Super Bowl champion Tom Brady took to the field at iconic Fenway Park today to throw the first pitch at the Red Sox home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The park debuted $10 million in offseason upgrades that included a new video board in place of the neon Cumberland Farms sign over right field, an outfield tavern that offers charging stations, and four day-of-game suites. For those of you looking for something a bit more gourmet than a Fenway Frank, the ballpark now sells lobster poutine, surf-and-turf kebabs, and Korean fried pork belly sandwiches. If those don’t tickle your fancy, the surrounding Fenway neighborhood has become a go-to destination for local gourmets. Herewith, a few of our favorite spots to nosh:
· Tiger Mama (1363 Boylston St., tigermamaboston.com): Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison’s Southeast Asian-inspired outpost is the opposite end of the food spectrum as her BBQ restaurant (located on the opposite end of the building Tiger Mama occupies). Order a round of tiki cocktails to pass time while you pore over the extensive menu of small plates (be sure to get the spicy okra). Fret not: lazy Susans in the middle of each table make sharing conducive—not that you’ll want to split any of your delicious bites with a friend.
· Hojoko (1271 Boylston St., hojokoboston.com): The Fenway stretch of Boylston has become a de facto restaurant row. This trendy eatery offers Japanese small plates in a punk rock setting. Sushi and ramen are popular menu items, but save room for cocktails and sake: mixologists sling expertly crafted beverages to accompany their tastes of the East—both of which are a home run.
· Island Creek Oysters (500 Commonwealth Ave., islandcreekoysterbar.com): Sleek seafood dishes and limited reservations are the norm in this Kenmore Square hotpot. Its chic dining room is usually filled with those looking for oysters from the raw bar, but don’t skip out on lobster rolls and chowder—both get top billing by the city’s restaurant critics.
· Tasty Burger (1301 Boylston St., Boston, tastyburger.com): Boston’s upscale answer to In ‘N Out, Tasty Burger was born in the shadows of Fenway Park. The Big Tasty is a big, simple favorite among locals looking for an easy cheeseburger. Add on a 50/50 to the side to enjoy friend and onion rings with your friends—it’s large enough to feed four.