Set sail for Melrose, where chef Eric Greenspan has created a garden party–like seafood oasis, Maré, behind Greenspan's Grilled Cheese (you actually have to walk through the grilled cheese shop and into its office to find Maré's unmarked door). The chef isn't known for restraint, and he goes big with his bread course. Greenspan brushes par-baked La Brea Bakery baguettes with egg wash before lining their tops with a “Coastal European everything bagel” spice mix: sesame, poppy, fennel and coriander seeds, plus smoked Maldon sea salt. Seeds from warm loaves soon spill onto butcher paper. Greenspan joked, “I get to walk past and watch people pick at it like pigeons.” Bread comes with garlic-and-oregano-infused olive oil and seasonal accompaniments that Greenspan calls “marketplace.” That could mean pickled heirloom lipstick peppers, olives, pistachios and spiced kumquats. Request more complimentary bread to soak up seafood broth, possibly black mussels in pistou or shrimp in leek and white wine. Extra marketplace costs $4, which is cheap for such colorful fun.
Credit: Josh Lurie