Legal Seafoods is the go-to place for fish in the Boston area, both for locals and for tourists looking for an authentic Boston dining experience. This is no clam shack, but an upscale outfit that's serious about its seafood. Don't come here if you're mostly interested in chicken or steak - although they have both. I'm always mystified by people who come to a place with "Seafood" in its name and complain that the menu is "limited" because it's all fish. D'oh!
But if you're looking for a great assortment of the local catch, you can generally find it here: cod, tuna, swordfish, oysters, lobster, etc., offered grilled or steamed with an array of sauces to pick from. The chefs also experiment with more exotic preparations for daily specials -- often nut crusts or Asian-influenced dishes. I had a terrific macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi recently, while one friend had the tuna (granted, cooked just a little too long) with broccoli rabe. Another big eater in the group had the scallops -- a portion so substantial that even she couldn't finish them -- while another happily downed the bluefish. All happy.
Salads were fresh, rolls were warm, service was attentive, the decor pleasant in a restaurant-in-a-shopping mall way.
But the thing that elevates this restaurant above its fishy peers is its wine list. Curated by Master of Wine Sandy Block, it offers an unusual selection of interesting wines at very reasonable prices. Last time we were there with friends (all local residents and long-time Legal lovers), we had a very nice valpolicella, but the real find was a terrific flanghina -- a crisp white Italian wine that thrives in volcanic soil --- in this case, the terroir of Pompeii. It was evidently one of our server's favorites, since she was eager to tell us its history and charms in great detail. Needless to say, we relished every drop. A happy change from our usual sauvignon blanc.