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North End Dinner for Two

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My GF has never been to the north end and has requested a dinner there for her birthday. Netiher of us drinks wines or is into over the top fancy dinners. Would like to find a place in the $20/plate and less range. Also would prefer a place where weekend reservations for an early dinner, say around 6ish wasnt a must.

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  1. And yet again, the name Antico Forno comes to my lips.

    Rabia's would push the outer limits of your price range, but would also be a good choice.

    BTW, it wouldn't hurt to make reservations at any North End restaurant you plan on visiting on a weekend.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      Menu looks like what we want. how is the pizza? There is a high chance she will want pizza, but id rather not go to regina where pizza is the only option.

      1. re: hargau

        The pizza is excellent; classic Neapolitan cooked in a brick oven.

        My one hint is to order it well-done. That way you're ensured a proper crust. (Actually, it's become something I do at almost any place that serves pizza).

    2. Just for fun (Antico Forno is a good choice, no doubt), I'll throw out L'Osteria.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gini

        Wouldn't take the chance on L'Osteria for a romantic place. The last time I was there the waitress was really stressed. She poured the wine for me to taste and then took off for another table yelling back that she would check with me to see if it was ok. The food was also, just ok. In fairness, a number of people came in around the same time so that had an impact on the service. I think Antico Forno and Rabias are great suggestions and I like Assagio's for the atmosphere.

      2. If something romantic and cozy is in order I'd suggest Carmen. You can do 1/2 pasta orders. Entrees will run a little over $20. I think they really serve a lot of food and I like to share so I find it to be a good value. You'd do well to go early there. There's usually a wait even if you have a reservation on busy weekend peak times, like 8 p.m.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kittychow

          I love Carmen and agree it is a romatic room. The only thing to be wary of is that because it is so small and very popular, even if you are able to get a table, they sometimes have a tendency of rushing you out even if you would prefer a leisurely dinner.

          Most romantic in the North End is Mamma Maria although it is pricey. I think campania and Il cappriccio in Waltham are both great but I would give Il Cappriccio the edge in food and it is also a little quieter than Campania.

          1. re: Northender

            I used to love Carmen but had the same rushing out problem on several occasions so I haven't been back.

        2. Thanks for all the ideas!

          What about parking? Are there any garages or lots? Is the garage at the aquarium about the closest i will find?

          4 Replies
          1. re: hargau

            There is dicounted parking at the Blackstone lot very close to Hanover. Many restaurants will validate your parking, but ask first.

            Parcel 7 garage
            136 Blackstone Street
            Boston, MA 02109
            617-973-6954
            $1.00 for up to 2 hours parking.
            $3.00 for up to 3 hours parking.

            1. re: yumyum

              Nice, thats MUCH better then that garage by the aquarium!

              1. re: hargau

                Yep, it's a nice option and I stumbled across it at Marco during Restaurant week. Discount parking was the highlight of the meal for me if you catch my drift.

                I think it you can swing it, you should try Carmen. Antico Forno is great but if you're treating her to something "special" Carmen fits the bill better. Hopefully she'll get so hooked on the North End you'll have lots of opportunities to come back.

                1. re: hargau

                  There's a lot on the corner of Commercial and Hull Streets that's pretty reasonable.

                  (In grouchy old man/Dana Carvey voice): But since I live on Hull, don't make too much noise going back to your car!