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Pescatore Seafood in Somerville

Late notice but Pescatore Seafood opens today in Ball Square (right next to Kelly's diner on the side opposite Powerhouse Pub). They will be take out only until they get a zoning variance because parking is a zero sum game and someone (I don't know who - either a resident or a business) complained.

I got a pre-production menu (the Mom & Pop also own the liquor store on the corner). The opening menu is short and is all seafood (baked, broiled, or fried) except for salad and french fries. Items average around $13. It doesn't specify if delivery is available but it couldn't hurt to ask (617-623-0003).

This is a bigger deal for me than you. I live around the corner and my bachelor eating options have been limited since <a href="http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31566... Urban Gourmet</a> burned down. Urban still isn't rebuilt 9 months later but there are occasional bursts of contractor activity.

I'll post a followup after I order dinner but I wanted to give everyone a [last minute] chance to get in on opening day.

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  1. Just checked in with them about 10 minutes ago. No delivery options yet. They are, as you mention, planning on expanding into a seated option as well as offering delivery at some point.

    1. I tried Pescatore tonight. After walking by twice thinking it was part of the liquor store, I finally figured out that it was there. They have a menu typical of a beach shack--kind of interesting to see it in Ball Square!

      To start, I tried a box of calamari. Tender squid, nice and crispy, but way under-seasoned (or perhaps, not seasoned at all). I think they need to add some salt somewhere along the line to accent the calamari just a bit. It was served with marinara sauce--cold, slightly watery, but tasty none the less--and tartar sauce, which was a standard rendition and didn't match up too well with the calamari. As a huge bonus, there were some fried onion strings at the bottom of the box, which were ultra tasty, adding a much-needed hit of saltiness and sweetness. A touch of salt and some work on the marinara and they'll have these totally nailed.

      I followed the calamari with a lobster roll--which I've been seriously craving recently--with a side of onion rings. The rings were standard frozen variety, but good. Crispy, tasty a bit too heavily battered. The onion strings at the bottom of the calamari box were much better. The lobster roll was served on an untoasted hot dog bun with a piece of romaine lettuce. The lobster, according to the menu, was supposed to have a "special sauce." I'm not sure what this is, as there wasn't much of it. A very thin layer of what I think was mayo, and lots of finely chopped chives clinging to the chunks of meat. The meat was fairly tasty, if perhaps a tiny bit on the overcooked side. The sauce/chives did nothing for me. I also found a chunk of shell in there, but luckily I caught it before crunching down. All in all, a tasty but not especially memorable lobster roll. At $15.95, I don't think I'll repeat. A buttered, grilled bun would have seriously upped the flavor and quality quotient.

      Not at all a bad first try. I'll definitely return for the fried items. Maybe not for the lobster roll. Seems like a great place, and I hope they stay in business. During the 10 minutes I was there waiting for my food the phone rang only twice: Once was a hangup, and the second time was someone asking if they served chicken parm. We can only pray that they don't bend to the pressure and go down that well-traveled yet ugly road.

      1. I also live right around the corner, and I noticed yesterday that they now have their dining room open -- the seating permit must have gone through. Also, the Somerville News reported that the owners just got community approval for a liquor license.

        So far I've had the box of assorted fried seafood, which was quite satisfying (came with tartar sauce), not overbattered, nice and crispy, and the fish cakes, which I really liked. We'll be going back for those soon, I think, and to try some of the other non-fried fish dishes.

        It's maddening to walk by there around dinnertime and smell the fried fish!

        -----
        Pescatore
        158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

        5 Replies
        1. re: houlette

          Yikes, ignore that place link. Pescatore is at the corner of Rogers and Boston Ave in *Somerville*, not Lowell.

          1. re: houlette

            Got takeout from Pescatore's last night. It was excellent! I planned to order a non-fried seafood entree, however the woman I got on the phone told me that the veal special was pretty fantastic and she was correct. Veal marsala, super tender and nicely seasoned, served over homemade butternut squash ravioli. Ravs were toothy and dense with rich tasting squash. Salty ham and sweet carmalization on the mushrooms. Hubby had steak tips (surprise, surprise) and said they were the best in the area - and that's behind Bob's and LaCascia's. Nice sides of spinach and garlic mashed. Potatoes looked great and I couldn't get a bite! Even the bread they sent along was lovely served with a basil infused oil. I'm so pleased that this place is so good. A tad expensive for take out, but given the options in the neighborhood, I'm happy to have a real "Meal" option. Apparently they do have a dining room now. Anyone know if there is beer/wine or is byob a possibility? (I'm sure it will be mostly takout for us anyhow).

            1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

              I do! Short version: they are trying to get a liquor license, but it's dry for the moment.

              Long version: they're trying to buy a liquor license, which has been met with some concern in the neighborhood. They've held two neighborhood meetings (several next-door neighbors were on vacation in the first meeting, so they had another) and seem to have assuaged fears well. Now they're waiting on the City to authorize it, which has been postponed once for reasons I do not know. At this point, Anna just shrugs when I ask about it.

              ObFood: I had the veal tonight, and it's the best I've had there. I'm trying to work my way through the entire menu (except for shellfish), and I'm happy with the place, and with them. Also, I just found out that their sorbet is made from scratch, which I hadn't expected! Current flavors are strawberry and peach; I had the strawberry (Anna says "you gotta use seasonal fruit!") and it was sensational. I'd been looking for an excuse to use the phrase "hidden gem" and that sorbet is it!

              1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

                Oh cool ... thanks for the report on this place. Drove by several times over the weekend and I was wondering why there were no crowds, no lines.... I need to eat here soon.

                1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

                  We went back to Pescatore's Sunday night to try the non-fried-fish options, and I'm happy to say it was great. I had the excellent haddock paisano, which was broiled with cherry tomatoes and a garlic white wine sauce, and came with tasty sides of sauteed spinach and roasted potatoes. My wife had the fusilli amalfi, a very generous portion of good homemade fusilli topped with a fresh tomato sauce and scallops, crab meat, and shrimp. Dessert was a homemade strawberry ice cream and chocolate mousse. It was an all-around great home-cooked meal. The only thing that could have made it better was a glass of wine to go with it. They said they hoped to have the liquor license in about a month.

                  This place is so good, and so close, that I really hope it survives. They need to get a big sign up facing Broadway so more people will notice it.

              2. Just finished a special of sauteed haddock with tomato, spinach, onion, garlic, served with (real) mashed potatoes. Excellent home cooking, indeed. Something like $13.50 (I got takeout). Reasonable portion--I *could* have saved some for lunch but I didn't, and that's ok. I wouldn't say it's cheap, but quite reasonable for the quality and quantity. Other specials listed over the phone included a whole roast sea bream ($18).

                Noticed a variety of simple grilled vegetable sides in the front case--peppers, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes, something else. You can get a plateful of whatever or a combo for $4. I can really see stopping by for an assortment to go with my home-cooked chop or whatever.

                Seating is cool-looking small square (modular, I assume) tables with stools, not sure how comfortable they would be. Very small storefront but nicely done. Rapid Italian being spoken.

                Advantage of takeout is I could wash it down with a very nice Greek white from Ball Sq. Liquors (Megapanos Savatiano, 2004, $11). I heard details of their big annual tasting next Saturday, sorry I'll be away.

                Don't know what the beef with parking would be, if you just go up Broadway toward Magoun (up on/over the bridge) there's usually plenty. Since the Places link doesn't work right: open Sat-Mon 4-10, Tues-Fri 11-10.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Aromatherapy

                  Anyone know if byob is an option here whille they are sans liquor license?

                  1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

                    They didn't suggest it when I talked to them the other day, and since they also own the adjacent liquor store, I would think they would have. :)

                    1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

                      Sadly, no. I even asked about putting "ginger ale" in paper cups, but they noted that since they're looking for the liquor license, they must mind the Ps and Qs while they wait. But you can bet that it'll be my go-to don't-wanna-cook meal when they do!

                  2. Rumor has it they're about to make the Globe, so heads up.

                    10 Replies
                      1. re: franksnbeans

                        Thanks for posting. This place looks worth checking out.

                        1. re: franksnbeans

                          Thanks. Anyone know if you can BYOB yet?

                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            Nope, not yet... but I'll make sure to post when they do. They own the building - including the liquor store next door - so they've got a convenient supplier. ("Crowley" was, apparently, a few owners ago).

                            Interestingly, when I read the review I found myself thinking "I hadn't thought about the grilled veggies, but they're totally right about that!" I often ask for a side of veggies just for me.

                            1. re: enhF94

                              Sounds like you've been a couple of times enhF94 -- what else is good? I'll want a glass of wine and to not sit in an empty dining room so I'm going to try to get takeout soon.

                              1. re: yumyum

                                Short answer: See above, plus risotto.

                                Long answer: That's a tough question to answer. (Full disclosure: I like the family and want the place to succeed.) My plan is to work my way through the menu as an experiment in menu design (and sneaking in a little learning about Gaeta, halfway between Rome and Naples). But it's hard for me to resist the specials, and I don't eat shellfish.

                                So: I've now had the veal marsala special three times, and I like it a lot - in fact, the veal itself is just bonus; the globe was right about the real treat being the squash/cookie ravioli (with pork bits on top).

                                True to the owners' name, the focaccia is house made and lovely.

                                I rarely order risotto at restaurants, as it's easy to make better at home. But I like theirs a lot, and order it.

                                1. re: enhF94

                                  the few times I've walked past this place it looked empty. I felt bad - it doesn't seem like they are in the busiest of locations - a little tucked away. But I'm glad to see the good reviews - I will have to check it out.

                                  1. re: DJDiva

                                    Ummm...Not empty anymore! I tried to call in an order last night, as I have the past 3 consecutive Friday nights (housebound with babies), and I was told they could not take anymore takeout orders. According to the woman on the phone, who I'm guessing is the owner, both dining rooms were full (both?), there was a long wait for a table, and it would be 1 hour + before they could fill a take out order.

                                    Good for them. Bad for me because I'm hooked on those raviolis-n-veal. Guess that Globe review was well received. Hope they can keep up.

                                    1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

                                      this is great news! i love seafood but cant cook it in the house (husbands disdain for seafood) but i will usually get to go. thanks for the info!

                                      1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

                                        yeah, there was a line out the door last night, in the rain.

                        2. My wife and I got some take-out from Pescatore last night. All I have to say is wow....
                          I had the Fusilli Amalfi which was fantastic. The home-made fusilli was cooked perfectly and there were loads of shrimp, scallops and lobster meat. I ordered it with the white sauce which was very good and not heavy at all. My wife had the lobster ravioli and her comment after wolfing down the whole order was "That may have been the best lobster ravioli I have ever had."

                          So a big thumbs up for Pescatore and we will definitely be going back!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TomH

                            A friend and I split the same fusilli, with a side of grilled vegetables. Fusilli was very good (caveat--sat in takeout container 10 mins.), all seafood elements perfectly cooked. Vegetables were terrific. Everything was a bit salty though, and I speak as a salt fiend. Fed 2 moderate eaters amply with leftover pasta for a fritatta, for $22 post-tax. Another customer's fried fisherman's platter went by and it looked good and *enormous*. Will have to try the fried clam box. A welcome addition to the neighborhood. I've updated Places with new hours (from memory)--closed Mondays now.

                          2. Is there an on-line menu anywhere? Thanks.

                            1. My friend and I also loved the Fusilli Amalfi, and we split an absolutely decadent tiramisu for dessert.
                              Re: dining rooms - the entrance on the corner goes to a small area with three or four tall tables. Down the side street is another door directly to the regular dining room, which seats about 25 or 30. We walked in by the corner entrance, and my friend wasn't sure she'd be comfortable at a high table. Then the waitress directed us to the bigger d.r.
                              We'll go back!

                              On an amusing note... the salads with grilled fish were "served on mescaline." My friend and I thought that might make for an entertaining afternoon. We pointed out the menu error, with a laugh, to the waitress, who said that a couple of other people had also mentioned it.

                              6 Replies
                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                  Hey, we Jumbos are many things, but "mescaline" addicts ain't one of them.

                                  (hoorah hoorah for the dear old brown and blue)

                                  1. re: yumyum

                                    lol...only kidding of course...
                                    But isn't it chowhoundish to try ALL kinds of mushrooms?

                                      1. re: BJK

                                        See...obviously I didn't go to Tufts...

                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                          Ha ... while I'm an alum myself, I can't say that's something I learned in class ...

                                          ;)
                                          BK

                              1. FYI - there is an HP parking spot on Rogers (the side street) just opposite the restaurant, which is fully accessible, including the bathrooms.

                                1. Stopped in Saturday night after finding Vinny's to have a 40 minute wait and we were starved. Mescaline still on the menu. :)
                                  Had fusilli amalfi for $14 which had shrimp, scallops, a goodly amount of lobster, fresh tomato sauce or garlic/white wine - one of each for our table of three - both were excellent. Started with fried calamari - decent size serving - really thick almost bread-crumb-like batter was a nice change from the usual batters. A nice marinara for dipping.

                                  The place has a really cute community vibe - only bummer is the lack of liquor license or ability to carry in. Couldn't help but think how much yummier food would be with a little vino. But the lack of vino also I think brings in a certain type of neighborhood crowd that I do not dislike.

                                  BTW, thanks Hounds - I never would have known about this place with you, even though it is close by. Driving down Broadway, it is pretty easy to miss - you get past the diner and start looking at the bridge....

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                    We also managed to hit it Saturday night. Had the calamari and arancini appetizers; the calamari was a bit too thickly breaded for my preference (my favorite has been Carlos' Cucina in Brighton) but the arancini was good (first time I've tried it so I have no basis for comparison). Then we had the fusilli amalfi in both white and red sauces; my white sauce was a bit too salty, so I think the red sauce works best with it. I think it was something like 3-4 pieces of lobster, 3 shrimp, 3 scallops on an oval plate of fusilli.

                                    We ended up eating in the subshop area out front instead of the rear dining room because of the half hour wait and were served by the chef which was nice; she was also nice enough to let us use two of those small tables which are really meant for quick lunchtime snacks instead of dinner. A couple next to us had some weird ordering problem so their entrees came out half an hour later than hours and they didn't look too happy.

                                    It's at the corner of two streets, so it wasn't that hard to find, but it doesn't look like what you expect it to look like (it's a standalone corner of a building instead of a space on a block of buildings)

                                  2. Anyone know if they have tuna on the menu?

                                    1. All my favorite parts of Pescatore are kinda hidden.

                                      I tried to eat my way through the entire menu, but, uh, it turns out that: 1, I don't eat shellfish. 2, I cannot stop ordering specials.

                                      Earlier in the week, I took home sly coriander-crusted mahi-mahi (a special, not on the menu) over sauteed spinach and sweet potatoes. Also Anna's fantastic focaccia (comes with entree; not on the menu), sprinkled with just enough crunchy kosher salt so I crave it beyond reason. Tonight I took home more mahi-mahi (another special, not on the menu) - I said that Tuesday is my usual fish day (thanks Bourdain), and got told that I don't need to worry - fish arrives fresh every day, of course. Since I love making risotto, I generally turn up my nose at restaurant risotto - but not here. Sometimes, I get up my guts and ask for risotto with whatever entree I ordered, whether it goes or not.

                                      When I'm runnin' healthy, I love the grilled vegetables. I could do it at home, but it's all that work, and grilling indoors makes too much smoke. They're on the menu.

                                      The homemade desserts (mostly not printed on the menu) are divine. I love the sorbets, but I'm wild for the mousse (special, not on the menu) and tonight I had lovely bread pudding (special, not on the menu). The pear tart (special, not on the menu) was also really good, and I'm not a pear person.

                                      The veal marsala (written up in the globe, notable for the perfectly-matched butternut/cookie ravioli) started as a special. Now it's on the menu. ;)

                                      See what I mean? Hidden.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: enhF94

                                        A friend at there last week and said it was pretty deserted on a Tuesday. The owner said they were busy weekends (including Friday) but weeknights were slow. Still no wine/beer.

                                      2. I'm eating an order of butternut squash ravioli that I just got for takeout (no veal for me) and it's delicious. It has little chunks of ham that contrast nicely with the sweet squash. It was deserted though! From as far as I could tell, there is no online menu but plenty of hard copies there.

                                        1. I finally got over there last night -- too tired to cook, wanted to take out. I ordered the Fusili Amalfi which was mixed seafood (shrimp, lobster, scallops) over home-made pasta in a white wine garlic sauce. It was good, not great. The pasta was especially yummy -- nice chew. Decent amount of seafood but something was off with the scallops -- had a tinny chemical taste. That was disappointing. The sauce wasn't flavorful enough ... but with a pinch of red pepper flakes it was improved significantly.

                                          There were 5 or 6 daily specials, and one other patron was ordering a lobster roll, which looked good. For a first visit it was fine ... I'm not RACING back but it is a nice option in the hood.

                                          Dining room deserted, but easy parking close by. It's a weird location. I'm not sure they're gonna make it.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: yumyum

                                            I had some business over at Tufts so I finally got to try Pescatore last night. I got the fried clams and scallops platter ($12.95). Yumyum, I agree about the funny taste to the scallops, but the clams were extraordinary. Great fry job on tender sweet whole bellies. Not sure what was wrong with the scallops but they were underdone and had a bitter taste. I would return just for the clams.

                                            1. re: gourmaniac

                                              That is exactly right -- bitter scallops. I'll have to try the fried clams.

                                              Happy New Year!

                                              1. re: gourmaniac

                                                Do they still not have liquor license? can we bring our own wine??

                                                1. re: speranza

                                                  No license yet. Can't bring your own wine in Somerville (believe me, they'd be happy if they could; they own the liquor store next door, too).

                                                  1. re: enhF94

                                                    Was there on Sun. for the first time & the waitress said liquor license (& delivery service for food) would be coming in two months.

                                                    Food was a mixed bag --good bread, delicious arancini
                                                    DC had the homemade fettuccine Bolognese which was tasty but not extraordinary. I had the Haddock Paisano which was described on the menu as having evoo, garlic, parsley, white wine & fresh cherry tomatoes; it had all of the above, but was unexpectedly doused in marinara sauce which I did not enjoy. The fish itself was nice. Homemade fusilli was good, but the marinara had a wierd canned-pasta flavor to me (I think I only had spaghettio's once in my life but it was strangely reminiscent of that flavor!)

                                                    I would return & try their fried seafood offerings, although, Moulton's is just as close by & is my favorite for a fried fish fix...

                                                    1. re: saridt

                                                      I was there a month or so ago, having read the recs on this board. I had the arancini and the Risotto Pescatore. Both were outstanding. Friendly service and incredibly reasonable prices - I hope this place survives. It's a great addition to the neighborhood!

                                              2. re: yumyum

                                                I also tried the Fusili Amalfi about a month ago and completely agree with you, the lack of flavor in the white wine garlic sauce has prevented me from making a return. It does sound like there are items that people are excited about though so I'll either try one of those or one of the fried seafood offerings sometime here. I agree its a nice little place so I hope it can live up to my hopes.

                                              3. Thanks all for letting me know about this gem. Although it has been open for awhile, last night was my first visit.
                                                Still no liquor license.
                                                Food was very good. We had the fruti de mare and the baked haddock with spinach. After reading the reviews here, I wish I had gotten dessert – next time.

                                                1. Word on the city circuit is that they've gotten the liquor license! Woohoo!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: enhF94

                                                    Liquor, I am not sure, but they certainly had wine when I went about 3 weeks ago.