In the two plus years that I have lived in Chelsea, I have been to a decent number of local restaurants.  The communities of Chelsea and East Boston are more so known for small hole-in-the-wall spots notably with a Mexican flair to the menu, bright lights and decor that is more of an afterthought.  That being said, I was pleased to discover ‘Ecco Boston’, a vibrant lounge bar in East Boston.

My first visit was earlier this year with a group of friends for cocktails.  The group of us sat in a corner booth area where the walls are from the original restaurant, Sablones where stars such as Ted Williams and Bobby Orr have left their imprint.  We enjoyed ordering from their eclectic drink menu and had the bartender making us quite the assortment.  It was too hard to pick just one cocktail!

Fast forward  to a much more recent visit that was a bit more of a date night.  The dim lighting, stylish decor and trendy background music certainly helps set the mood.  We both tend to enjoy a nice manhattan, so a traditional Makers Mark manhattan, and their ‘Manhattan South’ were ordered to quench our thirst.  If you don’t like your beverages very sweet, I would stay away from the ‘South’ and stick with the traditional!

Fortunately, my partner in crime for the night is just as big a foodie as myself so we ordered a delightful array of bites to treat our tastebuds and asked our bartender to deliver it as they were ready.  The first thing to be delivered was their bread which was presented in a small cigar box.  In a glance down the bar, I saw a variety of cigar boxes in front of each guest.  Kudos for finding something more creative than a traditional bread basket!  Okay, now to the good stuff…

Our first real bite was a ‘Braised Pork Belly’ which just melted in our mouths.  Then an order of their calamari arrived which was cooked perfectly and drizzled with a lime & chili balsamic glaze.  Definitely a different mix of flavors than I’m used to on calamari.  It was tasty, as long as you didn’t get a bite that had soaked up too much of the glaze.  The true star of our “impromptu tapas-style dinner” was the ‘P.E.I. Steamed Mussels’.  These succulent morsels were cooked in a broth of garlic, leeks and white wine.  Normally I can take or leave mussels but these were cooked to perfection!

We rounded out our dinner with their ‘8oz Grass Fed Beef Burger’ which was served with truffle fries.  Each bite was delicious, and made that much better when we realized that those truffle fries were even more scrumptious when dipped in the remaining broth from our mussels!

This is definitely one of my favorite local spots!  I know that I am looking forward to another trip so I can sample another section  of the menu, oh yeah, and another order of those mussels!

Ecco Boston
107 Porter St
East Boston, MA 02128
617-561-1112
www.eccoboston.com

 

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