North End Suggestions?
Need a spot for dinner in the North End this weekend. Thus far, my favorite spots there have been Sage and Prezza, but I am hoping for something a little less pricey this weekend. I would like to go somewhere I have not yet been to. I have already been to Pomodoro (very good), Taranta (very good), Terramia (not as good as I had hoped - maybe because it was a slow Sunday night), and Antico Forno (adequate).
I am considering:
All comments are much apprecaited.
Have you been to Piccola Venezia on Hanover Street? Its not pricey, very homey, pictures of Italy and old pictures of people on the walls. Pleasant and attentive waitstaff. Excellent food! I love their polenta and their veal caccitore. This is one of my favorite spots in the North End.
I've introduced many people to this place and everyone has enjoyed the food. I've even convinced strangers who were looking at the menu outside to eat there, and they made a point of telling me they were glad they ate there!
Good size portions, you don't walk away hungry.
Two coworkers of mine are first generation Italians and they highly recommended Limoncello to me. It's on North Street right next to Paul Revere's house. Very nice place, excellent food, and the owner Mauritzio (sp?) was super friendly and hospitable. Their limoncello (a after dinner drink made with grain liquor and lemon) is homemade and much better than ones bought from the store. If you want pasta, try their Rosette pasta or Lobster ravioli, each $15-$17. Or try their veal entrees from $18-30. Their Chilean seabass ($24) is also very delicious.
And I ate at Limoncello with my family in the summer, and highly recommend it. The Rosette pasta and lobster ravioli were both excellent, and the host/owner and our waiter were both extremely friendly and fun. Free limoncello for our group because we moved from the original table we were seated at to accommodate a larger group coming in a bit later.
I agree with the Piccola Venezia recommendation. My parents have been going there for years (when they were in the previous location) and are loyal customers. I take my kids back to Boston every summer (from California) and we always have to take in a Red Sox game and at least one meal at the Piccolo, as we call it. Another good place for take out sandwiches is called Atru's. It's on one of the side streets. They have great lamb sandwiches. I've tried most of their sandwiches and loved them all.
I really like Euno. I've eaten there on four or five occasions and have always been happy. They serve a traditional menu in a cozy atmosphere - there are two floors - and the service is warm and friendly. In the summer it's especially nice to sit upstairs with the large window open to the street. When we want a more casual place than Prezza, we go either to Euno or Lucca.
One place not mentioned by others here is Piccolo Nido on North Street (not to be confused with Piccola Venezia). It's back in the neighborhood of the North End by itself and that's part of the charm (none of the Hanover St. tourists). Pino is the owner and host and the food is wonderful. He also boasts the cleanest kitchen in Boston (ask him and he'll proudly give you a tour).
I wound up at Lucca. Quite good, not outstanding.
We started with grilled calamari with spicy cumcumber salad. Oddly, I found the flavors to be a bit "latin". Also, while I expected the "grilled" clamari to be slightly charred, it turned out to be fairly innocuous white rings. VERY good, though.
Then, we had paparradelle bolognese. The paparradelle was suprisingly pasty in parts like poorly made fresh paste can be. The sauce was quite tasty though a little runny. Also, we had baked rabbit lasagna topped with shaved parmiggiano. Very nice flavors; BUT it had just been left in the oven a few minutes too long so it had dried out a bit.
Not that I care, but for those that do: the service was merely mediocre.
I've been the the Daily Catch twice, and I wouldn't go back except for the calamari friti. Their calamari is perfectly prepared and served in generous portions, but it's not cheap. Avoid the pasta at all costs, it was overcooked on both occasions. On my first visit, I ordered the squid ink pasta with the tomato, olive and anchovy sauce. I found the sauce overly greasy, the julienne peppers and onions had shriveled up and made for an unappealing texture, overall the dish was thoroughly uninspired. The next time, the Alfredo sauce was even worse: the sauce was too thin to coat the limp linguni, and pooled on the bottom like soup. The sauce tasted more like evaporated milk than cream, but there was a lot of poorly emulsified butter.
Things that annoy me about the DC: no bathroom, fluffy tasteless white bread, the affectation of serving pastas in skillets, salty dessicated parm.
re: Lindsay B.
I've been to their new location on Rte. 1, and had a much better experience. The calamari "meatball" appetizer alone is worth the trip, IMO -- but don't expect them to be meaty, more like large, gray, fluffy, squid-flavored matzo balls in marinara sauce, hard to describe why they were so good. Two of us shared that and an excellent Caesar salad. Then I had a half order of black pasta, with the alfredo sauce, which in this instance was not overly thin (and I am not a big fan of drippy pasta sauces, so I would have noticed!) That dish was good, but nothing to write home about. No skillet though. If I get the pasta again, I'll try it with the aglio olio, not because I didn't like the alfredo but just because this sounds appealing. I tasted my friend's baked scrod, and it melted in my mouth. I'll definitely be back.
I live in the north end and have always enjoyed Monica's pizza (I think the restaurant is probably good too). Also, Rabia's on Salem was excellent, but perhaps a bit pricey.