Neptune Oyster // Boston, MA
Anybody whose anybody knows that Boston's North End is the place to go for great food. Tourist favorite, Mike's Pastry, is the go-to place for a traditional cannoli or any tasty Italian treat. The original Regina's Pizzeria is also located in Boston's North End. If you're not a pizza person, this place will turn you. Each little shop and store has it's own character and its own specialty. Nothing is different in the case of Neptune Oyster.
As the name may suggest, the oysters are a great place to start. Seafood lovers and newbies alike can find an oyster of their liking--something with a buttery finish or a hint of citrus, salty and sweet, maybe even fruity (if that's what you're into). The cocktail sauce and mignonette are both made in house and make a great addition to any oyster.
The menu is no more extensive than it should be, easy to read, and diverse. The seafood is brought in fresh daily, and the service staff is knowledgable and friendly, The lobster roll is a crowd pleaser, and the daily crudo special is a pleasant surprise every time. Neptune Oyster's reputation is well known, and the wait for lunch can often extend to over an hour.
So, if you're still not sold based on food and atmosphere alone, here's why you want to wait that hour for lunch. Not only was the food fresh and delicious, but it was all packed with nutrients and minerals. Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3s, without most of the saturated fat you would normally find in red meat or other protein sources. Shellfish is also a great source of lean protein that is low in calories. The belief that dietary cholesterol translates to higher HDL levels is not accurate. The body synthesizes and regulates it's cholesterol levels daily, and as long as you're getting most your recommended fiber intake you shouldn't have a problem.
Dancing Lion Chocolate // Manchester, NH
The Dancing Lion is a hidden gem in downtown Manchester, NH. All of the chocolate is tempered and crafted in house by a master chocolatier and chocolatiers. Each bar is only produced once and the chocolate is sourced from all over the world. The ginger bar is made with Ivoire 35% real white chocolate and housemade candied ginger. The kenshi bar is made with 70% dark milk chocolate, 20% milk, and 10% sugar. The hot chocolate is worth a mention, and also worth a trip to New Hampshire no matter how far you may be.
Not only is chocolate good for the soul, but it also has a handful of health benefits (at least dark chocolate does). It's loaded with antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. These antioxidants combat free radicals. Ginger has also been shown to reduce inflammation and suppress nausea.