If one Paramount restaurant is great, two must be better. At least that seems to be the thinking when the Eat Drink Laugh Restaurant Group decided to open a South Boston sister to the wildly popular original Paramount on Beacon Hill a couple of years back. Lines out the door of the 15-year-old original iteration are a testament to a winning formula, which no one messed with in the South Boston outpost, serving three hearty meals a day, seven days a week. Like the original, the caramel and bananas french toast flies out of the kitchen at breakfast, while regular diner favorites – pulled pork tacos and house burgers – fill out the menu. The casual spot has a fierce following, with customers lining up inside the warm diner space for a chance to brunch their hearts out.
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.
Prohibition was over, and the Burns brothers were ready to capitalize. The store they opened in 1936, the Burns Brothers Liquor Shop, has since operated as a market, a butcher shop, and a liquor store, and today its current owner Steve Neidhardt maintains the focus on selling fine wines and gourmet meats and groceries. Steve stocks Eastside Wines and Market with more than 450 different bottles of wine from all over the world, priced modestly at $10–$20 per bottle. He also carries craft beers, liquors, and single-malt whiskeys, with a selection of seasonal beers that rotates like a ballerina strapped to a ferris wheel. A longtime lover of vino, Steve studied at Boston University’s Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center, earning a Wine Studies Level 3 certification. He shares his knowledge with the public during wine tastings and in private during tastings and catering for corporate events or special occasions. Eastside Wines and Market also delivers so that customers don’t have to leave to get snacks in the middle of a suspenseful weather forecast.
Gregg and Barth, the owners of Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, stand in the large, industrial roasting area, pouring green coffee beans into mammoth roasters. They sniff the beans, which they’ve recently sourced from socially responsible, family-owned farms situated all over the world. Prior to this moment, they and their staff have thoroughly analyzed the beans, making sure that each batch enhances the bean’s body rather than overshadowing its natural flavor. The coffees are then packed up and shipped out, or sent to the company’s own Boston--based coffee shop, which has won shout-outs from a variety of media sources such as Martha Stewart Living and Forbes Magazine.
The rich aromas of coffee flood their coffee shop, a minimal, concrete-floored space. Baristas bustle, artfully crafting perfect cups of single-origin coffee or lattes crowned with foam leaves. The shop also hosts a variety of events, including traditional coffee ceremonies from Ethiopia and tastings of traditionally prepared Turkish coffee.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
It takes a lot of willpower to walk by the Au Chocolat storefront in the Financial District and not duck inside to pick something up. The shop, opened in 1992, is filled with sweet treats, but its specialty is Neuhaus chocolates, a highly sought-after Belgian brand that can only be found here. The shop will hand-pack an assortment (from more than 20 varieties), which you can choose according to your tastes. Another unique item at the shop are stuffed Oreos, which are taken apart and stuffed with peanut butter or caramel, then put back together, with the sandwich filling still inside – and after all that, they’re covered in milk chocolate. A decadent treat, sure, but certainly not out of place inside this bright, charming shop on High Street.