Enjoy bountiful beauty and indulge in the simplicity of a place that serves up the best food New England has to offer. With breathtaking views of Boston Harbor, it’s easy to get lost in the splendor of the mouthwatering dishes that sail out of Sam’s.
By Karina Alexander — Photographed by Jazz Martin
Tucked away by the ICA and located atop Louis Boston sits Sam’s at Louis. The restaurant itself is sleek and modern with floor to ceiling windows that are perfect for taking in the gorgeous views of the water and skyline. When the weather is pleasant, the expansive deck is flecked with chattering diners, enjoying beautifully created dishes that complement the picturesque view of Boston.
Sam’s is the modern lovechild of co-owners Esti and Drew Parsons. After helping to open and manage Rialto and Radius, Esti took her talents to create the contemporary and upscale restaurant on the waterfront. With Esti managing the food, rockstar husband Drew promoting and organizing events, and brother John managing the front of house and beverage program, Sam’s is a Boston establishment that should be in a league of its own.
While Esti and Drew have managed to make the stylish eating establishment a perfect spot for drinks and dinner, it is the menu and work of Chef Asia Mei that truly steals the show. With experience at Hamersley’s Bistro, Whole Foods, and the Franklin Southie, Mei utilizes fresh, local, and organic ingredients to create her own twist on “east and west coastal style cooking”. Chef Mei’s menu utilizes local ingredients from suppliers such as Eva’s Organic in Dartmouth and Blue Heron in Lincoln. Her playful twist on fresh fare is the reason this restaurant has become such a hotspot.
A portion of Mei’s menu focuses on cocktail snacks such as spicy mixed nuts, crispy fried zucchini strips with cotija cheese and lime ranch aioli, and shoestring french fries with fresh herbs so perfectly fried that it is hard to resist a second plate. Fresh oysters from Island Creek, chilled lobster, and fresh clams perfectly round out the small plates. These snacks compliment the expansive cocktail list which feature whimsical creations including a scorpion bowl made with vodka, gin, plum wine, and pineapple.
While the bar serves up a variety of liquors and libations there are also several cans and bottles of beer available. For wine drinkers, the list includes 15 red wines and 15 white wines that rotate on occasion. Sam’s is the only restaurant in the Boston area to serve Domain du Chateu de Pierreclos Macon Pierreclos, a French Chardonnay that is sure to please even the pickiest of wine connoisseurs.
With Chardonnay in our glasses, the first course is served. A dish of grilled asparagus with spicy roasted tomatoes, white bean puree, and a balsamic drizzle is presented and the purple edible flowers from Eva’s Organics that garnish the dish make it almost too pretty to tuck in to. The asparagus are cooked to perfection and the balsamic glaze adds just the right amount of acidity to the dish. Baked halloumi shines in this course with its chewy texture and right amount of seasoning. The charred green garlic, apricots, and toasted pine nuts add just the right amount of balance and flavor to the mild cheese.
The spiced halibut dish is the center of attention during the main course. The fish is flakey and offsets the chewy Israeli couscous that accompanies it. The fennel and saffron butter are a subtle complement and the roasted radishes add a nice burst of flavor. The grilled sirloin with arugula and sorrel-shallot aioli is a superb choice for something hearty but not too filling. For those who love peppercorns, the black peppercorn burger with Vermont cheddar and those delectable shoestring fries is the perfect option. Vegetarians should rejoice because the chickpea falafel with curried cashews, jalapeño harissa, and cumin crema is light, filling, and has just the right amount of spice from the jalapeños.
The atmosphere during dinner is relaxed and casual. Servers are laid- back, friendly, and eager to recommend their favorite dishes to those who can’t choose between entrees- or desserts.
The Pavlova Isle Flotante with meringue, chilled berry soup, and chantilly is the perfect ending to a filling meal. The berry soup is refreshing while the meringue and chantilly cream add to the decadence of the dish. For traditionalists, the Muddy Buddy Sundae is classic vanilla ice cream with salted caramel sauce and a hit of texture from the nutella popcorn.
Sam’s at Louis is an unpretentious restaurant with food as good, if not better, as the scenic view. With a drink in hand, good company, and a light breeze, Sam’s has turned into a Boston hangout that will quickly become a local favorite.