Pasta Market, Malden
Thanks to all for suggesting this terrific little place. We went there last night--it was the first time I had ever been to Judson Square in Malden, and I thought I knew every neighborhood in the Boston area. So much for that, I guess!
Anyways, the place was mostly empty when we went, so we grabbed a table next to the open kitchen area. The waitress was very good, though she did seem to have a little trouble with English--no big deal, though. After we ate some bread soaked in their olive oil dipping sauce, we shared a very nice Caesar salad (it was just about big enough for two people). Then our entrees came. The wild mushroom ravioli in romano cheese cream sauce was nothing short of spectacular, with incredibly tender raviolis mixed with peppers and mushrooms. The other entree was just as good--the parpadelle pesto was a bit more complex than your typical pesto dish, with a rather peppery taste to it, as well as a slightly bitter aftertaste. Amazing stuff, indeed, and the freshness of the pasta in the dish was icing on the cake.
I have had some really good Italian meals in 2007 (Ricardo's in the North End, Pasta Lina's in Medford, Grano Trattoria in NYC) and some rather average meals as well (La Cantina Italiana in Framingham, Alfredo's in Quincy), but other than perhaps Pasta Lina's, I don't think I've had Italian food as good as this over the past year or so.