Boston: Legal Sea Foods

Elisa:

Legal Sea Foods’ tagline: If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal! So cliché , yet so true.
I’ve only been to Boston once – about 6 years ago when we were only visiting Harvard, and after that, we drove back to New York. Quite a pity ain’t it? Mark Twain once wrote, “In New York they ask ‘how much money does he have?’ In Philadelphia, they ask, ‘who were his parents?’ In Boston they ask, ‘how much does he know?’” Boston is such a highly cultured city – Harvard, MIT, Boston University – yet casual at the same time. And sports – a major part of the city’s culture. There’s the Red Sox in the Major League Baseball (MLB), the New England Patriots in the National Football League (NFL), the Bruins in the National Hockey League (NHL), and not to forget, the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). And then there’s the performing arts – The Boston Ballet, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic and many more. And last but not least, Boston’s New England cuisine boasts dishes which are the freshest around the world. And with internationally and critically acclaimed chefs such as Jasper White, Ming Tsai and Todd English, Boston is a great place for indulgence.
I don’t usually go to big chain restaurants, because I personally feel that the more they expand, the more they forget about the freshness and quality of its ingredients. I wasn’t planning to go to Legal Sea Foods. But after seeing it packed from one end to the other, with each and every diner enjoying their dishes of seafood (I love seafood, if you don’t already know), I was naturally tempted. And so we decided to go one late afternoon to escape the lunch crowd.
We were seated immediately, and greeted by a pleasant waitress who quickly gave us the menu and told us the specials of the day. Btw, more than 20 varieties of fish are served daily. Now we’re talking…
Some warm bread roll to start with.

Legal's Signature Crab Cake

Legal’s Signature Crab Cake ($14.95): jumbo lump crab, mustard sauce, seasonal salad. My mum is currently in search for the best Crab Cakes. Currently, #1 is the Crab Cakes at Geoffrey Zakarian’s The National Bar & Dining Rooms in New York City due to its generous amount of sweet delicate crabmeat, a balance in taste and flavour and a crispy crust. The Crab Cake here on the other hand, was only lightly/barely seared and did not have that nice crust on the outside. However, this one had much more crabmeat which where nonetheless fresh and a slightly sweet. Overall, we still preferred the one at The National – the sweet creamy guacamole and evident lemon taste inside the cake itself elevated and brought out the sweetness of the crabmeat. We also preferred Crab Cakes with a crispy exterior for a nice contrast in texture against the chewy decadent crabmeat and soft batter. The side salad was delicious though – crunchy green apples, sweet dried cranberries, and fresh frisse salad which was not overly dressed.

Baked Potato

Baked Potato. This comes as a side with the Crab Cake. It was ok. Other sides include French Fries, Onion Strings, Brown Rice, Broccoli & Cheese, Rice Pilaf, Cole Slaw, Seaweed Salad, Jasmine Rice, Mashed Potatoes and Jalapeno Cheddar Polenta.

Mussels

Mussels ($10.95): 1 ½ pounds sautéed with garlic, white wine and crushed red pepper. These are from Prince Edward Island along the coast of Maine. After watching Iron Chef America Battle Mussels, Bobby Flay vs Todd Stein, I’ve learnt that mussels aren’t that easy to cook because like another other shellfish, they cook so quickly and you would have to cook them for the right amount of time. Neither undercooked or overcooked mussels would do justice to these sea creatures. These mussels were cooked perfectly and the broth was earthy and flavorful. They’ve got me with this.

Wood Grilled Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout with a choice of 2 sides ($18.95). This was that day’s Market Catch, and you have a choice of the sauce & flavours you want your fish to be cooked in – Everything Spice, Cajun Spice, Chettinad Spice, Red Onion jam, Shandong Sauce, Lemon Chive Butter, Bearnaise Butter – or you could just have it the way they do it – simply Wood Grilled. Of course I went with the Wood-Grilled. The fish was cooked to perfection. It was fresh and moist, no fishy flavor at all, and the smokiness of the grill really came through. A touch of lemon helped and brought out the freshness of the fish.

Broccoli & Cheese and Brown Rice

For sides, we had Brown Rice and Broccoli & Cheese. C’mon, they can do better than this … 1 Broccoli?!?!
Overall, it was an enjoyable satisfying meal. Service was prompt, and our waitress was courteous, knowledgeable and friendly. I was definitely most surprised by the freshness of each and every ingredient. Legal Sea Foods has become a mainstay for New England diners and a Boston tradition for over 40 years. Whether you’re a seafood lover or not, if you want great seafood at its finest, this is the place to be. But do remember to either come very early, or very late. The lunch crowd ain’t pleasant at all! And last but not least, have their chowder! It’s among the best in town. 🙂
Also, in honor of National Soup Month, 11 January has become a ‘Legal’ Holiday: Chowda Day! To celebrate, Legal Sea Foods will be serving up $1 cups of New England Clam Chowder with the purchase of an entree. Legal Sea Foods New England Clam Chowder has been served at every Presidential Inauguration since 1981, and is an award-winning dish. So it’s definitely very generous and kind of them to share their famous Clam Chowder for only $1/cup! Do share the love and their online fish market will also pay homage to Chowda Day by offering a quart of Clam Chowder for only $11, instead of the usual $17.95, if ordered on 11 January. So slurp’s up!
Legal Sea Foods
Boston – The Prudential Center
800 Boylston Street
Tel: 617 266 6800
http://www.legalseafoods.com/ 
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This entry was posted in Boston, Dinner, Healthy, Lunch, New England, Quick/Easy, Travel to eat! :) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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