A Guide to Boston Gourmet

By B.K. DeLong

Shortly after the end of the conference today, your stomach is going to be thinking of dinner. The decision you have to make is whether to eat the same food you've been eating all week in this hotel or to roam the fantastic streets of Boston in search of the ultimate meal. Here are my favorites.

Atlantic Fish Co.: (777 Boylston Street Phone: (617) 267-4000)

For those of you who enjoy the addiction of seafood, (like myself), the Atlantic Fish Co. is just up the street. Expect about a 20-25 minute wait but once you're inside, you're in for a treat! As an appetizer, I reccomend either the Shrimp Eggrolls or Real Lobster Bisque. They'll tickle your palette and start you drooling for your feast-to-be.

As an entree, try the Lobster Ravioli. Your mouth with be in ecstasy with lobster and ricotta filled pasta sauteed with fresh lobster meat, shittake mushrooms in a lobster cream. Better yet, try the Shrimp Tortellini which has shrimp and broccoli sauteed and finished with Alfredo sauce and fresh grated parmesan. Either way, you won't walk out feeling hungry.

Cactus Club: (939 Boylston St Phone: (617) 236-0200)

If you like TexMex food, the Cactus Club is the place to be. With a full bar and dishes that'll set your mouth afire, this is a great place to start off your evening. I reccomend the "Jalapeno 'Head Poppers'" and an appetizer. Described on the menu as "red jalapeno chilis stuffed with cream cheese, coated in a light potato breading, then flash fried to perfection and served with picante sour cream.", they'll make you reach straight for the water at first bite. Remember the first rule when eating TexMex: If it don't make your eyes water, it ain't hot enough.

For an entree, try the "Burrito Grande" where "Grande" is an understatement. These huge beasts are filled with shredded lettuce, rice, refried beans, mixed cheese and sour cream with your choice of spicy chicken, marinated beef, or seasoned vegetables. Don't pass them up!

Legal Seafoods: (800 Boylston Street or 100 Huntington Avenue Phone(s): (617) 266-6800 or (617) 266-7775)

Go to Legal's at either side of the Prudential Mall for the best New England has to offer. This award winning chowder was featured at four Presidential Inaugurations and tastes just as good at their restaurants. To taste a plethora of their best, try the Fried Fisherman's Platter. You'll get to try clams, scallops, shrimp and haddock, coated in buttermilk batter and fried to a golden brown crisp.

California Pizza: (800 Boylston Street Phone: (617) 247-0888)

Looking for something that's just different? Try California Pizza nearby. Here you can satisfy your wildest cravings. Try the Kung Pow Spaghetti which has shrimp or chicken, garlic, scallions, red-hot chilies, peanuts, Szechuan sauce. Dig in to the Chicken-Tequila Fettucine with spinach fettucine, 3-color peppers, cilantro, tequila-lime/jalapeno cream sauce. Top it off for dessert with White Chocolate Tartufo- a white chocolate gelato ball rolled in white chocolate chips, on a berry puree.