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Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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so many meals... so little time You're sure to run into people you know while dining at The Pearl. The Pearl's yellowfin tuna with crisp Gyoza skin, wasabi, tobiko, and crème fraîche Savory ssam at The Pearl continued from page 68 brimming with chunky, sweet meat in a lemony-chive aioli and served with garlic fries. This time I choose the roasted red and golden beet salad with goat cheese and pista- chios, thus giving me an excuse to sink my spoon into that warm fig and brioche bread pudding with smoked bacon maple ice cream. Robert Downey Jr. Happily, Dune sits in the middle of the shopping district. After a few stops, we need a bite to tide us over until dinner at Angela and Seth Raynor's 12 Federal Street. We pause for a French raspberry macaron at Petticoat Row bakery, then pick up a few extras, anticipating the need for a late-night nosh. AFTeR A quIck Snooze in the sun and freshening up, we're ready to hit the town for dinner, where reservations are an absolute must—at least a week in advance—if you want to dine well. At 12 Federal we have two choices. First is the unparalleled elegance of The Pearl on the upper level with its white tablecloth dining and a menu that's 95 percent Asian and 75 percent fish. This year the raw seafood options have expanded to include much more crudo, ceviche, and sashimi. There is a Southeast Asian BBq section with korean flame-licked beef, Vietnamese sizzled pork, and Thai grilled chicken, as well as more ssam plates (ssam means "wrapped" in korean), including lobster tail tem- pura with Singapore black pepper sauce and avocado to wrap in Bibb lettuce leaves. or we can choose the casual dining experience under the same roof, downstairs at the Boarding House, which has a new chef, new menu, and new look. Burnished copper walls and a variety of cozy nooks, including the "jewel box," offer intimate spots to enjoy chef Steven Marcaurelle's modern comfort food twists on farm-to-table cuisine. To wit, 70 instead of finding niçoise salad on the dinner menu, you'll find yellowfin tuna crudo bound with a tapenade of oven-roasted tomatoes and dehydrated olives served with gaufrette potatoes and a pickled green bean vinaigrette. We opt for The Pearl, and are happy with our choice when tables of our friends are seated nearby. After din- ner we all convene at the bar. on the way home, we get texts from friends that the party now has moved to the patio at Lola, so we head there, already savoring the vodka and Thai chile-lime cocktail, excuse Me Mr. Hot Pants (named for the bartender affectionately called Hot Pants). And, well, you know the rest. We probably saw you the next morning, making brunch at the White elephant last through the afternoon. BC grand cru High design meets high society at one of Nantucket's newest restaurants. The hottest—and haute-ist—new dining on Nantucket is Cru Oyster Bar at the end of Straight Wharf. Some already have dubbed it Galley East for its glitterati scene. With several investors including Tad Lee and Tyler Hardy, and owners Jane Stoddard, Carlos Hidalgo, and Erin Zircher (who cut their teeth at the Boarding House and The Pearl), Cru makes its mark not only with an extensive raw bar and top wine program, but also through a stunning interior by Gauthier Stacy. Options for fine dining include fireside tables, a high-top communal table, and two bar areas—French doors in the back bar open onto a dock to the Harbor. The restaurant is open from 11 am to 11 pm daily, with weekend brunch; the bar closes at 1 am. Try the herbed fries with rosemary and sage for a late-night treat. 1 Straight Wharf, 508-228-9278; The back bar at Cru opens onto the harbor. pHotograpHy by sam gray pHotograpHy, courtesy of gautHier stacy (cru); Lisa frey, NaNtucket eveNt media (pearL); gregg deguire/picturegroup (dowNey Jr.)

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