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Italian Best Picks in the North End?

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cscott4313 Apr 2, 2009 02:54 PM

My Brother's comming into town for a couple of nights and I want to show him some good Italian. We've been to Mama Maria (3 North Square) and loved it. Our old, modest favorite, however, is Bella Vista on Hanover St. Lucia (owner/manager) has been so nice to us and her tortellini alfredo is out of this world. Outstanding noodles and incredible, rich sauce. Go on Friday or Saturday nights when the best chef is in. Very reasonable prices.

I want to know:
A) Your favorite Italian dinner or appatizer spot in the North End
B) The must order dish(es) at that place

Thanks so much!

Last time my brother was in town we stopped at three places. The idea is to find the best dishes at several, sample them all, and compare (We call this the "good people, good food and lots of it" principle ha). We'll be sure to post the results. Thanks Again.

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    bachslunch RE: cscott4313 Apr 2, 2009 06:31 PM

    Here's my aging but still useful North End survey:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/448599

    1 Reply
    1. re: bachslunch
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      cscott4313 RE: bachslunch Apr 2, 2009 10:38 PM

      Thanks so much and what a great resource!

    2. Food4Thought RE: cscott4313 Apr 2, 2009 07:49 PM

      Indeed bachslunch's post is still germane. Seeing as you have prior experience in the NE, doing a search on "North End" will bring up tons of posts which will allow you to mach your tastes with those of other posters. I like the oven baked dishes of Antico Forno, my wife's favorite is Giacamos' and I popped the question at Carmen.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Food4Thought
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        cscott4313 RE: Food4Thought Apr 2, 2009 09:32 PM

        Haha great story thanks so much. Keep 'em commin.

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        pollystyrene RE: cscott4313 Apr 2, 2009 11:41 PM

        Don't miss Prezza, especially their risotto or polenta dishes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pollystyrene
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          danielle RE: pollystyrene Apr 22, 2009 02:47 PM

          I second this- definitely the best food I've had in the NE (where I live). Don't like the atmosphere as much as some of the other places, but the food and wine are excellent.

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          kristinayee RE: cscott4313 Apr 3, 2009 05:51 AM

          One of my favorite little places is Monica's. Their bolognese is out of this world!

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            Bostonbob3 RE: cscott4313 Apr 3, 2009 05:57 AM

            Taranta is very good. Peruvian/Italian fusion that actually works.

            Other than that, just search North End.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Bostonbob3
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              cscott4313 RE: Bostonbob3 Apr 5, 2009 08:14 PM

              Thanks everyone all great stuff! Has anyone tried Marco (253 Hanover Street)? Website looks alright just seeking some experientail knowledge. Any other suggestions would still be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

              1. re: cscott4313
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                Bostonbob3 RE: cscott4313 Apr 6, 2009 06:13 AM

                Yeah, Marco's quite good. The chef, Marc Offaly (get it? Marc-O? Heh) is very talented.

                1. re: Bostonbob3
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                  cscott4313 RE: Bostonbob3 Apr 6, 2009 08:25 AM

                  thanks I'll have to try it.

                2. re: cscott4313
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                  danielle RE: cscott4313 Apr 22, 2009 02:46 PM

                  Love Marco! Cozy/romantic, and consistently good (though not amazing) food. And they let you do half size entrees, which I also appreciate.

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                cscott4313 RE: cscott4313 Apr 12, 2009 07:40 PM

                Went to Maurizio’s (www.mauriziosboston.com) for lunch today and had a good meal. My gnocci was not spectacular, but the sauce made up for it. Still, the antipasti (fresh imported cheeses and meats) and my girlfriends portabella ravioli with an extra creay pesto sauce was great! The termisu was good as well. Still, with the exception of the portabella pesto ravioli, Bella Vista's noodles are of much higer quality (their tortellini alfredo is out of this world) and their terimisu is lighter. Overall, I was satisfied with the meal. The environment was satisfactory: we were seated close to the front door and caught a cold draft everytime someone entered. The waitstaff was great. I have a feeling that dinner on a friday or saturday night would have yielded more spectacular dishes.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cscott4313
                  MrsCheese RE: cscott4313 Apr 19, 2009 09:10 PM

                  I wouldn't be too sure about that - the one time we tried Maurizio's (on a Friday night) we thought it was mediocre at best. The service was wonderful, and we had a good time, but the food was not very good. WAY overcooked seafood in my pasta and everything needed salt.

                  1. re: MrsCheese
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                    cscott4313 RE: MrsCheese Apr 19, 2009 09:26 PM

                    We did not try the seafood. Thanks for the input. I stand by my comments on the pesto though. So good.

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                  cscott4313 RE: cscott4313 Apr 19, 2009 05:28 PM

                  Was just in the North End for dinner Saturday night and ate at Bella Vista. I love coming back to this place! As usual, I ordered the tortellini alfredo. Amazingly rich and buttery smooth alfredo; noodles with the most perfect consistency. For dessert: tiramisu. This was a great version, made unique by the slight dusting of granulated sugar that gives the rich-moist dish a wonderfully unexpected hint of a crunch. Perfect. Not the highest-end restaurant in the North End by any means, but great food and family run. Will absolutely go back.

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