- Joanie Aug 15, 2002 07:44 AM
I guess no one felt like hitting the hot North End pavement last nite cuz we sat right down in Taranta at 7PM or so. It was a really nice meal. We had a pleasant waiter who let my friend taste the red wines to see which she liked best (they only have 3 of each by the glass). She had a wonderful tomato/mozzarella/basil salad where everything was super fresh. We split a pasta dish that was so descriptive I can't remember it all. It had thin tube like pasta with a smoky tomato sauace, pancetta, some other bits of things in there. The smoky flavor was really interesting. We also split the tuna dinner which advertised itself as spicy but we sure didn't notice it. But it was nice rare pieces of tuna with good slices of roast potato and the most delicious creamy leeks. Pastas were $14-19 and entrees about $16-24 with a couple higher. Very tasty.
Went to Cafe Paradiso after where I got a kind of dry ricotta cheesecake and they wouldn't serve just a glass of ice water, you had to order Poland Springs if you wanted water which seemed kind of cheap. My friend got a chocolately type thing that the waitress told her was 'nothing special' when she asked about it. Maybe we ordered the wrong things. In any case, I was glad to hit Taranta and the North End in general which I don't get to often enough.
I'm very glad someone went to Taranta and enjoyed it as much as I do. I think I briefly mentioned the other day that they've had a merry-go-round of chefs but the proprietor Jose Duarte, who's also a chef, always holds it together with panache regardless. Plus, after only a couple of visits he recognizes you and sometimes brings you stuff gratis he just wants you to try. In other words he does what a person who runs a restaurant is supposed to dotreat you like a guest rather than a pest who's lucky to be there in the presence of hipness at all. It's just so smart businesswise anywayas opposed to the person who made you buy water.
As for the winesit's true the by-the-glass selection is small. But the wine list itself is really interesting. For a long time they've had stuff from Southern Italy you're only just beginning to see with any regularity on most other Italian wine lists.