2. Pescador
Kenmore Square

The seafood revolution in Kenmore Square continues. The newest entry from Blue Ribbon Restaurants celebrates the sea’s bounty in all its glory in a ship-sized 195-seat dining room that includes a 30-seat cocktail bar and separate ceviche bar. The menu takes all your favorite seafood dishes from around the world and features them on one menu. Crudo and seafood cocktails share space with lobster tacos, wood fire-grilled Spanish octopus, and a huge seafood paella; while the flavors are globally inspired, the catches themselves are mostly regional. When it comes to drinks, tequila and mezcal are front and center: More than 70 bottles are on offer, all told, which can be enjoyed by themselves or in margaritas and palomas.

3. Matsunori Handroll Bar
Audubon Circle

You might say we don’t need another sushi spot, but you know what’s missing? A place entirely devoted to hand rolls (aka tamaki). Enter Matsunori. The hand rolled pieces at this sushi bar but New England seafood front and center with slices of spicy tuna or miso cod placed atop a piece of nori and sushi rice and then topped with a final drizzle of something special. If you’re feeling indulgent, you can also sample the wagyu beef rolls—co-owner Kevin Liu actually owns a wagyu farm in Miyazaki, Japan, which keeps prices in an affordable range.

4. Island Creek Oyster Raw Bar

Remember all those amazing summer afternoons slurping oysters outdoors while staring out over Duxbury Bay? Island Creek is now providing that experience year-round. Its new rustic, wood-paneled space, decorated with maritime ephemera, brings the bivalve party indoors, with the views and carefree experience still intact. Raw oysters and clams are available, of course, but you’ll also find tinned fish served with bread and butter, caviar, clam chowder, and smoked bluefish pate. And in keeping with summertime tradition, there are also canned beers and cocktails aplenty, along with wines by the glass.

5. Mei Mei Dumpling

The best dumplings in town now have a new mother ship to call home. Inside Irene Li’s 4,000-square-foot cafe and factory—the latest addition to Southie’s Iron Works empire—diners can sit at one of the long communal tables and stare right into the glass-walled kitchen to watch the dumpling assembly line in action. You can once more get your fix of lemongrass pork or five spice tofu dumplings, plus the aptly named Double Awesome egg and scallion pancake sandwich. And this time around you can chase your spread with beer, wine, or cocktails. Feeling inspired? You can also now take in-house cooking classes—public or private—to better your own home dumpling skills.

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