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May 30, 2008 05:56 AM

Pescatore, Somerville

I’ve been in a couple times recently, first visit since they got their beer, wine & cordial license. Pleasant little room, very relaxed neighborhood vibe on a mid-week evening.

The wine and beer list is short, inexpensive, and serviceable. Glasses were $6.50 for a decent pour.

A basket of sliced Iggy’s francese is served with a saucer of olive oil and oil-cured olives.

A special of soft-shell crabs on a mesclun salad was 2 well-selected crabs, really excellently fried, crisp and greaseless, dabbed with some mayoish sauce I didn’t really notice. Salad was a good mix of greens dressed with a nice vinaigrette. It was billed as an appetizer, but made an ample dinner. ($17, high end of their menu.)

I went back thinking more fried stuff but somehow the homemade fettuccine Bolognese ($11) called to me. I was pretty much expecting a tomatoey southern version, and that’s what I got. Didn’t wow me but it was very good. The portion is American entrée-sized, did not think to ask about half portions. A side of sautéed spinach ($4) was garlicky and perfect. Enough leftovers of both for lunch.

I wouldn’t make a trip across town just to eat here, but man am I glad I can stroll over. I see fried clams and a beer in my near future.

158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

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  1. I like this place. I enjoyed the fried clams on my one visit and also noticed the good bread. The ssc sound great.

    1. went tonight for the first time in a while, and the pastries are still excellent. The current (homemade with marscapone) sorbet is strawberry, which I adore, but I opted for the torta amaretto, which was fantastic. Almondy, lemony, very light, with a cupcake-crisp crust I could not get enough of, dusted in powdered sugar.

      they've also added decor since I've been there, filling out the space.

      1. Thanks for the report, Aroma. The beer/wine license sure helps to coax us in for a weekday dinner.

        1. I'd like to resurrect this thread - went to Pescatore after reading little recent notes about how this place is still making good food - although it is close by, I only went once when it first opened (pre-liquor license) and it was just ok. Anyway, was feeling guilty after reading other trusted posts about the good chow and made a point to go last night for dinner.

          It was very satisfying.

          We started off with a special salad of arugula, toasted pine nuts, shaved fennel, grapes and blue cheese, champagne vinigrette perfectly dressed. We thought we were ordering one salad to split, but it was very generous at $10 and as it turned out, was designed for two. Which is why we also ordered the arancini to also split - these were very good, good arborio rice, excellent crispy fry job, yummy cheese and other bits on the inside - warm fresh tomato sauce on the side to liven them up.

          For dinner, my DF had the salmon with mashed and asparagus (subbing the salmon for the special "sea bass") - she was very happy - everything was perfectly executed. I had the fusilli amalfi with tomato sauce which was their homemade fusilli (similar to the type you get at VInny's although less chewy in a good way), with two large scallops perfectly cooked, a few shrimp, a piece of lobster claw and a few other fish tidbits thrown in. Just delicious - really hit the spot on a cold night after a long day.

          We shared a bottle of Feudi Saraceni Montepulciano - very smooth and easy to drink - $23. (There was another monte for $21 - so we splurged....)

          The pear ricotta pie was tempting, but we'd had enough.

          The total for the food was $50 - we've paid a lot more for a lot less - definitely worth the value and worthy of many return visits. Also nice that at least on this Thursday night, there were a few other tables of people. Seems like in these economic times, the smaller places are getting hit harder first, so will try to make a point to support the local spots.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            We've been dying to try this place since my family is originally from Somerville and my mother's maiden name is Pescatore.

            We can't wait.

            1. re: Richard Hurts

              RH - I don't want to get your hopes up TOO high, but do try it. It's a real decent neighborhood Italian place. A point of comparison - we love Vinny's at Night, but they are such the feedbag over there, which is good sometimes, but Pescatore is much more restrained. No "wow" factor but very very solid. Hope you enjoy it.

              Oh, and forgot to mention, still serving the good bread (presumably Iggy's) with good olive oil and really yummy oil-cured olives.

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Bob, the bread at Pescatore is indeed from Iggy's. I found it at Whole Foods the other day (the one near Memorial Drive in Cambridge). It is called Francese. Really good stuff!

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  Thanks, HB. I assume you are aware of the Iggy's outlet near Alewife? The entire product line for about 2/3rds of the retail price.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    Heh, I just noticed the OP mentioned that the bread was called Francese. Oh well, can't hurt to say it again....

                    I believe that is the headquarters for Iggy's, no? I used to work around there, but for some reason never went, opting to get humiliated every day at Cheddar's instead. For those not familiar with the area, it is on Fawcett Street in the industrial section of West Cambridge.

            2. re: Bob Dobalina

              i can confirm that the arancini are indeed very nice. i'd like to try the fusili amalfi with the red sauce--had it with the white on the theory that that would complement the shellfish better, but i think the dish needed a bit more oomph.

              a DC got the steak tips, which i would never have thought to order, but were actually quite good. asked for them rare and they came out rare; super tender and rich beef flavor, though the marinade was a tad on the sweet side.

              the chicken in lemon cream sauce is also not a dish i would order, but it turns out that the sauce was really quite excellent.

              and although we've purchased iggy's francese for home consumption, somehow the bread at pescatore (with the fabulous olive oil) seems to be better. dunno how that can be, but there you have it.

              as Bob Dobalina says: a very, very solid neighborhood joint. Super glad we live around the corner.

              1. re: autopi

                I haven'y been to Pescatore, but I can speak to the various sizes of Francese. You can buy small loaves, or "half-basket" pre-sliced at Whole Foods. The slices defintiely have a better crumb than the small Francese, but if you get the HUGE loaves at Iggy's, like the restaurants do, and cut them yourself, into larger chunks, the results are sublime...You have to buy a couplah feet of bread, but...;)

              2. re: Bob Dobalina

                I love this place, too. I've only been a few times, but have had great meals each time. Can't pass up those arancini, no matter if I tell myself I really should try a new app. I've had that salmon - delicious! And stuffed or not, that pear ricotta pie is worth the waddle home afterward! Good food and warm friendly staff make me glad to have it in the neighborhood.

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  Good to hear it. A "few tables" on a Thursday sounds like business is down--but I looked in last Friday and the place was hopping. Maybe it's just the cold, sure hope so. Since you revived the thread I'll update my comment on the wine list from "serviceable" to "appealing." The house red and white are actually not uninteresting (and a very decent pour) and the whole list has improved from last summer when it was mostly generic "merlot," "chardonnay," and similar blahness. Were there other specials (and do you remember them)?

                  1. re: Aromatherapy

                    Just the special salad and the special sea bass yesterday.

                    There aren't many tables to begin with, so when I said a few tables...
                    When we entered at 7:30ish, there were three tables of four and a two. Only one other group of four entered while we were there. It was really cold last night.

                2. Love, love, love it here! I really hope it stays in business. If you are in the area, please try this place out! You will love it too!