Results 11-14of 14 Reviews
September 3, 2002
Starting as a fish market back in the ‘50’s, Legal Sea Foods came to wider notice when Julia Child began buying seafood for her television program there. The owners soon branched out into the restaurant business, opening a simple no-frills spot with sawdust-strewn floors and communal plank table seating. From there Legal’s reputation for the freshest fish, expertly cooked, took off, and the single Cambridge location has gradually expanded to no fewer than 26 restaurants up and down the East Coast. Their slogan, proudly trumpeted in numerous TV spots and print ads, is "If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal!"
The Legal’s Park Plaza restaurant is in an attractively renovated art-deco style building near the theater district, a convenient spot for tourists and townies alike. We were grateful we had made reservations, for the crowd on Tuesday night looked to me more like that of a Saturday night. One thing that impressed me, however, was that although the restaurant was busy, the staff didn’t seem rushed and the noise level was a relaxed rumble rather than a cacophonous din. Subdued lighting, with hanging spot lamps casting a mellow glow over each table and a hip Asia-meets-Art-Deco décor further contributed to a relaxed ambience.
The test of any restaurant, however, is its food. Legal Sea Foods, I’m happy to say, lived up to its reputation for fresh, expertly prepared seafood. We three whetted our appetites beforehand with tasty appetizers of clam chowder, Greek salad, and shrimp cocktail, respectively. Then I opted for a mixed assortment of wood-grilled fish and shellfish, while my husband had stuffed flounder and my son ordered wood-grilled trout. I was very impressed with my selection, a trio of four-ounce cuts of different fish (tuna, salmon, and blue fish), succulent grilled scallops and juicy shrimp. A baked potato and crunchy stir-fried squash complemented this ideal sampler meal. We selected a half bottle of reasonably-priced Venetian Pinot Grigio from Legal’s award-winning wine list to accompany the meal and promptly wished we’d ordered a whole bottle of this crisp, flavorful wine.
The service was attentive; in fact, one oddity was that no fewer than three managerial staff came by to ask us if we were finding everything satisfactory. Clearly, quality control is a very big thing at Legal Sea Foods, which is all to the good, but we found the repeated inquiries somewhat obtrusive. However, aside from that we were very happy with our meal and overall experience there and hope to dine at one of Legal’s Maryland locations the next time we’re up for a seafood splurge.
From journal You Say You Want a Revolution
August 22, 2002
From journal 10 day tour of Boston and Cape Cod
January 24, 2002
It's pricey, it's a chain. Big drawbacks in my book.
But - the saving graces are a hat trick. Legal Seafood is a winner. When you need to be assured of a nice meal - you can't go wrong with Legal.
Strong recommend - Crab Cakes and anything without lobster.
Not recommended - essentially the lobster, but ONLY because there are host of other Boston restaurants where you can enjoy lobster for about half the price.
If you find time for Legal - check out the chef's specials, and trust the creativity of the menu. It's safe here to move away from plain and into something interesting.
From journal High to Low in Boston
December 28, 2000
There is never a lack of fine dining in Boston. On New Year's Eve, advance reservations are recommended. Some other choices:
Italian fare is in abundance in Boston's North End. Try Mother Anna's at 211 Hanover St. for entrees such as Chicken, ziti, and broccoli ($13.95); Veal Roberto ($15.95); Pollo Venezia ($13.95), with mushrooms, artichokes and white wine lemon sauce. Sample a fine Italian wine with your meal and for dessert, a canoli or tiramisu. Anna's has candlelight and a romantic ambiance. Call ahead: (617) 523-8496.
Stephanie's on Newbury, at 190, is located in the midst of First Night fun. Call ahead for a dinner reservations (617) 236-0900 between 6:00 and 11:00 p.m., with live jazz on New Year's Eve and a wide-ranging menu at reasonable prices ($11-$30). Entrees include Long Island Duckling; Glazed Rack of Lamb; Slow Roasted Veal Osso Bucco; Brioche, Shallot Topped Salmon, and more. This is "casual elegance at its best," as well as a prime people watching location and place to Be Seen.
Biba, at 272 Boylston St., another Boston hot spot in which to Be Seen, will undoubtedly be packed on First Night. But you might find some standing space in the cocktail lounge. Try the cuisine on a week night after the holidays. (617) 426-7878.
From journal Boston's First Night