It used to be that the only reason to cross the bridge to venture into Boston’s Seaport neighborhood was to visit the Harpoon Brewery and maybe catch an outdoor concert at the Pavilion during those sweltering summer nights when G. Love & Special Sauce were headlining. Or maybe if you wanted to try your luck, you walk into the local dive bar aptly named Lucky’s, to meet a special someone and wax lyrical over this that and the other over beer so light it could be mistaken for ginger ale. Other than that the area was by and large no man’s land. Now, on my most recent visit to Boston over Thanksgiving, I found a neighborhood that has sparked to life especially with the new addition with the Envoy Hotel.
Whenever I pay Boston a visit I try to revisit old haunts but this time around I was determined to explore new places instead. And with an invitation from the Envoy to stay with them for an evening I decided to reacquaint myself to the city’s up and coming district.
ENVOY HOTEL Boston
The Envoy Hotel, part of the Autograph Collection, is a relative newcomer to the Seaport. It opened in June this year and is situated next to the Boston courthouse. Though the hotel isn’t in a central part of the city it’s well within walking distance to some of my favorite parts of town: North End, Chinatown and Faneuil Hall. It’s also a 5 minute walk to the financial district.
The central theme to the Envoy Hotel is the marriage of design and innovation which was most evident in the lobby and in the corner room 1 bedroom suite. What you see isn’t entirely what it seems. Have you seen a ceiling to floor mirror transform into a tv screen? Or a full size billiards table that is played digitally? I love when great design, functionality and comfort all comes together.
I should also note that my mom offered (demanded) to stay with me at the hotel to have a girls night in the city. Let’s just say we didn’t leave the hotel suite except to grab drinks at the bar because she decided there’s no where else she’d rather be.As much as I loved the corner room suite – which runs for upwards of $700 a night – the waterview king room isn’t too shabby either.
Dining at the Envoy Outlook restaurant
Consistent with the rest of the hotel the restaurant is beautiful; spacious with a generous stream of daylight and a high exposed ceiling. But for a restaurant that is located in such close vicinity to many great dining options the food could pack more of a punch.
For lunch my friend Carolina and I opted to share all the small plates on the menu. The options were enticing: tempura shrimp on soba noodles, beef tartare with smoked gouda and pickled shitake, salmon and tuna sashimi and the most photogenic of them all, scallops with edamame and lentil salad in a saffron crustacean broth.
Despite the overcooked scallops Chef Verdo has a clear winner in the saffron crustacean broth, which I drank like liquid luxury. It was the tartare that I had beef with. The harsher texture of shitake overwhelmed the beef and didn’t play well on the tongue. The sashimi and shrimp tempura were both light and playful dishes, perfect to have for a long awaited catch up with a friend.
A visit to Seaport/Fort Point
There are several attractions in the Seaport/Fort Point neighborhood that’s in close quarters to the Envoy Hotel. One of my favorite museums in the city is the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) which overlooks the waterfront. Kids seem to have a ball at the floating Boston Tea Party and Ships Museum and Children’s Museum (with the iconic giant Hood milk bottle that doles out ice cream in the summer).
Many restaurants have sprouted in the area too. For a classic lunch in Boston, you can’t go wrong with Duxbury oysters and a hearty lobster roll. Row 34 hit all the marks with their raw bar menu and no frills melted butter chunky lobster roll.
Note: I was a guest of the Envoy Hotel and received a complimentary stay and lunch. All views are my own.