Dining Out in Boston
A Historic Look at Restaurants and Menus
James C. O’Connell
Sunday, April 9, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Assembly Room, Belmont Public Library
Over the years, Boston has been one of America’s leading laboratories of urban culture, including restaurants, and Boston history provides valuable insights into American food ways. This fascinating look at more than two centuries of culinary trends in Boston restaurants presents a rich and hitherto unexplored side to the city’s past. Dining Out in Boston shows that the city was a pioneer in elaborate hotel dining, oyster houses, French cuisine, student hangouts, ice cream parlors, the twentieth-century revival of traditional New England dishes, and contemporary locavore and trendy foodie culture. In these stories of the most-beloved Boston restaurants of yesterday and today—illustrated with an extensive collection of historic menus, postcards, and photos—O’Connell reveals a unique history sure to whet the intellectual and nostalgic appetite of Bostonians and restaurant-goers the world over. Click here to read the Boston Globe interview of James O’Connell published on December 27, 2016.
James C. O’Connell has written six books and many articles on urban planning and New England history. His books include “Dining Out In Boston: A Culinary History,” “The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Suburban Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth,” “Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort,” “The Pioneer Valley Reader,” and “The Inside Guide to Springfield and the Pioneer Valley.” He is a Community Planner for the National Park Service, where he specializes in planning for historic sites and heritage areas. He has worked in planning positions in Cape Cod and Springfield, MA and teaches in the City Planning-Urban Affairs Program at Boston University. He spoke to the Belmont Historical Society in March 2014 on the subject of “Belmont and the Development of Metropolitan Boston”.