With degrees from the Culinary Institute of America and Cornell’s School of Hotel Management, Seaport’s Laura Hooton knows a thing or two about hospitality and foodie culture. Her career has taken her to such locales as Singapore, Seattle, and Lake Louise in Canada before arriving in Boston. Her time in restaurants along the way has made her discerning in picking the city’s best kitchens. She tells us she’s an avid runner so she can enjoy her favorite menus guilt-free. After our chat, we feel like we’re going to have to lace up our running shoes and sprint to all her hotspots! Herewith, Laura’s best Boston bites:
• The Sinclair (52 Church Street, Cambridge, sinclaircambridge.com): If you’re looking for your meal served with a side of live music, look no further than the Sinclair in Harvard Square. Beyond emo nights, indie acts, and rock ‘n roll, the Sinclair is most popular for its weekend brunch. The waffle flight is a carb lineup like no other while the breakfast tacos are the ideal south of the border treat. The rooftop patio, a DIY mimosa station, and one of the best Blood Marys on either side of the river make this a brunch that can’t be beat!
• PARK Restaurant & Bar (59 JFK Street, Cambridge, parkcambridge.com): You’ll feel right at home in the rustic living room setting of PARK—just leave the cooking and cocktails up to the highly innovative staff! Chilaquiles for brunch, meat pies of the day, and a kitchen open ‘til late keep this hangout buzzing ‘round the clock. An exhaustive spirits menu beckons you to hole up on one of the sleek leather couches to sample and socialize.
• South End Buttery (314 Shawmut Ave, Boston, southendbuttery.com): Whether you’re in need of an espresso to start your day or retreating to the cozy downstairs dining room for a late dinner, the Buttery is a neighborhood gem no matter the time of day. This South End staple features a delicious spread of sandwiches and baked goods in the café while the adjoining market features a lineup of prepared foods and pastries to take home.
• Rami’s (324 Harvard Street, Brookline, ramisboston.com): While Coolidge Corner in Brookline is known for its quaint shops and boutiques, Rami’s could be reason enough to hop on a Green Line train for a visit. The affordable Kosher fare is a neighborhood favorite with guests fawning over the shawarma, falafel, and quick service. Perfect for a bite before a show at the Coolidge Corner Theatre or signing at the nearby Brookline Booksmith, Rami’s is a Mediterranean must.
• The Beehive (541 Tremont Street, Boston, beehiveboston.com): Sway to live music while feasting on “Fall-Off-the-Bone” Baby Back Ribs in this subterranean South End lair. Named one of the “Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World” by Downbeat magazine, the Sinclair also features a jazz brunch as well as nightly live acts that range from blues and R&B to cabaret and burlesque. Come for the comfort food, stay for the cocktails, and embody everything cool.
photo courtesy of PARK Restaurant & Bar