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Prezza or Mama Maria

Going back to Boston and want to try one of the above North End restaurants. Which would you choose if you could only pick one? Or is there somewhere better?

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  1. No place better than Prezza IMHO.

    1. Prezza- these 2 places are not even on the same gourmet level- do youself a favor and go to Prezza

        1. Prezza is wonderful and more high end. Mamma Maria is also great though and has a more classic italiam american vibe but nicer.

          1. Prezza, without a doubt.

            For a second option, I'd skip Mama Maria and try Marco, Marc Orfaly's take on a Roman trattoria. But Prezza is Northend's best, without peer.

            Mama Maria is set in a nice brownstone, and they offer some romantic seating options, but the food is classic Italian-American, like your American grandmother would make.

            Not to give you too many options, but if you want Boston's best Italian, not necessarily in the Northend, check out Erbaluce--one of the most excited, innovative restaurants in the city right now.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rlove

              No way most people's American grandma is making seared scallops w/ poached fennel and rabbit pappardelle w/ crispy pancetta. While MM is a little more traditional, it's not like it's serving giant platters of ziti. I think it's more a question of wanting a quieter, more romantic type place vs. a bustling scene.

            2. Both serve very good food, it depends what you're looking for. Mamma Maria is old-school, while Prezza more adventurous (in a good way). Me, I'd go with Prezza.

              1. Prezza--try the baked stuffed figs.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hoohah

                  agree the baked stuffed figs are good, but they are not exactly cutting edge these days. however the giant egg ravioli with truffles is back on the menu for fall.

                  <<swoon>>

                2. I think Prezza is amazing, one of my faves in the North End, but I have to defend Mamma Maria a bit. Yes, it's a little fusty, and its Northern Italian menu is hardly edgy, but it is the most formal of North End places and has generally excellent service, really charming atmosphere (I like the bigger rooms for business entertaining and that little two-person-only room overlooking North Square, very romantic), and an impressive if overpriced wine list. Red sauce Italian-American, it is not. Still a cut above most of the neighborhood.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. Adding to the Prezza recs. I ate there Saturday night for the first time and was bowled over. Had three appetizers for dinner (mushroom risotto, portobello with polenta and gnocchi) and was stuffed and happy!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chi_town_hound

                      I'm not surprised. I haven't had their gnocchi yet, but those first two dishes are sublime. Good ordering! (I'm not sure there's such a thing as bad ordering there, though.)

                    2. I'm considering Prezza for my 2 year anniversary. I've heard nothing but accolades for Prezza and was wondering, is it still as good as ever? Is it suited for an anniversary?

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                      Prezza
                      24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                        i had another hit out of the ballpark dinner there last week. crispy shrimp, the to-die-for egg ravioli and the "meatballs" which is meatballs, sausage and ribs in a very porky red sauce, over soft polenta. swoony good.

                        it's a busy kind of loud place. if you want romantical and quiet this may not be your best option.

                        1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                          Prezza is as excellent as ever. I last visited two weeks ago and they hit all the right notes.

                          The restaurant is rather lively and loud--in a good way--and it might not be your what you want for an anniversary, if you are going for the romantic angle. Mama Maria is definitely a much more romantic joint--particularly the special single-table room overlooking North Square--but as I mentioned earlier in this thread, I don't think Mama Maria is in the same league as Prezza, food-wise.

                          Not to dissuade you: Prezza is an excellent choice, and the space is well done, but candle lit romantic it is not. If a louder, trendier restaurant--but high end--is what you want, go for it. The food won't disappoint.

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                          Prezza
                          24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                        2. What's the favorite dish at Prezza?

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                          Prezza
                          24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: your_outreach

                            Ravioli di ouvo: a ravioli with an egg yolk inside, topped with browned butter and sage. Awesome.

                            Sweet corn raviolini with rock shrimp (on the menu for the summer, at least).

                            Wood grilled squid & octopus (served as an appetizer).

                            Just about any of the items from the wood grill. I love the fish (particularly when offered as a special), but the steaks are great if in the mood for beef.

                          2. Prezza's probably #1 on my sorely overdue restaurants to try that have been raved about by nearly every Boston hound. I ate at MM a few years ago for my birthday, and while the setting was lovely, the table of loud private equity suits at the table next to me were not.

                            I'm open to alternate suggestions as well, but want to try something new. I guess I could consider Scampo as well, and perhaps Sorellina.

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                            Prezza
                            24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                            Scampo
                            215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

                            Sorellina
                            1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                              Given this, I'd recommend Prezza. Go for it. Enjoy!

                              (And not to complicate matters, but I'd highly recommend Erbaluce and Prezza before Sorellina and, even more so, Scampo. Erbaluce is outstanding.)

                              -----
                              Prezza
                              24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                              Scampo
                              215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

                              Sorellina
                              1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

                              Erbaluce
                              69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                            2. Prezza is definitely the North End's best, but not the best Italian in the city. I'd go to Erbaluce or Via Matta before any place in the NE.

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                              Prezza
                              24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                              Via Matta
                              79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

                              Erbaluce
                              69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ecwashere7

                                The Bolognese at Via Matta was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten in my life!

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                                Via Matta
                                79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116