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Jul 18, 2006 02:12 AM

Getting off the plane at stop?

2 Chowhounds from San Francisco will be visiting 3 friends and are looking for a good meeting spot for a mid-range $ dinner with drinks. Any suggestions of places with easy access from the airport?

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  1. Antico Forno in the North End then wander around after and find a place for coffee/dessert. And I don't know if you've heard but in the next few months there will be no such thing as easy access from the airport :-(

    1 Reply
    1. re: tomaneng

      It might be worth taking a water taxi to the North End. Medium price in the the North End ... maybe Cibo but I don't think that's your best bet. Actually North Street Grill would work. Does Neptune take reservations?

    2. I believe it's beer/wine only, but Zafferano is an easy drive from the airport in Eastie and has lovely Campanian food (the chef's from Avelino) in a very pleasant, slightly fancy setting. Very reasonable. This is a favorite spot for dinner after picking up my beloved at Logan.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Thanks for the info so far.....what is Campanian food? We're stumped.

        1. re: cynthia

          It refers to the region of Italy that the food comes from. Campania is best known around the world for its exuberant cuisine which relies on sun-kissed vegetables and herbs, salty capers, dried pasta, and fresh farmhouse cheeses (chief among them the water buffalo's Mozzarella). The Amalfi coast provides a wealth of seafood, and their most famous salad is the Caprese - named after the Island of Capri. Naples, the regional capital city, is famous for its pizza.

          1. re: gini

            What gini said. Also, plummy tomato sauces are common, as are pasta dishes. Limoncello, is quite visible in Sorrento and some parts of the Almalfi coast; you might see that used in sauces with seafood.

            There are a few guest appearances from other Italian regions on Zafferano's Campania-centred menu. Saffrom (=Zafferano) from nearby Abruzzo is used to flavour a dish or two; speck (ham-like cured meat) comes from Alto-Adige, near Austria and Germany.

          2. re: cynthia

            Here's a review I wrote last year:

            Zafferano seems a bit aspirational for its working-class environs. Its handsome, understated space—with saffron-tinged stucco, framed vintage photographs, white tablecloths, and good china and flatware—is swank enough to make us want to dress up. The chef/owner’s wife is a warm and attentive server; the chef himself frequently checks on our table as we dig in. An antipasto for one ($7) presents simple ingredients of excellent quality: prosciutto, salami, buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, good black olives, grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant and a wedge of an aged Parmigiano Reggiano. A primo of tagliatelle ($14) baked with a little marinara and nutmeg-scented Béchamel shows a delectable whiff of Greek influence. A secondo of vitello al limone ($22), not stinting on lemon flavor, is a generous portion of thin, succulent veal scaloppine with an abundance of three kinds of mushrooms, elegant and nearly perfect. The wine list is Italian-focused and sensibly priced: We find a surprisingly mellow Chianti di Montalcino for $28. For dessert, we sample chocolate and vanilla cream pie with cherry compote ($6), novel and not too rich. Hungrier people might not have shared these courses, but we think it makes for a perfect meal for two. We recall other dishes we’ve enjoyed on prior visits, all under $25: a spectacular homemade gnocchi alla pina with tomato concasse and fresh thyme; Campanian-style steak, sliced thin, fanned on the plate, with fresh lemon; a subtle and rich rigatoni Bolognese; a rustic stew of chicken in wine sauce with zucchini. This highly authentic regional Italian cooking, rooted in the chef’s native Avellino, forms the fine-dining apex of Eastie, and proves far more deserving of the crowds that many forgettable North End venues attract.

        2. If you're getting off the plane at 5:00 on a weekday, I would suggest having dinner in East Boston, since it could be a nightmare getting into Boston with all that has happened with the tunnels here.

          Rino's on Saratoga Street is a nice little Italian place with excellent homemade pastas and sauces, as well as good chicken, veal, and seafood dishes. It shouldn't be too crowded if you get there early enough.