Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Boston, MA Edition: Legal on the Mystic

Legal at the MysticWhen Kaitlynn went to meet with her trainer, I was left to fend for myself in the Assembly Row area of Boston. So, my first thought was - where can I get myself a drink? Kaitlynn works out; I drink. It's just how things work.

Legal at the MysticI stumbled upon Legal on the Mystic. This location is one offset from the larger "Legal Sea Foods," which is a fish company in the restaurant business, according to its website.
Legal Sea Foods was born in 1950 when George Berkowitz opened a fish market in the Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He opened it adjacent to his father Harry’s grocery store Legal Cash Market where customers were given “Legal Stamps” (forerunners of S&H green stamps) with their purchases. It’s here that the “Legal” name became synonymous with quality and freshness. 
In 1968, the Berkowitz family opened its first seafood restaurant, right next to the fish market. The fish was simply prepared, either broiled or fried, and served on paper plates at communal picnic tables. Despite the low-key trappings, the food was second to none and word quickly spread. This early success led to further expansion and now, six decades later with restaurants along the Eastern Seaboard, the family philosophy endures: Legal Sea Foods is a fish company in the restaurant business. 
George's son, Roger, has been at the helm since 1992 and has expanded the business into new markets while maintaining the company's focus on its proud tradition and core values. So when we say, "If it isn't fresh, it isn't Legal!," we renew a commitment that has sustained us for over a half-century. 
It’s not a fish tale, but a tale of fish 60 years in the making…of a family-owned seafood market that spawned a restaurant company. View our restaurants’ placemat that details our history.
Legal at the MysticThere are a number of other Legal Sea Foods restaurants in the Boston area and beyond. Legal Sea Foods is definitely a ~thing~ in the area, so I was happy to finally try a little taste of this classic restaurant.
With a nod to the industrial past of the location, Legal on the Mystic was built to have a broad appeal and meld traditional with contemporary. The menu was assembled to provide a casual, social dining experience. The emphasis is on plates to share, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and tacos, but there are also options for those who prefer more classic Legal entrees.

Legal on the Mystic takes its design direction from the early industrial development that occurred at Assembly Square. By using materials such as steel pipes, metal mesh, steel, concrete and brick, the space takes on an industrial feel reminiscent of the history. The expo kitchen serves as a backdrop to the restaurant, while the bar is the focus. Large garage doors allow for open air dining and entry to a riverside patio that’s topped by a 20’ tulip umbrella.
Legal at the MysticI pulled up a seat at the bar and saw another guy drinking a Bloody Mary. That sounded perfect for a random weekday drink. A Bloody Mary has a bunch of random ingredients - but mainly tomato juice and vodka - but can contain Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, piri piri sauce, beef consommé or bouillon, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and/or celery salt (Wikipedia).
  • Bon Appétit magazine touts a meal at Legal Sea Foods as among America's "Top Ten Tried-and-True" dining experiences. 
  • Legal is also included in Patricia Schultz's popular guidebook, "1,000 Places to See Before You Die."
  • Best Seafood Restaurant, USA Today, 2013
  • Boston's Most Popular Restaurant, Zagat, every year since 2003
  • Most Admired Restaurant, Boston Business Journal, 2013 and 2012
  • Best Classy Restaurant for Kids in Philly, Philadelphia Magazine, 2013
  • Best New Restaurants, Legal Harborside, Esquire magazine, 2011
  • Listed in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List, Patricia Schultz
  • Legal Sea Foods clam chowder served at every presidential inauguration since 1981 (Wikipedia)
Legal at the MysticI can tell you that this one contained celery and definitely some horseradish. It was quite spicy, but I was very into it. Especially because I ordered some snacks to go with it.

Legal at the MysticOysters seem to be another ~thing~ here. I ordered a "Big Rock," "Merry" and "Wianno" oyster. One of each. I have no clue which is which, but I can tell you there was one that was far cleaner and sweeter than the others. I can see why people who may have only had one kind of oyster thing they may not like them because they can vary so greatly.

Legal at the MysticSo, I can tell you a Bloody Mary goes very well with a few oysters. That little heat and tomato flavor is a nice fit. Both the cocktail and the food were quite food. I know this place sometimes get a reputation for being overrated, but you can't go wrong with a good Bloody Mary and a handful of oysters.

Legal at the MysticWell, I really enjoyed this restaurant. I loved the vibe; it was calm inside, but nice to see the hustle and bustle outside as I people watched. The bartender talked me up - which I didn't hate. Overall, nice place to spend some time.


Grade: B
Legal on the Mystic Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato