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Jul 24, 2006 04:52 PM

North End?

Hi all,

We will be celebrating an anniversary the first weekend in August. I really would like to go somewhere in the North End but, there are many places on my list... Sage, Mamma Maria, Neptune Oyster, Taranta, and Carmen. Any thoughts on these places or suggestions for other places to try in the North End?


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  1. Of the places you have listed, my favorites are Sage and Neptune Oyster. Sage is a cozy little spot that takes reservations and the meal that I had there a few months back was really delicious. Neptune Oyster is a more casual spot with a varied oyster selection and a yummy lobster roll. I used to love Carmen but had such bad service on two occasions, that I no longer go there. Another place to add to your list is Prezza. Very good food, a great bar area and they take reservations and serve dessert (a combo which is rare in the North End).

    Happy anniversary!

    1. A friend recently went to Mamma Maria and said her meal, service and everything was spectacular.

      1. I always liked the menu and value at Bella Vista. Make a reservation. Even though it isn't always necessary, they appreciate it. I usually alternate between the Veal Saltimbocca and the Lobster Fra Diavolo. You won't believe the price for the lobster!

        The rolls are nothing spectacular, but they come from Pantedosi Bakery. This brings back fond childhood memories for me, but that is my mileage.

        I ususally skip desert and hit Modena Pastry (lesser known, lesser crazy, better than Michaels). If their selection has been wiped out by the crowds, Cafe Pompei (owned by the same family that runs Bella Vista and Saracenos) is open late with a good selection.

        1 Reply
        1. re: davidsmith95

          Should I go to Bella Vista rather than Saraceno's for the lobster? I was told both places specialize in Neapolitan cuisine, so I'm expecting a lot of traditional red sauce. Fra Diavolo is red sauce kicked up a notch with hot pepper flakes, etc.

          I'm tired of being dragged to Joe Tecce's all the time.

        2. If you want Lobster Fra Diavolo, definitely go to Bella Vista. If you want another lobster preparation, I don't have a recommendation. I only "buy" lobster this way (or baked stuffed). Otherwise, I catch them anc cook them myself.

          Good luck!

          4 Replies
          1. re: davidsmith95

            I enjoy Lobster prepared in a red sauce with a side of linguine. I think Bella Vista can handle that with no problem. Then over to Michael's for some good pastry. I may try Modena also. Thanks for the heads up.

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              I think he might be referring to Modern, not Modena. And it's Mike's, not Michael's. Just so you don't get completely lost!

              1. re: yumyum

                That's a lot of corrections. I wonder about his credibility now. HHmmm. I think we'll be all right. Thank you for the more accurate info, much appreciated fellow Katz's fan.

                1. re: Cheese Boy

                  I've never heard of Bella Vista so I cannot confirm or deny the food there.

                  Of the places you mention, my favorites are Sage (cute and cozy but some might say cramped, great gnocchi) and Neptune Oyster -- romantic booths and great bivalves would be nice for an anniversary. Kinda loud so you would have to canoodle, which is not a bad thing.

          2. Well, if you can snag an upstairs window table at Mamma Maria's, that can be REALLY special. The food and wine there is quite wonderful, and the views from an upstairs window table is the very definition of "romantic." Sage is much smaller, less overtly formal, but serves tremendous food. I also love Terramia on Salem Street. Again, tiny and charming versus formal. The lobster fritters and open-faced seafood ravioli there are great, as is their lamb specials. Neptune Oyster, Taranta, and Carmen, while certainly very good, don't strike me as "special event" restaurants.