Belle Isle Seafood
We’re in Winthrop, Massachusetts because when you want great New England seafood flavor with a view of the Boston skyline and the ocean and tremendous value, Belle Isle is the place to do it.
This is where real Bostonians come to eat because it’s no frills. It’s not fancy. It’s just a fun place to get some absolutely pristine seafood.
I love to take visitors to Boston because it’s just so much fun, the view of the skyline is just unparalleled. It’s got picnic benches, a fun bar, a giant shark on the wall and the food is irresistible.
This is a family owned and operated place that has really grown over the years. All thanks to owner Jim Costin.
“It all it started as a shack back in, actually, the early 70s. They actually took it over our tugboat… We moved about 500 feet from the East Boston side of the bridge to the Winthrop side of the bridge to what used to be the old Ed Mirek building. This was a car dealership It’s basically tradition. Same old traditional fried clams, fried fish…I haven’t changed anything my motto should be ‘it is what it is.’ I don’t hide any flavors with sauces or anything like that. The fish of flavor you get this from the fish.”
Lobster rolls are the number one attraction at Belle Isle and it is easy to see why these things are big and they are really good.”
When this lobster roll arrives, there’s so much lobster in it you say ‘where’s the bun’? If MIT had a tenured professor of lobster rolls, I wouldn’t be on the faculty and I’m telling you no one puts this much lobster in a lobster roll.
Like any good lobster roll, all it takes is some really good fresh shucked lobster. They have claw meat and knuckle meat. That’s what you find and 95% of lobster rolls. Here at Belle Isle. They go the extra step you can actually get lobster tails inside of your lobster roll. Almost nobody does that. They specialize in the traditional Maine style lobster roll which has served cold lobster salad with a little bit of mayo. They do not serve a hot buttered lobster roll here. They just refuse to do it.
If you’re craving a hot lobster roll I’m sorry you’re out of luck. I would direct your attention to this- the lobster pie.
All it takes is fresh shocked lobster meat, lots of butter and some bread crumbs. Saute that baby up, bake it up until it’s a little bit crispy… Sweet, succulent… some of the world’s finest lobster pie.
The lazy man’s lobster, lobster pie, I think is the way to go. There is tons and tons of lobster in it, you’ve got your bread crumbs, and all that butter really brings out the flavor of the lobster.
Boston is famous for its fried seafood and really nobody does it better than they do right here at Belle Isle.
If you’re gonna get one item at Belle Isle, I think this is it – the combo fried seafood platter, it’s got all your favorites.
“The fried combo consists of haddock, scallops, shrimp, and clams.. We have cole slaw, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, french fries, and it’s huge. It’s a 10 and a half inch plate more than covers the whole thing.”
So inside the combo platter you have everything you’d want to get started with the fried clam.
This is a full belly fried clams, they pull them right out of the waters a little bit north of here up in the Ipswich Essex area. As a famous Bostonian, one said give me whole belly clams or give me death. Of course you have to dip it in the homemade tartar sauce.
The standard combo platter comes with clams, shrimp, scallops, haddock, fries and onion rings or you can upgrade it and add in fried lobster. What’s the only way to make lobster better? Fry it and dip it in butter. Boston you’re my home.
I think the most underrated item on this menu is their Cajun swordfish. Jim has been going to the docks in Boston every day for 25 years so he knows who’s bringing in the absolute best catch.
We only use the A Grade swordfish. Our homemade Cajun blackened spice, sear that in a cast iron pan. Some people think it’s salty. Some people think it’s spicy. So we try to capture both.
The swordfish is top of the catch and all the Cajun seasoning does is enhance the natural flavor of the swordfish itself. Spectacular dish.
This is a stuffed clam, otherwise known as a stuffy around here and the beauty of this dish is all in the simplicity.
This has very limited ingredients, just clams, breadcrumbs, onions and garlic so you can really taste that clam flavor.
You can sit on the picnic benches inside or at the bar or at their outdoor tables… people say to me all the time ‘Where can I eat seafood with an ocean view’ I cannot name you a restaurant that has a better view of the Boston Skyline than Belle Isle.
The whole place is surrounded by boats and seagulls and airplanes. If you’re flying into Logan Airport, you can literally see this place from the plane. So as soon as you land and you get your bags, just hop in an Uber and say I want to go right there.
“You know, this is exactly the way they’ve been doing seafood for however many years they’ve been doing seafood. The portions are really big for what we do. Everything’s fresh every day… The portions are really great size and it’s a really great value for your money.”
For the quintessential New England seafood experience, I don’t think you can beat Belle Isle.