Getting to Logan Airport is rarely fun and seldom easy. But before heading off on a trip to the Caribbean in early November, we found a little bit of both, and got a great meal in the bargain at a new, old restaurant.
Facing a ridiculously early flight, we opted to stay the night before at the Hyatt Place on Forbes Road in Braintree, a relatively new hotel opening in a complex of upscale places, including Joseph A. Bank and Starbucks. For less than $130, we got a decent room in the shiny new hotel, ample space with a king bed, giant HD TV, glassed-in shower, higher-end digs for a reasonable price. From there, we'd drive a quarter mile to Logan Express, to catch the 3:30 a.m. bus.
We walked over to the Legal Seafood in the same building as the Hyatt, and found out it had just opened four days earlier, the latest branch of the Boston-bred restaurant empire that started in 1968. It will replace the older Legal next door, which is still in use through the holidays, slated to close Jan. 31.
The new Legal is a smashing place, long, wide open, bright and airy, with huge rectangular stainless steel bar mercifully fronted with leather armrests so your forearms aren't assaulted by cold steel. There is also an oyster bar, and food bar, along the exposed kitchen. In summer, giant sliders will open to allow deck dining. In all, the place seats 220.
The staff was first rate, start to finish, and when our wait staffer, Erica, wasn't at our table tending to our needs, other servers stepped in. Legal Seafood fare is always good, and I was very pleased to find out, very friendly to people like me with celiac disease, with a pretty extensive gluten-free menu. Restaurant manager Emily Duranleau told me Legal was on the cutting edge of offering gluten-free options long before many other places were.
It is rare for a restaurant to offer gluten-free fried food, e.g. clams, chicken, fish, but here they do courtesy of using brown rice flour and cornmeal. Also rare is getting gluten-free bread in restaurants, but here they have pretty good dinner rolls, flavored by garlic and onion, that rival regular bread anywhere else. We didn't eat heavy, going with a chicken caesar salad, and the “vegetarian box,” with sesame soy stir-fried veggies, Thai red coconut curry sauce, cashews and shrimp. Dessert was a chocolate mouse, rich and grainy, with velvety chocolate at its core, which we feared would keep us up past our 2:30 a.m. wake-up call. Luckily, it did not.
So far, so good, and it got better. The Logan Express trip has gotten cheaper in recent years, including chopping the daily parking rate to $7 from $11, and offering a 10-pack of commuter tickets for $75, saving $35 off the regular price, a boon to frequent fliers like myself. At 3:30, the bus was jammed with mostly airport workers, looking like they'd rather be anywhere else. We tourists stuck out, by our casual attire and the smiles on our faces, heading into a day that would bring snow to Boston but us to a sunny place in the Caribbean.
Trips to the airport are rarely fun and seldom easy, but combining a stay at the Hyatt, dinner at the new Legal Seafood and a seamless ride on Logan Express, it sure came close.