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BWW Reviews: Historic Boston, a City for All Seasons

Related: Boston, Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, Mandarin Oriental, Frost Bar, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Aragosta Bar and Bistro, Piattini
BWW Reviews: Historic Boston, a City for All Seasons
Lobster bisque at Aragosta

Local farm-raised ingredients are used in each dish and we sampled delicious Wellfleet oysters, lobster bisque, lobster sliders, scrumptious scallops, watermelon radish and a delightfully refreshing iced tea made of ingredients grown in Hawaii. Our server, Loredana, made certain everything was to our satisfaction. It was.

After lunch, we thought about going to the JFK Presidential Library and Museum or the Museum of Science or the Old State House. Maybe a sight-seeing tour, or a jaunt to Cambridge. But we opted for a stroll to Faneuil Hall, America's first open marketplace and the site of international buskers, light shows and great little shops to discover. We wended our way into a most unusual place for a drink: the Frost Ice Bar. Maybe having a drink in a bar made of ice doesn't appeal to you in the heart of winter. But this is a place not to be missed.

Frost Bar
Swan boat, Frost Bar-style

New England's only indoor ice bar is a year-round multi-sensory experience where you can imbibe delicious cocktails served in glasses made of ice while sitting atop an ice swan (like the swan boats, get it?). After you stow your gear, you'll be outfitted in a purplish poncho with a fringed hoodie. Stretchy, knitted gloves are part of the ensemble (they don't keep you warm, though) and the atmosphere is simply over-the-top and fun. It's not a huge space, but the temperature is a chilly 21 degrees Fahrenheit, so you'll want to move around and take pictures of one another looking goofy and having fun. One drink will probably be enough and it will feel positively balmy once you get back outdoors, even in winter.

Of course we were hungry again and eager to discover an Italian restaurant close to the Mandarin Oriental. A quick check of Yelp produced an excellent result: Piattini, meaning small plates. This is a keeper restaurant: a comfortable room with an energetic vibe where each dish outshone the one before.

Spinach fettuccine was delicious, as was fusilli with mushrooms. Small plates of lobster ravioli, eggplant with smoked mozzarella and two kinds of calamari satisfied all. Arms and forks crossed around the table as five of us sampled everything. We walked away with doggy bags of leftovers that didn't make it to the next day. And we added our own rave on Yelp-this is a must for those who appreciate deliciousness.

The next day we ventured to the Museum of Fine Art, where a spectacular exhibit of John Singer Sargent's watercolors was on display. This is a stunning exhibit (through January 20) and we were able to enjoy it without crowds. If you miss it, not to worry, the permanent exhibit has plenty of notables year-round.

Boston's official website for visitors will answer any questions you may have about details of attractions, accommodations, restaurants and seasonal events. As long as you avoid the teeming collegiate crowds, you're sure to have a wonderful time.

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Naomi Serviss Naomi Serviss is an entertainment/spa writer whose roots include covering Broadway. She has written for Newsday, The New York Daily News, The New York Times and numerous magazines and websites.



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