By Richard Campbell
It’s a little tough to find reasonable restaurants in the Seaport that are more sophisticated than glorified junk food and more accessible than pricy establishments. District Hall’s Restaurant, Gather, isn’t exactly a bargain, but for tasteful dinner and lunch, it represents a reasonable compromise. Starting with the small, but resourceful wine list, you can find a reasonable Pinot Grigio from Anterra, Italy, or a solid Chardonnay from Sonoma in the whites, to a moderate California Merlot or Cabernet in the reds. The price of admission for the few French wines isn’t extraordinary in most cases, and unlike some places in the Seaport they give you a decent sized glass. The beers on tap represent a small but original selection of crafts and regular American beers, and the friendly bartenders offer advice on how to match them with food.
The three buck oysters are fresh and come with some tangy wasabi, sriracha, and lemon cocktail sauces. I also had the clam chowder which passed muster easily- though perhaps for people who don’t want smoky in their chowder-they might go for the French Onion soup. Twenty-nine dollars for a Lobster roll seems a bit egregious, even in the Seaport district. The pretty grilled salmon with baby carrots, portabella mushrooms, and potato salad is not as much of a stretch at $24.00, but like most of the dinner entrees, unique enough to be worthy of sampling at least once. The grilled Salmon burger at $16.00 for lunch is a better bet. A fancy smoked cheddar grilled cheese sandwich with fries at $14.00 is slightly overpriced but looked quite tasty. All of their salads are fairly reasonable flavor filled options, and you can add chicken, salmon, shrimp, or lobster to the mix.
They have a good mixture of light and heavy components on the menu, but for a high tech setting they miss the boat by not having a take-out tech box lunch at a special catered price. I want to try Waffle Sunday, where you make your own waffle from fresh ingredients. It seems like a clever idea and a fun thing to do if you are in the Seaport for an event with kids. There was not much in the way of innovative desserts, but some of the comfort sides are nice to go with their sweet cocktails. This is a slightly upscale casual dining experience for business people who don’t blink at twenty dollar lunches or thirty dollar dinners. The fun part about this space is the small and friendly bar where you can sidle up for a meal with graciously unpretentious service, and grab a bite before doing business in the Seaport. Conveniently located in District Hall at 75 Northern Avenue, for more information see: http://www.gatherboston.com/