It would probably not be a very fulfilling trip if there wasn’t at least have one seafood feast in Boston, a seaside city by the Atlantic Ocean.  With its many locations, Legal Seafood became our first pick due to its proximity from our hotel.  We stayed at Westin Boston Waterfront;so although there are many Legal Seafood restaurant locations, the one by the harborside was the best choice for us. To walk from the hotel to the restaurant took us approximately 10 – 15 minutes.

Legal Harborside has 3 floors.  Floor 1 features mainly seafood; Floor 2 has other specialties like sushi; and Floor 3 is where the rooftop bar is located.  We chose to sit at Level 1, adjacent to an outdoor patio, with direct ocean-view.   Everything went smoothly until we tried to order a bottle of wine.  The waitress wanted to check our IDs so we gave her our Ontario driver’s license.  Then she explained that she couldn’t accept that as a legal proof-of-age document, because Massachusetts law dictates the that the only acceptable IDs are: State driver’s license, State liquor identification card, a passport or a military identification card.  Being Canadians, we were requested to present our passports (photocopies were equally unacceptable).  After complaining to the both the waitress and the manager for 20 minutes but to no avail, we gave up and walked back to our hotel to pick up the passports.  If it wasn’t for the fact that everywhere else seemed fully-booked, we would likely have walked out.

The waitress was very apologetic, and we understood that it was not her decision.  After this little unpleasant incident, the rest of the evening, to our surprise, was actually quite enjoyable.  As such, I would still highly recommend this restaurant, but please just ensure that you bring along proper identification.

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As a result of the inconvenience caused, the restaurant did not charge us for the small shellfish platter ($24.95) we ordered.  The Alaskan king crab legs were full of crab meat, the raw oysters and clams were plump and juicy.

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After the platter, we ordered 1 more dozen each of the cherry stone and baby neck clams ($1.75 ea).  The cherry stone clams that I had in the past, although meaty and flavorful, tend to be a bit chewy; but the ones served here quite tender.

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A mug of creamy lobster bisque ($9.95), with hints of brandy.  Good for sharing as it was quite filling.

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Grilled Asparagus w/ goat cheese cream, hazelnut gremolata, porcini vinaigrette ($9.95)

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Rosemary Scallops w/ braised chick peas and chouriço ($9.95) ~ Big juicy scallops each priced slightly over $3.  Contrasting my experience with the scallops served in The Carbon Bar Toronto (refer to my entry), this represented great value.

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Sausage & Shrimp Orecchiette w/ roasted cauliflower, broccoli rabe, grated cheese ($17.95) ~ We were yearning for some carbs and hot food to end our meal.  However, this was the worst dish of the night.  It was salty and oily, presented as a hodgepodge of flavors that did not blend well together.  Not recommended.

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Our second bottle of wine for the night.  After the additional effort to get the passports, how could we simply stop at one?

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Most recommended: Oysters, cherry stones, little neck clams, lobster bisque, and rosemary scallops.

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Suggestions for improvements:

1.  Clearly communicate alcohol-service policy to customers on website or confirmation email to avoid confrontation and inconvenience, especially to those who do not reside in Massachusetts.

2.  Pasta dish should be improved.  Both presentation and taste were sub-par.

Legal Harborside Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

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