The Zanti family is no stranger to the sea. In 1898, Giuseppe Zanti, Sr., left his tiny Italian fishing village for the more fertile waters of America. When his son, Giuseppe, Jr., heard of the senior Zanti's success on American shores, he too made the trek across the Atlantic to net lobsters, crabs, and fish in Boston Harbor, teaching his own sons along the way. After World War II, Giuseppe, Jr. sensed an oncoming boon in the lobster trade and teamed up with his sons to debut Commercial Lobster, a wholesale business devoted entirely to lobster. Still under the rule of the Zanti family, the Commercial Lobster of today makes up the wholesale branch of Yankee Lobster Fish Market, a full-fledged seafood market. In addition to selling whole live and stuffed lobsters like their predecessors, modern-day Zantis also serve a seafood-centric menu of oysters, clams, and, of course, lobster in the casual, ocean-themed eatery of Yankee Lobster Company. After finally removing the protective rubber bands from his hands, Guy Fieri dubbed the lobster mac ‘n' cheese here “ridiculous” on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
“No name, come eat,” proprietor Nick Contos would retort when his earliest customers asked for the name of his fish stand. The nondescript reply must’ve been enough for the clientele––mostly comprised off-duty sailors––because that was nearly a century ago. 1917, to be exact. In the years to come, little else has changed: Contos and his descendants continued to serve fresh broiled scrod, fried shrimp, clam rolls, and seafood chowder to generations of die-hard fans, all under the playfully designation No Name Restaurant. Despite its moniker, the eatery has managed to make quite a name for itself in the culinary community. Its seafood-heavy menu has lured in the likes of Emeril Lagasse, Andy Garcia, and Jack and Edward Kennedy. While the main draw is, of course, seafood, the restaurant has also managed to reel in an impressive beer selection, along with a specialty drink list that includes potables like the rum-based Vanilla Stormy or the deliciously oxymoronic No Name Bloody Mary.
Pan Asia summons guests into its sleek yet casual atmosphere with oceanic lighting, mounted TVs, and its star: a menu of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai recipes. Nests of lo mein noodles cradle tender slices of shrimp, beef, roast pork, and chicken, and five styles of Thai curries—including the Indian-influenced massaman—transform coconut milk into liquid heat, warming tongues with infusions of classic spices. Representing the artful cuisine of Japan, paper-thin sheaths of seaweed enfold rice and raw fish to create sushi varieties that include spicy salmon maki and boston maki, a roll of yellowtail, crab stick, avocado, scallions, and tobiko.
Sea-foam-green lights illuminate the underside of the counter at the sushi bar, making the legs of guests look as though they’re underwater or ailed with the asparagus disease. Bright-green shafts of bamboo shoot from floor to ceiling from a bed of dried river rocks, obscuring the intimately lit restaurant from the bright lights of the takeout lobby.:m]]
The Barking Crab juts out along Boston’s waterfront, its eye-catching striped tent standing out against the sparkling waters of the Fort Point Channel. Inside, guests find all the hallmarks of a true New England seafood shack: lobster traps and all varieties of nautical gear are suspended from the ceiling, sparkling Christmas lights keep the mood festive, year-round, and each table is properly dressed with checkered cloth…and a huge rock. Those rocks are as essential as a fork and knife at this self-proclaimed "coastal clam shack", where the kitchen serves up to 70 clambakes on a busy night. That's a lot of shells to crack, especially when you consider that the Barking Crab clambake yields up a whopping 4.5-pounds of food. Don't like to work for your supper? Peruse the menu, where items like lobster rolls, shrimp cocktail, and the shack's signature lump crab cakes demand no more than a simple drizzle of drawn butter or a dunk into a delicious remoulade. But whatever you choose, don't forget a cup or bowl of Barking Crab's famous New England clam chowder.
Rock Sugar Thai Café's rock sugar mammas serve up an impressive assortment of groovy Thai food, with all dishes made fresh to order before patrons' very peepers. Before diving in to a main dish, sharpen your tusks on an appetizer of crispy vegetarian spring rolls ($5.50 for four), or offset a blind date's bland personality by scarfing down a platter of eight spicy wings ($6.50). Creative takes on classic fried-rice ($8.95), noodle ($8.95), and curry ($8.95–$10.95) dishes rejuvenate routine orders, whereas the menu's fish and vegetarian options ensure that everyone can properly appease their appetite without sacrificing any virgins. Rock Sugar specialties include such fruit-infused fare as the tamarind duck sautéed with onions, bell peppers, ginger, pineapples, and scallions ($10.95–$13.95) and the mango curry, which serves up a mix of chicken, mango, and fresh summer veggies in yellow curry sauce ($9.95). After enjoying a filling feast on a hot summer day, tuck in taste buds with a cool, silky blanket of coconut, ginger, or green-tea ice cream ($3.95).
Chinatown has its fair share of great restaurants and bakeries on nearly every corner, but Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant delivers the best of both worlds all wrapped into one location. Inside, black and white checkered tiles, wooden tables and a wall of mirrors fill out the rooms. Specializing in authentic Chinese foods, the cozy restaurant serves up traditional American breakfasts consisting of French toast, breakfast sandwiches with egg, coffee and green tea, but most people order up the pineapple shaped coconut buns, peach mousse cake and red bean buns on prominent display from the glass bakery cases. As the day progresses, appetites turn to ginger and scallion lo mein, shrimp dumpling noodle soup, chicken chow mein and roast pork rice dishes. There are several tables here but most people order the food for takeout.