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North End Dinner

We are staying at the Long Wharf for one night in August and were thinking of walking over to the North End for a memorable Italian dinner (followed by bakery pastry).
We have done this a couple of times in the past and have some good meals and some not so great. Would anyone be able to recommend a place that would please a chow hound couple?
Thanks

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  1. Higher end: Mamma Maria -- reservations recommended.

    More casual: Neptune Oyster Bar -- reservations not accepted, but worth the wait.

    1. I've said this a few times, but one of my favorite places lately is Rabia's on Salem Street. I've heard they've added a raw oyster bar to their already great menu.

      A little higher end, but has a great venue is Fiore's. I've only been once, but we had terrific meals, great wine and excellent service up on their roof deck. Great place to dine on a warm summer evening.

      For pastry and capucino, I love Vittoria's on Hanover St (their capucino alone is like a dessert!). For pastry to go, I recommend avoiding Mike's and head over to either Modern Pastry (across the street by Mother Anna's or Bova's (open 24/7)

      1. I agree with both previous Hounds. Here's an additional take: Terramia, Marco, Prezza, Carmen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bostonbob3

          My suggestions would be: Antico Forno for moderate prices but very good and wholesome food and Prezza for high-end Italian dining. Reservation at Prezza are essential but sometimes you can get a seat at the bar and dine there too. Great food, great wine list and good service

        2. My boyfriend and I went to the North End for dinner last weekend (I'm originally from Boston but we both live elsewhere now) and had a wonderful, romantic dinner at Trattoria Il Panino. The waitstaff was super friendly (and almost everyone is from Italy with an interesting story) and food was delicious. We had the gnocchi in a red sauce and the lobster raviolli which literally tasted like lobster bisque in the pasta form. It was incredible with a crab rose sauce. I still am thinking about it.

          Afterwards we went a few steps down to Gelatorria or something like that...the gelato place next door. We had the chocolate hazelnut gelato..mmmm delicious!

          Il Panino also has a beautiful outdoor patio area where you can watch the people walking by and also have a romantic meal. I highly recommend it. And it was very moderatly priced.

          1. Can't beat Bricco! Delicious!

            1. gashrink: maybe consider some oysters and a glass of wine first at Neptune Oyster. We don't have much like it in GA, at least not in Athens.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Dax

                Thanks all for all the wonderful suggestions.
                Dax You can get fine oysters (for a price) both at 5 and 10 and at Harry Bisset's in Athens but I'm sure they are fresher at Neptune (which I went to last a few years ago.).
                Had OK Lobster Ravioli last time I was in Boston so I may try Trattoria Il Panino to see if their's are more like what I'd hope for. I'm not going until the end of August so I'll have time to make reservations.

                1. re: gashrink

                  Neptune Oyster just opened a little over two years ago if I recall. Anyway, Bissets at least only tends to offer only one variety of Gulf oyster at a time (which I find a bit boring). Neptune, B&G Oysters, and even McCormick offer at least a dozen varieties from oysters local to New England, to Canadian oysters, to Northwest Pacific oysters, to oysters from around the world. It's amazing the differences in tastes by local and/or variety.

              2. I love Marco, I think the chef has it down when it comes to legit, fresh, rustic italian. It is in an upstairs space on Hanover with a very understated sign (replaced Tratorria Scalitanella), small, and very intimate. Bistecca alla Fiorentina (for 2) is excellent, especially on a date. I have eaten here about 5 times since it opened and it does not have that cheesy, hanover, "we know tons of tourists come here so we will server overpriced frozen pasta" feel. Exactly the opposite. The chef also owns Pigalle in the South End. Enjoy! My second rec. would be Prezza, less rustic and more contemporary space.

                1. Two of my favorites are Marco and Ristorante Euno. I had a bad experience recently at Bricco and a friend of mine also had a bad meal there last weekend.

                  Hope this helps!
                  Tom