I recently spent a weekend in Boston and decided to dedicate a special Current Crush edition to it. The last time I visited Boston was 15 years ago and I couldn’t remember much. Boston is a small town but it’s one of the oldest continually inhabited town in North America. It’s famous for its architecture, both old and new. It’s a university town which makes its population fairly young. I ate well in Boston, feasted on fresh oysters and specialty cocktails and enjoyed some stunning architectural projects. I was, however, disappointed with the coffee there. You need better independent coffee shops Boston! Just a quick reminder that these “Current Crush” posts are here so I can share a few of my latest coups de cœur with you. Enjoy this edition and don’t forget to check out the others here!

TOWNSMAN
120 Kingston St., Boston MA / +1 617 993 0750
Lunch: Monday to Friday 11:30am – 2:30pm / Midday Menu: Monday to Friday 2:30 – 5:30 / Dinner: Monday to Thursday 5:30 – 10pm Friday & Saturday 5:30 – 11pm / Late Night Menu: Monday to Thursday until 11pm & Friday & Saturday until 12am

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Dinner at Townsman in Boston

Townsman was my favourite restaurant on my visit to Boston. Although we had reservations for a table, we arrived early and ended up spending the evening in the bar portion of the restaurant. The atmosphere at this busy restaurant is fun and dynamic and the staff made us feel instantly at ease. Start your evening with one of Townsman great cocktails and a dozen oysters, of course! The menu is comprised of small dishes to share and includes charcuteries, local cheeses, a raw bar and more seasonal dishes. Everything we sampled was excellent, especially the charred baby octopus with crispy smoked potatoes, blood orange and aïoli. I sneaked a peak at the dining room at the end of dinner and it’s beautiful, filled with light and colour, with a bar that runs along a large open kitchen. Reservations are highly recommended.

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TATTE BAKERY & CAFE
Several locations throughout Boston and Cambridge, consult the website for more info

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The nut tarts are nuts at Tatte Bakery in Boston!

tatte best brunch boston © Will Travel for Food

Brunch at Tatte Bakery in Boston

From outstanding savoury dishes with a Middle-Eastern twist to gorgeous and mouth watering desserts, Tatte Bakery is definitely a must-visit during your stay in Boston. I visited two of their locations, once for a pre-brunch latte and ham and cheese croissant and another for a full breakfast which included shakshuka and avocado and egg toast. Both times I left with heaps of pastries in my bag. This loudly acclaimed bakery and cafe has been providing joyous calories to Bostonian for a few years now. Its many busy-as-hives locations through town are a testimony to its undying popularity. The Tatte nut tarts are a thing of beauty and the buttery and flaky pastries are truly addictive!

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SARMA
249 Pearl St., Somerville, MA / +1 617 764 4464
Bar: Sun day to Thursday 5 – midnight, Friday & Saturday 5pm – 1am / Restaurant: Sunday to Thursday 5:30pm – 10pm, Friday & Saturday 5:30pm – 11pm / Late Night Menu: Sunday to Thursday until 11pm, Friday & Saturday until midnight

sarma turkish restaurant boston © Will Travel for Food

Dinner at Turkish restaurant Sarma

A little way out of town in Somerville is a great Turkish restaurant that is definitely worth the trek. Sarma serves a large variety of mezes, or small dishes designed to be shared. The menu is divided into several sections (vegetables, pancakes, pies & pides, etc.) and comes with a glossary of terms. Everything sounded great and I had a hard time picking but finally settled for the Brussels sprout bravas, lamb köfte sliders, Cypriot ravioles and fried baby artichokes. Aside fromwhat’s on the menu, the Sarma chefs also concoct off menu items based on their moods that the waiters then circulate and offer to customers. Fun! For dessert, we had loukoumades or ricotta doughnuts, which you can then enhance with a variety of toppings from chai spiced carrot cake to rocky road to mango curd. We opted for the halva caramel and lemon pavlova with pistachio and cilantro. Delicious!

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ALDEN & HARLOW
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA / +1 617 864 2100
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10:30am – 2:30pm / Dinner: Sunday to Wednesday: 5pm – 1am, Thursday to Saturday: 5pm – 2am

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Brunch at Alden & Harlow in Cambridge

Located in the heart of Cambridge right at Harvard Square is this fun, welcoming and brightly lit restaurant serving modern American food. I had brunch there while catching up with an old friend. We sampled three of the very copious dishes: the kale toast with anchovy aioli and fried eggs, the hickory smoked pigs’ tails with maple and cheesy grits and the croissant pain perdu with lemon curd and roasted blackberries. The menu also includes a biscuit & gravy dish which seemed to be a popular choice among the diners.

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COPPA ENOTECA
253 Shawmut Ave., Boston MA / +1 617 391 0902
Monday to Thursday 12pm – 10pm / Friday 12pm – 11pm / Saturday 5pm – 11pm / Sunday 3pm – 10pm / Brunch: Sunday 11am – 3pm

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Brunch at Coppa in Boston

This small enoteca located in the heart of Boston is from the same chef/owners as famous tapas restaurant Toro. I was there for brunch on the first beautiful spring Sunday of the year. The terrasse was crowded with trendy Bostonians that spilled into the cozy and elongated interior space. The restaurant is small and a long bar takes up one side of it with the kitchen located in the back. The food and the mood here are Italian and the brunch menu consists of some egg dishes with an Italian twist, wood-fired pizza, house made pasta, antipasti, salumi and stuzzichini or bar snacks. Reservations are highly recommended.

After brunch, do cross the street to check out Farm & Fable, a lovely store selling contemporary and vintage cookbooks.

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ARCHITECTURE

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Gehry’s twisted architecture at the MIT campus in Cambridge {photo by mrb404}

In a former life, architecture was my business and although I don’t practice anymore, it’s still a great love of mine. Boston is brimming with interesting architecture, from old Georgian and Revival styles to newer contemporary buildings. They are all worth a visit but if you are a fan of modern architecture, check out this website that lists some of the best projects around Boston. Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier (his only project in the USA), Eero Saarinen, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Foster, Walter Gropius, Pei and so many more architects have contributed in making Boston a modern architecture mecca. These buildings are all located within a small, easily accessible radius and are not to be missed! Check out this slideshow by Architectural Digest of some of Boston’s greatest buildings. If you’re an architecture fan, I recommend downloading the Mimoa app which tells you which modern architecture projects are in the vicinity. Practical!

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Eero Saarinen’s Kresge Auditorium at the MIT campus in Cambridge {photo by mrb404}

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THE VERB HOTEL
1271 Boylston Street, Boston, MA / +1 855 695 6678

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The quirky Verb hotel in Boston

It’s very possible that I might not be cool enough for The Verb but that is where I chose to stay. Located around the corner from Fenway Park, this reconverted, two-story motel is as colourful as they come. Decorated with touches of mid-century design and a collection of idiosyncratic pieces that make this unusual hotel unique, The Verb is centered around a courtyard and a pool. You can get a view of the pool or of Fenway Park from your room. I am not sure how noisy that courtyard gets when the pool is open but it was quite relaxing when I visited. The Verb’s main them is music and it’s interpreted by the many posters, vinyls and jukeboxes scattered around the property. WiFi is free, parking is not (US$39 per night), the Bigelow bath toiletries are great, the staff is very friendly, muffins and coffee are served in the funky lobby every morning and snacks are dispensed all day.



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