Living La Vie®: Jasper White’s Clambake on Spectacle Island

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Posted September 6, 2013 by Scott Kearnan in Eat & Drink
Lobster Feed

How do you celebrate the end of summer? If you were part of last week’s La Vie® event, you did it by digging your claws into a quintessential New England experience: a seaside clambake. Oh, and it was from chef Jasper White, local restaurateur and cookbook author.

It wasn’t just any old clambake, of course. Don’t forget, La Vie is a series of special social experiences designed exclusively for residents of Millennium Place—and living in luxury homes means indulging in the appropriate amenities. This clambake involved a private chartered sail from Boston Harbor to Spectacle Island, a picturesque 105-acre island sitting four miles off the coast. Stepping off the boat, the 75 or so guests encountered a catered spread provided by Jasper White’s Summer Shack, the renowned chef’s flagship restaurant. And what a spread it was: creamy clam chowder, buttery corn on the cob, tangy coleslaw, steamers, mussels, and, naturally, plenty of big red lobsters for cracking open and chowing down.

Throw in a beachside bar, a crackling bonfire, and a live party band playing hip-swaying calypso tunes and you have a special night. Which is, after all, the point of La Vie: to offer opportunities that can’t be found otherwise.

Fire Pit

Millennium residents got to enjoy a crackling bonfire as the beautiful sun had set on Boston. Photo courtesy of Millennium Place.

The La Vie clambake offered something else too: a chance for these new Millennium Place neighbors to get to know each other in a super-casual setting.

Fact: When you’re soaking up the rays (and boy, was it sunny) and crisp breeze on the upper deck during a half-hour boat ride, it’s impossible not to make pleasant, idle chatter with the person next to you. Another fact: When you’re drinking down fruity rum cocktails with your feet in the sand, gazing at Boston silhouetted against the backdrop of a hot pink and orange sunset, it’s impossible not to find yourself making friends with whoever’s around the roaring bonfire.

Oh, and one more: When you’re slurping up buttery lobster meat with a napkin bib around your neck at communal picnic tables, it doesn’t matter who runs what important business or who represents which amazing company. Trying to pluck wayward corn kernels out of your teeth is a pretty amazing social equalizer and ice breaker!

By the end of the night, it was pretty apparent that guests who came over on their own—or with only a spouse, perhaps—were mingling, laughing, and sharing their shellfish like they were at a party with old friends. There was a vital energy in the air and, by extension, a lot of excitement for forthcoming Millennium Place. There was also a lot of optimism about what it will mean for downtown Boston.

At one point, I found myself talking to a woman, a future Millennium resident, who had only recently moved back to Boston (she is living somewhere temporary while her Millennium Place residence is readied). She had lived in Boston before but spent a number of recent years in another city. She told me that, after coming back to Boston, she couldn’t believe how much the downtown area had changed. The sense of vibrancy, the options for dining and entertainment, and the overall quality of life were worlds away from what she remembered.

Oh, I know, I said. We swapped more stories.

We had never met before, but we were talking like old chums by the time our feet left the deck and hit the sand. Then again, a good party just puts you in that kind of mood. Or maybe she was just waiting to tell me I had corn in my teeth.

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