Melissa Scherer started her blog Boston Date Night Guide out of a love of discovering new restaurants in her neighborhood, and she’s been inspiring couples, families and friends to go out and explore their city ever since. From romantic date ideas to the best places to go on a girl’s night out, she’s your gal if you’re on the lookout for fun, new places to go in Boston. She took a break from scouting out new restaurants to chat about her must-try quintessential Boston dishes, her favorite Boston foodie accounts and the importance of farm-to-table dining.
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
I am a lifelong resident of Massachusetts. Boston and the surrounding area have always been home! I love how Boston keeps evolving as a city but also manages to stay true to its historic roots. My Instagram account actually came from my website www.bostondatenightguide.com, which was inspired by Kristen Manieri who is the founder of the www.orlandodatenightguide.com, and is an offshoot of that. I love how her site has inspired couples, families, friends, etc. to connect more, have fun and get out and explore all their community has to offer together.
I wanted to bring something like that to the Boston area. I love the idea of inspiring a fun night out at a new restaurant or fun new experience in the city and making that easier for people to know about. I have always loved discovering new restaurants, food, and drinks. I have two young kids so it gets harder to get out and through this site, I hope to inspire people of all ages to get out there and make the time to still go out and do things together one-on-one whether it be with your significant other, best friend or family member. Whatever stage of life you’re at it is important. Dining together is such a natural way for people to come together and connect, and that is what it is all about. You really get to know someone a lot better after sharing a meal with them!
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
I love the Greek mezze plates at Committee and I can’t get enough of their feta (with sesame crust and honey). I think this type of shared plate dining makes for such a great date. We also love every dish we have had at No. 9 Park, and I think that is a must-do Boston restaurant for a special date night at least once. I’m also a big sweets person, so I am also going to throw in cannolis from Modern Pastry (and espresso martinis at Modern Underground). On a less fine dining note, a Fenway Frank at a Red Sox game is a must-do in Boston at some point. Also the clambake or pan roasted lobster at Summer Shack are must-try quintessential Boston dishes.
What do you think the next big trend is for restaurants?
I think focusing on settings and atmosphere that put the focus on the food/dining experience as a way to bring people together and have time to connect with each other. Appreciating the food and environment is a big thing. Knowing where the food comes from, how it is all connected, with local and organic dishes being emphasized more.
Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?
I love following Chef Adrienne Wright of Dbar, Boston Chops and Boston Chops Downtown. I loved following her Top Chef season and all her foodie adventures since! I also really love following along with Chelsey Erickson and her Finesse Pastries page. Her creations are amazing and her macaron baking class was honestly one of our favorite date night experiences. She makes baking fun and accessible even for those who are not as adept in the kitchen!
Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
There are so many!! I really admire all of the creativity and content that go into so many of these food accounts. Taste of Massachusetts is a great resource for all kinds of great food experiences, especially those unique and lesser-known foodie finds across the state. Forking with Armani amazes me with his beautiful food pictures (just on his phone!) and incredible witty food puns that never seem to run out. One of the first foodie accounts I followed was New England Food Explorer, and I just love her food photography style.
Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.
Classic, yet innovative and evolving!
Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?
What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos?
I love trying to show the experience of a restaurant if possible, but also one or two amazing dishes. Natural lighting is a huge asset in capturing a dish at its best but I definitely bring along a small light to use if necessary, and that helps a lot in the more dimly lit spots as well, since I am just using my iPhone when out in a restaurant.
A Few Of Your Favorite Things:
Favorite brunch spot: Stephanie’s on Newbury
Favorite place for outdoor dining: Legal Harborside and love the idea of Tresca’s single table for two on their second floor overlooking Hanover Street – definitely a romantic spot!
Favorite BBQ joint: Smoke Shop BBQ
Favorite late-night: Alden & Harlow in Cambridge or Bova’s Bakery in North End
Favorite neighborhood for food: North End
Favorite new restaurant: Rochambeau