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Feb 13, 2009 07:01 AM

Casual + North End + Full bar


I'm looking for a recommendation for a North End restaurant that:

1) serves "traditional" red sauce Italian;
2) is casual/ low-key but not a dive (dinner is for 2 couples in their 40s coming in from the suburbs);
3) has a full bar.

I've come up with Rabia's and Giacomo's as top choices, but am unsure about the full bar aspect of either. Does anyone know if these places serve liquor? Or are there any other restaurants you would recommend?


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  1. Artu sounds like it would work for you.

    1. I am pretty sure that Rabia and Giacomo are wine and beer only. Artu now has a full bar and is pretty casual. Fiore also has a full bar and is casual.

      1 Reply
      1. Has anyone mentioned Fiore yet? That might be a good one to try!

        1. Assagio of Prince St. also has a full bar and could be a nice option, especially if you're in the mood for rissotto.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Pegmeister

            I used to love the mushroom risotto at Assaggio, but when I went last summer it had a strong lipton soup mix thing happening (flavor wise, not suggesting they used it). That may have been an isolated thing, but it has dropped off my "reliable" list.

            1. re: cmd

              Wow, really? Assagio is my go-to place for risotto. They really (used?) to do it right.

              1. re: Bostonbob3

                Well, it was one time, so it might have just been an off night (after years of being really good). But definitely weird/disappointing--I think I have been ordering that dish since 1996 :).

                1. re: cmd

                  Just had the risotto at Assaggio, and it was fine, but nothing I'd say would make it my 'go to' place for the dish. It was the daily special, and they paired it with a tuna filet that was either rare or undercooked and topped with a jalapeno-heavy salsa that overpowered any possible tuna flavor. Very weird. I won't bother returning.

          2. Lucia's on Hanover Street, Artu on Little Prince or Massimino's on Endicott Street are all very good options.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FeastNut2008

              do any of the restauranst listed on this stream take reservations?