Dining Out in Boston: A Culinary History is a comprehensive historical overview of the development of Boston’s restaurants. Dining Out in Boston explains how the city was a pioneer in elaborate hotel dining, oyster houses, French cuisine, ostentatious banquets, ice cream parlors, ethnic cooking, the colonial revival of traditional New England dishes, the “gourmet revolution,” student hangouts, and contemporary locavore and trendy foodie culture.
Dining Out in Boston uses an extensive array of historic menus and photos to reveal the rich and hitherto unexplored story of both Boston’s lost and contemporary restaurants. The book appraises the food served at such historic restaurants as Julien’s Restorator (the city’s first restaurant), the Parker House, Durgin-Park, Union Oyster House, Locke-Ober, Café Marliave, Jacob Wirth, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Anthony’s Pier 4, Dini’s Sea Grill, Maison Robert, Bailey’s Ice Cream Shop, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, and many long-forgotten eateries. The book closes with an appraisal of 21st-century restaurants.
Jim O’Connell is an urban historian and a planner for the Boston Regional Office of the National Park Service. He has written six books and many articles on planning and New England history. His books include Dining Out in Boston: A Culinary History, The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth, and Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort. He teaches in the City Planning-Urban Affairs Program at Boston University.