Belle Isle Seafood Featured on Travel Channel

‘No Reservations’ crew finds local seafood eatery

-By Joseph Domelowicz

For the Transcript

“Sometimes a thing becomes a cliché because it’s just so damn good, and this place in East Boston is that damn good,” so says Travel Channel host Anthony Bourdain about Belle Isle Seafood, on a recent episode of his Travel Channel food program ‘No Reservations.’

Bourdain, and his crew, who were in Boston to shoot an episode about South Boston and the local dining establishments of Boston’s famed tough-as-nails neighborhood, discovered Belle Isle Seafood, while filming in Southie and asking locals where they could get a good seafood meal.

“What happened, is that the crew for the show came in one day to get something to eat,” explained Belle Isle Seafood owner Jim Costin of Winthrop. “They told me that they had been asking around for a good seafood place for them to eat at and several folks in Southie had mentioned my place, so they came up and had dinner.”

The quality of the food at Belle Isle Seafood is well-known to local residents and after their meal, the crew asked Costin if it would be alright “to bring Tony in.”

Costin agreed and the next day Bourdain returned with a Boston area musician friend and his crew and had lunch at the restaurant, while his crew shot footage from inside.

“He (Bourdain) was pretty laid back when they came in, he wasn’t the normal crazy guy you see on the show, but he was nice and cordial and he had some nice things to say about the restaurant,” said Costin. “I just stayed in the kitchen and cooked, it was a great experience.”

The end result was the first six-minutes of the show, which was focused on South Boston eateries, is actually dedicated to Belle Isle Seafood and Bourdain really was very complimentary about the meal he had.

Costin, who has been at Belle Isle Seafood for the past 16 years, bought the restaurant after he finished graduate school, after working there throughout high school and college.

Bourdain and his companion ate a lunch of clam chowder, a lobster roll and the fried seafood combo platter. But don’t try and sit at the table Bourdain and his friend shared, it doesn’t exist in the restaurant.

“The crew needed to be able to shoot him from both sides and since all of our seats face the windows, they would’ve had to shoot from outside through the glass, so they set up a special table for him to eat at, it was kind of weird, but it worked,” said Costin.

The Boston episode of ‘No Reservations’ aired this past Sunday night on the travel channel. But it is available through on demand channel on Comcast Xfinity. Simply go to the Travel Channel page and then to Anthony Bourdain and the Boston episode is the first episode showing from the new season.

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