Sunday, November 29, 2015

Strega Waterfront - South Boston Massachusetts

You can find Strega Waterfront at 1 Marina Park Drive (56 Northern Ave via GPS), Boston, MA 02210 right on the water. The restaurant is at the ground-floor of the One Marina Park building or Fan Pier Marina if traveling by boat.

This was the crowning dinner from my visit to Boston where our entire team met within walking distance from the office. It turned into a wet evening so we didn't take in any waterfront views, unfortunately and it was a bit wet walking from the office to One Marina Park but the restaurant itself was warm and very inviting.

The interior is a mix of old-school charm and modern with a large dining hall with flat-panel TVs lining the walls near the high ceilings. White tablecloths and napkins are the norm with great seafood options, decent wines and good service. We were served a good Italian baguette with oil-infused olives with our glasses of a good Bordeaux.

Nice touch on the stemware - I totally fall for stuff like this.

The menu was interesting, short-and-sweet with a page of salads/apps/antipastos and another of entrees, mostly Italian-based or inspired. I guess the chef/owner has another place in town that's a bit famous? A local team-member mentioned this to us.

Here's a run-down of what was ordered by the handful of people on my end of the table:

Spinach and Pear Salad - baby spinach, sliced pears, candied pistachios, gorgonzola, crispy pancetta, raspberry vinaigrette. I normally don't go for the sweet fruity salads and almost made an exception with this. Unusually, you get a whole pear halved and sliced on the plate. Great balance of sweet-savory in this salad.

Strega Salad - baby arugula, sliced grapefruit, walnuts, shaved parmesan, citrus vinaigrette. This was my selection and it was quite good - lighter than you would expect and a good foundation for the seafood to come.

Risotto di Mare - chef's daily selection of fresh seafood, risotto - this was my original selection before hearing about the the Zuppa de Pesce. Clams, muscles, calamari and quite good.

Penne Arrabiata - penne with garlic, oil and spicy tomato sauce - this was a favorite with some of the vegetarians at the table. This was spicier than I expected and quite satisfying. All the pasta I tried was cooked perfectly - a good sign.

Pappardella Funghi Selvatica - homemade pasta served with wild mushrooms and black truffle oil - another vegetarian option - I'm not sure how well this went with some of our Indian diners - mushrooms aren't common in their traditional food so for some the flavor is off-putting. The bit I sampled was very flavorful and delicious thought.

Veal Saltimbocca - prosciutto di parma, fontina cheese, sage, white wine demi glaze,  roasted potatoes and a couple of asparagus - I didn't taste this one but those who ordered told me it was quite good.

Zuppa de Pesce - all I heard in the description was "tomato stock with fettuccini, clams, muscles, calamari, fish" and then they bring out the crackers and an extra napkin. Next this gigantic wok comes out with half a lobster - wow, what a dish. For business occasions I try not to over-indulge and unless I'm paying my own way, order something moderately priced. I'm not sure how much this beast added to the bill but I'm sure I didn't succeed on being moderate. It was entirely delicious though, with so much seafood I was set for at least a week. If you want to get a feel for this restaurant's cuisine, THIS is the dish to order.

Service in a word was fantastic - several employees coming to our table took care of anything we asked for and handled all our questions with extensive descriptions (we are a picky crowd as you can imagine). I'd like to try this restaurant again when the weather is a bit nicer. I can imagine the terrific aromas on an open patio overlooking the bay - maybe someday!

-- John

(also posted to Yelp)
Strega Waterfront Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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