Boston is a beautiful, interesting, historic city. I had planned to take a few hours to do some sightseeing (Fenway Park or the Freedom Trail would have been awesome) but because of the stupid blizzard I only got a few nights on the town. My hotel was in the super cool Theater district—the Courtyard Marriot Tremont. The hotel itself is in an old building, which is cool on the outside, and makes for a slightly “boutique hotel” feel on the inside (as opposed to the “mass chain” feel I usually get at Courtyards). Entry areas are beautiful, rooms are very nice if a bit small, bathrooms are tiny with only showers and no bathtubs. The front desk people were incredibly helpful with recommendations on where to eat and where the nearest Kinko’s is.
The first night I was there they sent me to the Rustic Kitchen (because I said I wanted good food and a good wine list in walking distance). It was great! The décor is Italian country-farm home, but not in a pretentious way. The service was impeccable, and the little bread/hummus-like dip/olive tray they give you is fantastic! I had the haddock, which was a new fish experience for me. Fabulously prepared, delicious, filling without making you feel like it’s Thanksgiving—it was a win-win. And I didn’t have to drive home, and enjoyed the two block walk back to my hotel.
The next night I went to L’Osteria in the North End. I did not understand what the North End was, so I drove my car over there and then went straight into the neighborhood, naively thinking I would find some kind of parking spot in there. Uh, wrong. I managed to get out (after driving around the maze they call a neighborhood for a bit) and find a parking spot before walking back in to the restaurant. The neighborhood is super cool, despite the weird small street configuration, and I’ve decided if I ever have to move to Boston that is where I am living. My parents recommended that I go to L’Osteria to eat “real Italian food,” and man were they right. L’Osteria is a tiny, family-owned Italian place with a decent wine selection and excellent food. I had the chicken something something that was basically chicken stuffed with mozzarella, mushrooms, and pancetta. Yum! And the tiramisu, probably the best I’ve ever had. Only complaint—no sparkling wine by the glass. But hey, you can’t have everything.
A few other thoughts on Boston—people driving in the city drive without real thoughts for lanes. Also, I had to drive to Andover for my meetings, and it is amazing (to this Texan anyway) that one can drive halfway across the state of Massachusetts in thirty minutes.