Battery Wharf Hotel’s Aragosta Bar and Bistro Review - The Newest Attraction

 

Greeting the day with Yoga

My Boston has always been gritty, scarred blocks of old colonial buildings, shuttered warehouses and battered waterfront shacks. I have returned to this scene on every visit, walking the ancient cobblestone streets, waiting my turn on the rickety steps at Durgin Park Restaurant and trading quips with surly waitresses who seemed to have been there since it opened in 1827. Sure I ventured outside the zone to visit museums, stroll in Back Bay and walk the Harvard campus in Cambridge across the way, even watched the Red Sox at Fenway Park, and I realized change was happening .

 

Boston's magnificent skyline

But when I picture Boston, I think of those streets which were already old when the Boston Tea party erupted. On two recent visits, I was overwhelmed by change. The “Big Dig”, which created roads and tunnels, had gridlocked the old city for so long was long gone. Traffic seemed to flow easily on new avenues, escaping congestion by racing through underground speedways. A modern city of futuristic buildings has sprung up and the skyline gleams with new glass-lined office tower I spent an all too brief weekend in Boston recently, just a short stroll from my old haunts, awed by the bustling new life still evolving in the North End harbor area.

  

Delicious sea food

It was like a walk through time, from the crowded streets of Little Italy to the pristine Harbor Walk, which meanders along the water, putting a ribbon around celebrants dining outdoors at restaurants on one side and colorful sailboats in the water on the other side. Basing in this neighborhood, visitors can easily reach the financial district, the historic Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics basketball team and the city’s hockey team, the Bruins. It will be a long time before the walkway can truly rival the pedestrian and bike traffic along the banks of the Charles River, with its tour past museums and college campuses, certainly not in the daytime hours.

  

From our window

But when dusk falls, the crowds are more likely to be roistering along the Harbor Walk. Aside from excursions to the dramatically housed Institute of Contemporary Art and by the T, Boston’s ancient subway line to the Fine Arts Museum, my activities centered on the comfortable environs of our lodgings at Three Battery Wharf. The hotel is a cluster of attractive buildings centered on a modern cobblestone street leading down to the harbor. It was hard to leave the comforts of the hotel. On our first night, we dined on the outdoor patio of Battery Wharf Hotel’s Aragosta Bar and Bistro, protected from stray breezes coming off the water by small fires in our table. That patio allows diners to enjoy views of yachts and small sailing vessels in the harbor. Most rooms allow guest to gaze out on waterway activity and there’s also an observation deck, open around the clock, for a fuller view of Boston harbor. We were based in what I felt was a hotel within a hotel, the third of three buildings in the complex. We had a concierge and a lounge which offered afternoon tea and dusk time noshing, hot canapés, small plates of veggies and fruit and an open bar. Now can you understand why I seldom left the hotel? The same room, with its afternoon happy hour, was also where we enjoyed breakfast from a selection of hot eggs and cereals, charcuterie, smoked fish, fresh fruit, pastries and breads. It too had an outdoor dining area, which we meant to try, but somehow never found the time.

 

To sleep or relax

 

And, I regret to confess, the hotel includes a full time spa, which I did not experience. Nor did I squeeze in a trip on the hotel’s water taxi service. We shall have to return for an excursion through the harbor, The final evening, pulling ourselves away from the temptations of a bountiful happy hour, quiet and serene unlike the crowd festivities at nearby salons, we went back to Aragosta to dine on a plateau of oysters from both coasts, followed by a perfectly prepared Black Angus Rib Eye, accompanied by truffled fries, roast Brussels sprouts and a sampling of mushrooms for one of us, and a simply done cut of fresh halibut for the other. We shared, of course, making our own equivalent of surf and turf. And there was a memorable clam chowder, creamy, but not flour thickened, packed with clams. Aragosta is a restaurant with a limited menu, putting out solid seafood and meats with no pretension toward the extremes of haute cuisine. Things, however, are bit more haute at brunch, where we had our getaway feast on final day. There were three variations on cereal, muesli, granola and oats, much fruit and all sorts of eggs benedict clones as well as an array of cheeses, meats and veggies to be incorporated in design-it yourself omelets. As I said earlier, it was hard to tear ourselves away from the hotel. I could have stayed all day in our junior suite overlooking the bay. Our room came equipped with a DVD player and complimentary DVD library as part of a state of the art entertainment system, and our windows, unlike the arrangement in many hotels, could be opened to harbor breezes. Bedding was European top drawer style, duvets, silken sheets and pillow top mattresses. This was royal treatment and as the Mel Brooks character, the 1,000 year-old man, famously said, it’s nice to be king.

Batterywharfhotelboston website

 

  

Lobster-the best

Photos: Courtesy of Battery Wharf Hotel, Boston Waterfront

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