Do you really need an excuse for one last summer stroll through the harbor and seaport; or a reason to enjoy food flavored with summer bounty al fresco before fall kicks in? If you do, then here it is: Illuminate the Harbor, a special summer’s end fireworks display over the Boston Harbor presented by Boston Harbor Now and the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Saturday, beginning at 8:30 p.m., fireworks are launched from two locations — one in the Seaport and another in the North End for a citywide spectacle. Labor Day marks the emotional end of summer, so enjoy the seaport: stroll the Harborwalk, and enjoy some summery food and drinks before the night sky lights up.
As Illuminate’s co-host, the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Rowes Wharf Sea Grille terrace offers an ideal fireworks vantage point with Snapchat-worthy sunset views. Summer is when a raw bar makes most sense: choose the seafood platter with Cherrystone clams, New England oysters, jumbo shrimp, and lobster; or lobster guacamole; or spicy Caribbean-style jerk shrimp with a squeeze of lime. But save room for the sublime creamy strawberry buttermilk shortcake with a strawberry mousse topping and vanilla Chantilly cream. It’s the most elegant strawberry shortcake you’ll ever eat. (70 Rowes Wharf. 617-856-7754, roweswharfseagrille.com)
Tucked around the corner, at the end of Northern Avenue, that is if the city would fix the fine old bridge and reinstate this cool part of the Harborwalk, Committee brings Mediterranean flavor to the seaport, and nothing says sunshine like cuisine of Greece. The watermelon dakos is part bruschetta, part panzanella: chunks of red and yellow watermelon, teardrop tomatoes, mint, and feta cheese laced in a raspberry ouzo vinaigrette are piled over paximadia, a rustic rusk-type bread common to Crete. (50 Northern Ave. 617-737-5051, committeeboston.com
Nearby, on Sleeper Street, Outlook Kitchen and Bar and Lookout Rooftop Bar in the Envoy Hotel are two options for en plein air noshing and drinking: Start at one and end at the other. Outlook is the ground floor restaurant while the eighth-story Lookout does drinks and nibbles with a view of the harbor and the city. Very pretty, especially with a cooling cocktail like the Juliet and Romeo – Wire Works gin with mint, cucumber, and rosewater. Downstairs on the Outlook patio, enjoy chilled shrimp and Hamachi ceviche with avocado, and an inspired take of a Caprese salad, which pairs locally grown tomatoes with a vinaigrette made with sweet corn. (70 Sleeper St., 617-530-1559, outlookkitchenandbar.com)