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North End Italian: have I done my homework?

Scagnetti Aug 15, 2007 02:54 PM

The Vitals:
Long time Dallas CH, one night only, North End Italian, casual dress, Tuesday night, price not a factor but I don't want to go through the beating of a high end resto meal, staying at the Bulfinch Hotel, Southern Italian

The Picks:
Piccolo Nido (not many reviews)
Antico Forno (small dining area)
Massimino's
Pagliuca's
?

Thoughts? Every time I think I've found the place, I find another place. This has been my progression: Piccolo Nido -> Massimino's -> Antico Forno -> Pagliuca's

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    Guinness02122 RE: Scagnetti Aug 15, 2007 03:04 PM

    Hey Seymour, go to Mamma Maria's if you only have one night and lots-o-cash.

    1. b
      bachslunch RE: Scagnetti Aug 15, 2007 03:13 PM

      I'd actually put them almost in reverse order, with best listed first:

      Antico Forno
      Pagliuca's
      Massimino's
      Piccolo Nido

      The first two are nearly on a par with each other -- tough to go wrong at either. Massimino's is actually very good, if maybe not quite in this league. Piccolo Nido was only average at best when I tried it, and their opening times can be very erratic.

      Other Southern Italian spots to consider, at or slightly above this price range for dinner, would be Maurizio's or (if you stick with basics) Saraceno's; if you want Southern Italian seafood spots, Giacomo's or Daily Catch could also figure in.

      Much as I like Mamma Maria, both it and Prezza, another great North End place, will be decidedly more expensive and are Northern Italian places.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bachslunch
        marcusnaz14 RE: bachslunch Aug 30, 2007 01:21 PM

        I second Prezza, excellent restaurant if you have the money and want to dress up. Anyone know why Meze/Copia failed? (othe rthan the location (which only somewhat makes sense afterall it is across from Olives).

      2. Infomaniac RE: Scagnetti Aug 15, 2007 03:25 PM

        Never been to Piccolo Nido, but I like all the other choices. We seem to always end up at Antico Forno though because of the pizza they serve from their wood burn oven.

        1. p
          Pegmeister RE: Scagnetti Aug 16, 2007 05:16 AM

          Not a fan of either Piccolo Nido or Pagliucas. Antico Forno does a great job with chicken parm and pizza but they can also can offer more creative specials. I had butternut squash raviolis there last fall and I talked about them for weeks. Massimino's is a good pick, but for some reason I find Antico Forno more comfortable. I would also suggest Il Paninos, especially for their lasagna of the day. My favorite was the lasagna with bechamel sauce; potato; shrimp and corn --- absolutely delicious!

          1. b
            Bostonbob3 RE: Scagnetti Aug 16, 2007 05:54 AM

            My two recs (and I'm a longtime North Ender) would be Terramia or Taranta.

            I also love Mamma Maria, but according to your comment, you don't want "the beating of a high end restaurant meal." Mamma Maria can occasionally provide that beating. :)

            Do a site search and check out Terramia and Taranta. I think you'd absolutely love either one.

            BTW, while I really like Antico Forno, it really is more of an everyday, casual kind of place. With just one night in the NE, go with one of the two I mentioned above.

            The others on your list? Eh. Not so much.

            1. hiddenboston RE: Scagnetti Aug 16, 2007 05:58 AM

              Haven't been to Piccolo Nido yet, but as far as the others, I'd like them all about the same (and would definitely consider any of them).

              I assume you're looking for casual places. If so, I think I would put a few others at the same level, including Cibo, Monica's, Rabia's, and Ricardo's.

              1. j
                JCPope RE: Scagnetti Aug 16, 2007 07:04 AM

                I have always had good meals at Piccolo Nido, and the owner Pino is very friendly and welcoming.

                1. Scagnetti RE: Scagnetti Aug 30, 2007 10:12 AM

                  I want to report back on our dining experience.

                  We chose Terramia and our experienced was mixed. The food and wine was excellent: crab appetizer, grilled calamari salad, stuffed chicked, pasta with clams but the table was awful.

                  Here's is what I think happened. I booked the table through the restaurant's web site for 7:30 PM on a Tuesday night. I noticed the time choices were on the hour, 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 8:00 PM etc. When we got there, all of the tables were taken except for a two top that was literally wedged next to the wait station and wine rack in the back. I just groaned. This is one of my pet restaurant peeves: bad tables. I can't help but think that this is not a regular table as the back of my chair was constantly getting jostled by waiters going back and forth from the kitchen but alas, I could do nothing.

                  I would certainly go back again, the food was that good, but I would insist on sitting at a better table.

                  1. b
                    Boston Scene RE: Scagnetti Aug 31, 2007 07:16 AM

                    I would actually recommend Taranta or Bacco for a more casual cost effecient meal, or if you want to drop some cash try Prezza or Mamma Maria!

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