For a while now, my husband and I have been looking forward to trying some of the restaurants in Boston’s Seaport area. Rewind to when we first started dating, Seaport was undeveloped, with an open lot next to the ICA, and we hadn’t been there since 2011 or 2012. To say we’ve been living under a rock for the past several years would be an understatement. But in between grad school (read grad school salary) and busting ass trying to pay off student loans and a rigmarole of other life events, cut us some slack. Anyway, the point is we went to see a movie at the ICON theater and were wowed by how much Seaport has changed and decided we needed to go there more often.
Gather, located in District Hall, was the first Seaport restaurant on my list (Tuscan Kitchen is also on there because someone on Instagram did request I review it – I haven’t forgotten). I had heard about Gather on Instagram from I forget which blogger, and looking at the menu, it seemed reasonably priced with food options we would like.
When we arrived, we first noticed that the inside was actually on the small side side, which makes sense given that it is inside an open workspace. District Hall very much reminds me of the inside of the Stata Center on MIT’s campus, buzzling with engineers vying to build the next best startup. But one thing the Stata Center didn’t have and District Hall does is a full service restaurant, which makes Gather pretty unique. But Gather’s uniqueness kinda stops there.
There was really no need to make a reservation as very few of the sit-down tables were taken, although the bar was full. Judging by the sign outside that said late-night bites, I suspect Gather wants night owl customers. We sat at a window table, even though it was raining because I wanted to see the view. On a non-rainy night or summer day, the view would have been pretty good. We didn’t realize that a lot of people go there late at night to eat. I guess that means my husband and I are relatively old. Oh well.
To drink, my husband ordered a glass of wine, and I ordered the El Jakiel Margarita. As you can see below, it has cranberry simple syrup. As a margarita girl, this one was a little disappointing. Not as strong as many margarita’s I’ve had before and judging by the photo on Gather’s website and Instagram, it was not served as reddish-pink as it was supposed to be. It was also missing the lime. Every good margarita has a lime.
This is what I was supposed to get:
My husband and I were both fairly hungry so we decided to order an appetizer. I tried to convince him to try the polenta fries, but they were deemed “too naughty” and I had to settle for the garlic wings:
The garlic sauce was good, don’t get me wrong, but there wasn’t anything overly special about it. It did pair well with the ranch dipping sauce. I did like that the wings were about 20% larger than you would normally get, which meant meatier wings. They were more filling than I was expecting.
For entrees, I ordered the gnocchi bolognese. Those gnocchi were slightly bigger than an inch on average. The bolognese sauce was quite meaty. Overall, it was good and filling, but I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t make something similar at home. In other words, it was good but not particularly memorable.
My husband ordered the clam and shrimp pasta. The sauce was a very light and buttery white wine sauce. Along with the clams and shrimp were chunks of bacon. My husband is somewhat picky and doesn’t like bacon with fat on it, so only some of the bacon got eaten. He said the pasta was light and fresh but was not on the order of North End quality.
We ended up not getting dessert since we were both stuffed at that point and none of the desserts sounded appealing. I personally would have gone for the fried dough, but he was too full.
Key Takeaways: Gather fits it’s purpose as a place to get food late or if you want a non-fast food meal after working in Seaport. The food is good, but there are a lot of places that offer similar menu items at similar quality. In other words, I probably won’t be going out of my way to go there. If you are in the Seaport area, the food will satisfy your tastebuds, but the drinks are hit or miss.