “Is this all (2.5 pounds of Maine lobster) for me?” Of course, immediately after this (and the next two photos) your photographer put away his camera and took charge, getting the lobster ready for eating (and SPLITTING between two diners).
A handsome fella…
… now all set for splitting between the two of us. Absolutely wonderful. And for those of you who last found us in Brittany, with the excellent blue, cold water local lobsters — see our previous blog posts — these were tastier (no, that last observation is not just American pride). These are the best lobsters in the world.