|View from the Lookout rooftop bar|
Years ago, I lived for a winter in Somerville, which is one of the neighborhoods that makes up greater Boston. Back then, Seaport didn't exist. Or, it might have, but not in anything like its current incarnation. I think it was just where ships came in and were loaded and unloaded, and maybe new cars were parked up until they could be distributed around the country to dealerships. That kind of area. Now? Well, it's full of 'destination' bars and restaurants and is where young, urban, monied and the ubiquitous hipsters hang out of an evening.
You can't really blame them. Certainly, from the Lookout rooftop bar of the Envoy, sipping a cucumber cocktail – the taste of summer 2015, as far as I'm concerned – listening to the beats and watching the sun set ever...so...slowly...across the water over the Boston skyline, it's hard to think of better places to be.
The hotel is less than a 10-minute taxi ride from Logan Airport, so it's incredibly handy if you're flying in, but there isn't a hint of fuel or plane noise once you get here. It's a brand-new building, so everything is fresh and clean. The lobby is vast and open, with enormous, intriging light fixtures that seem to be made up of all sorts of things dangling from the ceiling above a herd of big, wide sofas below. You can jump on one of the computers or, if you're feeling sporting, take your chances on the electronic pool table. I've never seen one before, but it can handle multiple games, so waiting your turn for a game could become a thing of the past...
Upstairs, my huge room was all sunlight and glass, with plenty to catch the eye: a huge, floor-to- -ceiling window looked out toward the harbour, the TV stand was a bicycle, the bathroom was vast, and the bathrobes thick and cuddly. Across the hall from me was the breakfast room where, come morning, I'd find the complementary selection of pastries, croissants, bagels, cereals, juice and hot drinks, with a flatscreen TV tuned to the news channel and a view out the window of the shopping mall being built next door. All I can say is, this place has the most incredible soundproofing ever, because there wasn't any street or building noise seeping in at all....
Meanwhile, it was a long, light, summer evening and, while it would have been a little too easy to get stuck into the cocktail menu for the duration, companion and I dragged ourselves away to the nearby Tavern Road restaurant – and were very glad we did.
It's a big, airy restaurant, divided nominally into a couple few zones, two for eating, one for drinking. This is how it works: you choose six or seven sharing plates from the intriguing menu and then, if you're still hungry, you order more. But, while you're choosing, why not have the Tavern Road cucumber cocktail...?
We duly ordered, along with a bottle of wine – going with our knowledgeable and jolly waitress's suggestion, which turned out to be perfect – the parsnip and potato pierogies, warm octopus salad, fish tacos, chilled shrimp salad, Peruvian roasted chicken thighs and the cioppino. If this sounds like a lot of food, that's because it is. The thing is, while I know I should be suggesting that maybe you should order five plates instead of our greedy six, the truth is, you wouldn't actually want to miss any of these, so you might as well go the whole hog. Also, here's another thing: if you're one of those people who get sharing-plate anxiety (c'mon, I know you exist, so just admit it...), worrying that you might not get enough to eat if you don't have a plate all to yourself, you can totally relax here. You will definitely lean back from the table and do one of those deep breaths and then, as you let it out, say, "I couldn't eat another mouthful."
|Tavern Road sharing plates|
And so back into the warm Boston night we waddled – and waddled. In fact, we ended up taking a very nice stroll along the water's edge, watching the ferries ply back and forth, keeping an eye on the party boat across the way and generally enjoying the summer night.
|Boston at night|