There is the thought in this country that hotel restaurants are only for hotel guests or that the food is not very good. Untrue! No way! The Hyatt Regency Cambridge on Memorial Drive is fighting those pre conceived notions of a hotel restaurant.
Every Friday the hotel offers the New England Seafood Market in their restaurant, Zephyr. Executive Chef Robert Daugherty was trying to think of a way to showcase the bounty of seafood that is available here in New England when the idea of a seafood buffet came to him. But to call it a seafood buffet was boring, so it was decided to call it a market? Sounds much more fun doesn’t it? You are going “shopping” for what you want to eat right then and there, but you don’t have to do any of the cooking or cleanup. You get to sit back, relax and enjoy your evening with an amazing view of the Charles River and the Boston skyline in the background.
As easy it would be to fill up on the crunchy and chewy pretzel bread that they first serve you, along with a spicy honey mustard dipping sauce….don’t, save room for the bounty of seafood in your future. Chef Robert and his team select the freshest ingredients with local being the first choice, of course. Each Friday night they offer a help yourself raw bar where the offerings range from oyster flights (it’s fun to see if you can taste a difference between the three), Old Bay Steamed Gulf Shrimp, Grilled Calamari Salad, Steamed Mussels with Coconut & Lemon Grass Broth (and to quote Zephyr serve Sonya “they are life changing!”), and of course the prerequisite New England Clam Chowder.
Then after you are filled up from the raw bar and are too full to eat anything else, you get to sit back and relax and let your server do the work for you for the rest of the evening. Your entrée that you forgot you ordered before your many trips to the raw bar will magically appear. The usual five entrees could change depending on what piques the interest of Chef Robert that week and what comes in at the Gloucester Day dock. On this particular day the choices ranged from Crab Stuffed Acadian Red Fish, Grilled Alaskan King Crab Legs (which were finger licking good with their smoky grilled flavor which you then dipped in melted butter), a beef and chicken option (just in case), and of course you have to have Steamed Maine Lobster (bib included).
By now you have no room for dessert, but you have to have one! The dessert menu is small but with a great variety, something for everyone. Whether you are the chocolate lover, the tart dessert lover or just want something light…..you will find it at Zephyr. How about a Lemon Tart with a Pomegranate Cream, or a Roasted Pear Tart infused with Honey Ginger Syrup? Want chocolate? The Decadent Flourless Cake with Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce or want something lighter, try the sorbet.
No matter what you order you will leave the Hyatt Regency Cambridge full, satisfied and very happy. You will not be shocked by the check when it arrives as the New England Seafood Market is only $43 a person. Throw in a locally made Fisherman’s Brew beer from Cape Ann Brewery and you still can’t beat the price. On top of this you get three hours of complimentary parking at the hotel. You don’t often get free parking in Boston!
Note: I was an invited guest of the Hyatt Regency Cambridge and thus did not have to pay for my dinner.