Five Things Lydia Shire Loves

The legendary chef shares her favorite places in Boston.

Want to know where the pros go? We’re asking Best of Boston winners to divulge their favorite places in Boston. Below, Lydia Shire, Boston culinary icon and mastermind behind the Liberty Hotel’s dining destination Scampo, shares her picks.


Roast Duck For Two at L’Espalier

“I especially look forward to the roast duck this time of year when I get all dressed up in my finest holiday garb and take my husband, Uriel, my son, Alex, and his sweetheart, Nikki, out to dinner there. The duck is beautifully carved at the table and is so, so delicious!”

L’Espalier, 774 Boylston St, Boston, 617-262-3023,

Copley Square on Christmas Eve

“Stepping out onto Copley Square on Christmas Eve, walking towards Trinity Church with my brother, Peter, and listening to carols sung and the beautiful music of Christmas. (Hopefully with freezing droplets of precipitation hitting my forehead as I’m wrapped up snuggly, again in my holiday finest!)”

The Bar at The Nautilus

“Well, this is not exactly Boston, but sitting at the bar at The Nautilus in Nantucket while Clinton and George, the two most amazing (and friendly, BTW) bartenders, create handmade, hand-fashioned cocktails as an ART! My favorite in the fall and winter is a bourbon Old Fashioned with just the right amount of bitters and a splash of soda. You watch them take a huge, square ice cube and melt it into a huge, round ice cube before your eyes with a Japanese ice ball maker. Then, chow down on their ridiculously great and delicious Kobe steak! YUM.”

The Nautilus, 12 Cambridge St., Nantucket, 508-228-0301,

James Hook & Co.

“I hope you remember this book from your childhood: The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton. It was my favorite growing up, about a little house in the country that gradually becomes engulfed by a growing city but is rescued in the end (a happy ending!). Well, this is how I feel every time I drive by James Hook & Co., surrounded by skyscrapers. I immediately feel so proud to be a Bostonian, knowing Boston has a beauty and a purpose so unique in this country. We are so lucky!”

James Hook & Co., 15-17 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-423-5501,

Boston Pops

“THE POPS! Nothing to deny here. Cocktails at Scampo, sitting at the orange glass bar with our mixologists, Lisa and Ray, a quick lamb pizza, then off to meet my extraordinary friend, Bob Wiggins, of Gourmet Caterers in Boston. Those tiny chairs at Symphony Hall so crowded together, servers jostling through…I have no idea how they keep those trays upright! And, of course, those heavenly sounds coming forth! A Boston #1, for sure.”

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617.266.1492,