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Dining with the Locals at Ricardo's, North End

hiddenboston Apr 9, 2007 06:31 AM

We went to Ricardo's on North Street in the North End on Saturday night (thanks for mentioning this place, MC Slim, and thanks to everyone else for giving me some ideas for casual Italian in the North End that I haven't been to yet).

The place was pretty quiet for most of the evening, perhaps because it isn't on Hanover or Salem Street, and it's just far enough down from North Square so that people don't know about it. A shame, because the meal we had there was fabulous, with some of the best mussels you'll find in the North End (they came in a tremendous tomato-based sauce) and a meat lasagna that was a big step above your basic Southern Italian lasagna dish, as the pasta was fresh, the meat was high quality, and the "gravy" was homemade and wonderful. I also tried the soup of the day, which was a lentil/green pea soup, and it was very good, too.

Wines were mostly good; the basic Pinot Prigio was too mild, but the Cabernet Sauvignon Trinchero was amazing, with hints of plum, other fruits, and herbs, and the Insolia Cusumano was nearly as good, with a vibrant apple-peach flavor.

The atmosphere at Ricardo's was pretty nice, with lots of elbow room, dark colors, giving it a cozy feel, and carpeting that helped keep the noise level down. It is definitely a good place to take a family or large group, and it seemed like many of the people there were North End locals.

Personally, I think I still like Rabia's a little better, and the Chicken Creation at Mother Anna's might still be my favorite of all the meals in the North End (not counting pizza at Regina's), but I'll definitely be going back to Ricardo's in the near future.

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    abbij RE: hiddenboston Apr 9, 2007 02:13 PM

    try the roasted veal special at Ida's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: abbij
      CocoDan RE: abbij Dec 12, 2011 06:03 AM

      Love Ida's. Love the roasted veal special. Need to go soon.

    2. tatamagouche RE: hiddenboston Apr 10, 2007 10:31 AM

      I haven't been in a while, but I was pleasantly surprised the couple times I was there too. Nice involtini, nice people.

      1. b
        Bostonbob3 RE: hiddenboston Apr 10, 2007 10:46 AM

        Jeez, can't believe I've never been. What are the prices like?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bostonbob3
          hiddenboston RE: Bostonbob3 Apr 10, 2007 11:15 AM

          Prices are pretty good, though some of the wines and apps are a bit on the pricey side for a place like this. Figure about $12-18 for pasta, and $16-25 for most other dishes.

          I had heard about the place about a year ago when I was checking restaurants out for Valentine's Day, but it slipped my mind until a few days ago when MC Slim mentioned it.

        2. a
          Allymcguigan RE: hiddenboston Dec 11, 2011 10:39 AM

          We had a terrible experience. And looking at reviews over various sites the experience seems to be hit and miss; and miserable for larger groups. The food was decent, but the service went from aggressive hustle to abusive. The manager made some of our party very uncomfortable – not great for a party of middleage professional women. When one complained about the service his response was “we are an established restaurant, we don’t need your business”. I haven’t seen that approach to customer service before. Maybe a small party that doesn’t wish to stay long and in a mixed gender group (there are some disaster reviews of female groups on Valentines which I can now understand having experienced it) might be OK.

          Riccardo's Ristorante
          175 North Street, Boston, MA 02113

          4 Replies
          1. re: Allymcguigan
            hiddenboston RE: Allymcguigan Dec 11, 2011 06:23 PM

            Wow, big bump on this thread! :-) 4 1/2 years--has to be a record!

            1. re: hiddenboston
              yumyum RE: hiddenboston Dec 11, 2011 06:28 PM

              Nope. We've done better. I recall a 7 year zombie not long ago.

              1. re: yumyum
                hiddenboston RE: yumyum Dec 12, 2011 06:28 AM

                It can be tough being in CH Zombieland.

                1. re: hiddenboston
                  Ricardo Malocchio RE: hiddenboston Sep 21, 2012 09:24 AM

                  Props to Ally for taking the time to find an existing thread! (Sorry for making you look at a substance-less resurrection!)

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