Sunday 28 June 2009


After getting over the hurdle, and subsequent agony, of walking 26.2 miles in the middle of the night wearing a bra decorated to resemble two watermelon slices (made of felt) I am finally ready to come back and remember our two weeks away. Two weeks, two countries, four cities, good friends, good food, good fun.

We always eat well with Adam and Renee.

They love to cook and they love to eat so it was no surprise to eat well in Boston.

We ate Korean food in a jet lag fog on our first night, meatloaf sandwiches smothered in gravy in a Watertown diner, pancakes for breakfast, and enormous sandwiches from a deli near Harvard.

But there were two meals which stood out from all the rest.

I would love to describe the first in all its glory. I would love to tell you about the 15 individual plates of food and describe the exact components of the Hendrick's cucumber gimlet that we started the meal with. I would love to tell you about the fig bread, the three different types of caviar, the beautiful single scallop I was presented with as an alternative to seared fois gras (which when I tried I would happily have devoured), the frogs legs and snail in garlic butter, the five cheeses we ate as course number 12, or was it 13... We sat for four hours and we ate and we drank and I would love to describe L'Espalier in painstakingly precise detail but it just wouldn't be right. I don't have any photos and I'm not convinced that I could do all those intricate dishes the justice that they deserve so all I will say is that it was impressive, and delicious, and as we ate each dish we all went silent for a brief moment and then mopped up every last morsel of every perfect sauce.

Thankfully not every Boston meal leaves me so lost for suitable words and thankfully not every Boston meal was enjoyed without a camera on the table.

On a hot May Sunday we headed to The Barking Crab to sit at a picnic table under a red and yellow striped roof,

to look out at the Boston skyline,

to drink pitchers of cold Sam Adams,

to eat Jonah crab claws, crab cakes, and oysters,

followed by lobster rolls with fries,

and a little more Sam Adams to wash it all down.

Fresh seafood, simply cooked, simply served, simply eaten and enjoyed. Do you think I could persuade them to open a London outpost?


Cerebrum said...

Ah. I love Boston. Is it too early to go back when it's only just shy of a year since I was there for the first time?

carine said...

Good to see you back Gemma, Bostonian food sounds - and looks - delicious! xx

shanna said...

And all I can say is JEALOUS. So, so jealous!

Cook-A-Lot said...

I'm going in ten weeks, I can't wait. Barking Crap, I must find it!

Gemma said...

No Zarah Maria, definitely not! We try to limit ourselves to a trip across the Atlantic every other year but I think my longing for the Pacific North West may get the better of me next year!

Carine - thanks!

Shannalee - hi, it was great but no need for you to be jealous. It's not so very far to Boston and you have all that lovely Chicago food to keep you busy!

C-A-L - it's on the river near the children's museum and in most of the guidebooks so should to fairly easy to find. Have an amazing time!

Gemma x

Sam said...

Boston food looks fantastic, it's hard to beat really good seafood.

The Barking Crab - What a great name for a restaurant!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I'll sign the petition to get them to open in Soho!

Shauna said...

Wow... this sounds like a brilliant trip all round! Tasty stuff. I'm hoping to go to Boston for a conference next March and trying to figure whether to stay there longer or explore further or go back to New York, my stomach is rumbling at the possibilities :)