Con Poulos
Samantha DiMauro
August 06, 2014

The Fort Point waterfront neighborhood and developing Seaport District is the place to be in Boston right now. Ten years ago, there was little reason to visit this South Boston industrial sector. A largely neglected space filled with warehouses and abandoned lofts, has, within only a few years, seen a massive comeuppance. With the emergence of the Institute of Contemporary Art and increased Silver Line service ferrying visitors from the city’s major hubs, Fort Point is quickly culling a repeat audience and intrigued newcomers.

It’s no surprise some of the city’s edgiest, most creative and talked about restaurants have opened up here in the shadow’s of industry. As bold restaurateurs are inspired to experiment with global flavors, art-driven plates, and service-driven atmospheres, word-of-mouth accolades abound. These are the most impressive restaurants are those truly living up to Innovation District’s hard-earned name.

Visit T+L’s Boston Restaurant Guide for more Boston culinary inspiration.

Row 34

Opened in November 2013, the highlight of this brother restaurant to Island Creek Oyster Bar is the raw bar selection—an array of fresh oysters and clams, daily-made crudos and ceviches, and the smoked and cured seafood charcuterie board complete with bluefish pâté and arctic char lox. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.

Blue Dragon

Claiming a lively presence on an unsuspecting side street, this gastropub from esteemed restaurateur and food television star Ming Tsai serves his signature East-West fusion cuisine in a tapas-style menu. Go here with a daring group eager to share intriguing dishes such as edamame hummus, escargot with Thai compound butter, and garlic-sake clams.

Sportello

One of chef Barbara Lynch’s acclaimed restaurants is this ultra-modern take on the classic Italian trattoria. Take a Relais & Chateaux-worthy lunch break and dig in to a plate of potato gnocchi, scallop crudo, or strozzapreti alongside Fort Point’s recharging workforce. Stop by in the evening after the bustle to relax with a sampling from its diverse collection of Italian wines.

Gather

This foodie-friendly accompaniment to District Hall—the Innovation District’s dedicated civic community space—became a neighborhood meeting ground seemingly over night. Beneath a striking ambience set by more than a hundred soft-glowing lightbulbs dangling overhead, diners indulge in a range of reinvented staple dishes, like bite-sized chicken and waffles with sausage gravy, and whole pound of “steamahs” cooked with Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

Legal Test Kitchen

LTK was one of the first trendsetters to embrace the adolescent Seaport District. One of the seafood chain Legal Seafood’s many outposts, this waterfront kitchen isn’t afraid to push the envelope with internationally inspired dishes and a seasonally changing cocktail menu. Skip the chowder here and try something less traditional like the spicy lobster fra diavolo or hoisin-glazed salmon on a bed of vegetable pad Thai. Dine on the patio for an authentic salty aroma with your seafood feast. 

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