One For Each Arm: 8 Must-Eat Octopus Dishes

By Scott Kearnan  |  September 4, 2013

There's been a lot of recent buzz that octopus might be smarter sea creatures than they've been given credit for. The jury's still out on that, but: we're sure they're a smart choice as far as diet goes. The iron-rich seafood tends to be a healthy one, and we found eight great plates around town that make fabulous use of it. Get your tentacles into these. 

Prezza: They're not much to look at in the deep: but on a dish? Oh my. Prezza plates a gorgreous wood grilled squid and octopus (shown, $16) with braised white beans and toasted parsley. 

Legal Harborside: You can probably wave to your dinner's old neighbors from the roof deck dining room of this elevated Seaport outpost of the Boston-based restaurant. It offers a tasty seared baby octopus ($11), served with merguez sausage and smoked tomato coulis. 

Mare Oyster Bar: Surf meets turf with the North End restaurant's octopus salad ($16.99): crispy jalapeño and ginger octopus with pickled vegetables, and purple Peruvian potato coins.

Bondir: From across the pond comes the fresh Spanish octopus ($18), grilled to char with wedges of charred Snow Leopard melon compressed with fennel, Maine heirloom soldier beans, tomatoes, peppers and marigold from the inaugural harvest of the restaurant's own garden.

The Biltmore: Seems only fair that your seafood should enjoy one last swim. The Newton gastropub just added a cool chilled soup to its menu: yellow tomato gazpacho with octopus and shiitake ($8). 

Ribelle: Chef Tim Maslow's newly opened Brookline spot is serving a sophisticated entree of octopus and rigatoni ($22), with fennel and smoked tomato. 

Estragon: Sometimes it's best to keep it simple. This under-heralded South End tapas spot knows that well, and its pulpito a la parilla ($9.50), marinated grilled baby octopus, is fabulous, fresh and unfussy. 

Haru: For small bites and light budgets, the Back Bay spot offers octopus sushi and sashimi ($2.95 each) that are perfect for after-work crowds popping through the Prudential-adjacent restaurant.