Visitor from Hawaii looking for Northend Favorites
I have a friend visiting from Hawaii this weekend and I'd like to bring her to the Northend. I guess I'm looking for good food and atmosphere. I don't want a showy place, ususally not impressed. I'd rather have hole in the wall, great food and wine list rather than city chic.
I'd recommend Antico Forno - very good, reasonably priced food in a comfortable, unshowy atmosphere. I'm not sure what their wine list is like, but it is a board favorite, so I'm sure someone else can fill you in on that aspect.
I'd recommend Terramia. Quitessential North End charm, fab food.
Not cheap, but not outrageous either.
Other thoughts (based on your requirements) from a North Ender who lived in Honolulu for three years:
I took my boyfriend (who had never been to Boston before) to Il Panino and we had a delicious meal. We sat outside and had a lovely time. (The outdoor seating is one of the things that makes Il Panino great...you can people watch and still enjoy your meal in a fun and romantic atmosphere). We especially enjoyed the lobster ravioli. It almost tasted like a pasta version of lobster bisque...so good. On top of that it wasn't incredibly over priced like many spots in the North End tend to me. And the wait staff is friendly and helpful in deciding what to get. On top of that...many of them are from Italy which lends some authenticity to the place.
Afterwards we walked to a near by gelatto spot and sampled some gelatto. Another option would be to walk over to Mike's Pastries though and get a cannoli or something.
I find out of towners really love the North End especially if they come from a city without a large Italian population...like Hawaii.