We asked the affable Garrett Harker (read more about him in our interview, here) to take us out on the town for a day, and he obliged. The veteran Boston restaurateur got a nod from the James Beard Foundation this year, but locals have loved him for more than a decade for the friendly reception, convivial atmosphere and darn tasty food gotten at his local outposts Eastern Standard, the Hawthorne, Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar. With four popular places, Harker has a lot on his plate, but still loves spending Sundays in town with his teenage daughters, Lily and Quinn.
10 am: Pampered & Polished
First things first: "We start down in the South End, where the girls get their nails done by the team at Lan Nail Salon on Tremont Street. One day I'm going to join in. But for now I'm too self-conscious."
583 Tremont St., Boston, 617.424.9977
11:30 am: Lunch at PICCO
PICCO is short for 'Pizza and ice cream company.' Harker says, "We are hard-core PICCO fans, and it's not spring until we're eating the English pea ravioli that Rick Katz does as a special. The pizza is perfect, too; it's always a Neapolitan for us. I'll scan the beer list for something cool, maybe a session beer from Notch Brewing, owned by local beer legend and golf partner Chris Lohring."
513 Tremont St., Boston, 617.927.0066
1 pm: Shopping in SoWa
"At SoWa Open Market, the girls look at jewelry, but I'm all about the amazing food stands," he says. "We'll grab a couple of the awesome Aussie meat pies by KO Pies. I have respect when someone imagines a business I could never have the vision to see, and then sees it through to reality."
540 Harrison Ave., Boston
2:30 pm: HarborWalk Bound
If the weather is nice, "We'll head over to the HarborWalk. I love the Institute of Contemporary Art—even beyond the art, I love the architecture, and the water, and the view back to the city."
100 Northern Ave., Boston, 617.478.3100
6 pm: Pigging Out at Tavern Road
"Of course the Harker girls and Dad can't go long without eating," says Harker, "but for serious food we head into [nearby] Fort Point. It's a new neighborhood with an old-world soul. Our favorite spot is Tavern Road, where the DiBiccari brothers [chef-owner Louis and owner Michael] basically throw a party every night. Order something with pig. Louie knows his pig."
343 Congress St., Boston, 617.790.0808