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Craving good pesto

bostongal May 3, 2008 08:54 AM

Looking for a good dinner place to get pasta and pesto...this is a bit harder to find than you would think. Most of the North End restaurants don't serve it...any ideas?

Quincy area, south shore, Back Bay or North End preferred locations....help...thanks....

  1. hiddenboston May 3, 2008 09:07 AM

    The Pasta Market Cafe in Malden has about the best pesto (and pasta) I have had anywhere in the Boston area. The dish I had there was parpadelle pesto. The pesto itself had a complex, slightly bitter taste to it that was absolutely outstanding. I'd definitely consider this place if you can get to Malden, but if it needs to be Boston proper or south of Boston, maybe someone else can chime in, as most good pesto dishes I've had have been north of Boston...

    2 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston
      bostongal May 3, 2008 09:15 AM

      Thanks for the recommendations - Malden would be fine! And I will check out Salumeria Italiana...the other jarred versions I've purchased for home use are kind of gross...

      1. re: bostongal
        galleygirl May 4, 2008 07:43 AM

        PIck up some Bear POnd Farm, they have it at most Whole Foods...It's fresh, in the Cheese department...More basil than oil, really potent stuff...Definitely stay away from anything in a jar; shelf stable just loses that freshness..

    2. 9
      9lives May 3, 2008 09:11 AM

      not a restaurant; but Salumeria Italiana on Richmond St..NE sells an excellent version for home use.

      1. m
        marilees May 4, 2008 07:49 AM

        I know this is out of your preferred area, but Rocca in south end has a trofie with pesto that's pretty good, and they do have a free parking lot

        1. MC Slim JB May 4, 2008 08:03 AM

          Trattoria Toscana in the Fenway does a superb pasta dish with a pesto-like sauce, the buongustaio, which has bits of pancetta in it. I second that trofie dish at Rocca, a lovely hand-rolled pasta with real hand-mortared pesto in the style of Liguria, which is famous for its pesto.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB
            Science Chick May 5, 2008 06:53 AM

            I second this recommendation. Best pesto I've EVER had. I don't eat meat, so they left the pancetta out for me......pure heaven!

          2. guineverek May 4, 2008 12:26 PM

            It's very easy to make yourself, and you can control the amount of cheese, garlic, buts or anything else until you find what's perfect for you!

            1. r
              Ralphie_in_Boston May 5, 2008 06:40 AM

              This isn't the best recommendation you'll see but for a quick and casual meal there's always Dino's in the North End. They offer pesto with a variety of pastas including gnocchi. In a pinch, gets the job done.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                three of us May 6, 2008 06:01 PM

                Tuesday after the Marathon, my husband and son were in the North End and ended up at Dino's because of the long lines at more familiar places. They really enjoyed their pasta and thought it a good value.

                1. re: three of us
                  Ralphie_in_Boston May 7, 2008 08:10 AM

                  I'm glad to hear it! There sandwiches are pretty good too, BTW.

              2. f
                Fox71 May 5, 2008 06:34 PM

                Sweet Basil in Needham... Included with the bread basket comes a dish of the tasiest pesto EVER!! Whenever I eat there, I always have them put a pint of pesto on the bill for me to take home.. It lasts only a day or two.


                1. CocoDan May 6, 2008 05:46 AM

                  Villa Francesca on Richmond Street (North End), has it on their regular menu. It's good!

                  1. s
                    slfrye107 Oct 8, 2008 08:53 AM

                    I know this a quite a few months later but... Al Dente in the North End is a great tiny restaurant with good pesto. Best if you go early though because of the size. Highly recommended.

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