PSA - When in Boston, you will want to eat two types of food - Italian in the North End, and seafood, and you can do both in one stop at The Daily Catch in the North End. The Daily Catch does not take reservations, so if you go at lunch go at 10:57 a.m. to beat the crowds, and if you are going for dinner, go at 4:25 p.m. to beat the crowds. If you don't go at these times, you will face an hour+ wait. There is no place to wait inside, so you will be waiting on the sidewalk with others, no matter what the weather is. And, don't get mad about the wait, everyone else is in the same boat, all the locals know the gig about the wait and are patient, and you will be rewarded to wait it out with really delicious seafood and North End Italian food.
I am breaking the unspoken code of silence amongst the Boston locals with regards to the Daily Catch. There is a whole thing about the Daily Catch. Every local knows about it, adores it, and wants to keep it a secret, in hopes that will keep the wait line shorter. So, during my vacation visiting the family up in Boston, I got to talking with my old buddies who are still in the Boston area. I conducted a little test. Since I have not lived in Boston in over a decade, I asked my old buddies where there was a great place to get a great meal with seafood. They said all the standards like Legal's, Union Oyster, and Durgin Park, but not one said the Daily Catch. Then, I said, what about the Daily Catch, and I got the momentary frown micro-expression of, "Oh crap! She knows about the Daily Catch, there is now another one who will be waiting in line too, and there are only 6 tables inside, and they don't take reservations." Then they all gave the admission of, "Yes, it is one of favorite restaurants, you gotta go early and get the black squid ink pasta aglio olio, which is so good!"
I am sorry my Boston friends, I let the secret out of the bag.
So on this trip, I did not go to any other restaurant in the North End besides the Daily Catch. Believe me, you cannot go wrong with any restaurant in the North End, they are all good. No kidding, ALL of the restaurants in the North End are good, they would not survive otherwise. The North End restaurant scene has always been this way for as long as I have known about the North End in the 1970s to present. When anyone in TN ever asks me about where to eat in Boston, I say the North End, pick one and you will be delighted. My TN friends are always skeptical when I say this pre-trip, but post-trip when they come back, they always admit I am right. All the places they dined at in the North End are superb. Yes, if you go to Boston, and are into food, you must go try at least one restaurant in the North End.
|Aglio Olio |
On this trip, I got the squid scampi and the black squid ink pasta aglio olio. The squid scampi was lemony and buttery. I liked it. Then I got the dish all my friends talk about, the black squid ink pasta aglio olio. The dish is house made squid ink pasta which uses a great deal of squid ink. The pasta tastes slightly lemony and briny from the squid ink, and is so good. I have tasted other squid ink pasta where there wasn't too much ink used, and was only for color, and I did not get the tart and brine flavor I got from the Daily Catch pasta. I got the aglio olio which means pasta and oil. The Daily Catch serves aglio olio black squid ink pasta with ground squid, garlic, olive oil and S&P. Very simple ingredient list, but such an amazing seafood flavor. This dish is probably in my top 10 favorite dishes of all time.
One thing you should note about the finished dish presentation, the pasta and sauteed dishes are served in fry pan and plopped on the heavy wood dining table. The pan is your dish. Don't get mad, it is how it is for everyone, tourist and local. You really want to have the whole pan so you can scrape up the yummy brown bits at the bottom of the pan which adds so much flavor to the overall dish. Friends have said they have seen from time to time there are "first and last time" snooty restaurant go-ers who get mad at the whole fry pan serving dish and vow never to come back. My friends cheer silently while thinking there is less competition to get in now, and those snooty people are missing out. Seriously, the food is really good, and I don't care what pan or plate it is served on, and I too am happy to have the snooty people not come back.
I can't afford another vacation to Boston any time soon because I have been caught up on the sequester furlough B.S. Congress and Senate have imposed on me and many others. But, when I can save some pennies, and can afford to get back up to Boston, I am already planning the playbook and when I visit the Daily Catch again. Next time, I will likely keep my visit hush-hush and go back to the code of silence so I don't have to wait so long to get in and get another serving of the black squid ink pasta aglio olio.