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Jan 11, 2010 01:26 PM

Birthday dinner help...high end Italian...someplace newish?

Hi all, I'm looking for a little advice on choosing a restaurant for my birthday next month. I'm sort of feeling Italian food this time around. We've been eating a lot of great French and Asian food lately, but haven't had any really amazing Italian meals in a while. I had high hopes for Pazzo (looked good on paper and I loved Bill Bradley's food during that brief period when Rustic Kitchen was good) and was majorly disappointed by my first trip I think I'm trying to fill the void left by that visit.

Anyway, I'm thinking of: Coppa, Erbaluce, Scampo, Sportello, or Via Matta. The only one on that list that we've already been to is Via Matta. We've found it amazing when it wants to be, and lacking on other visits. I'm open to other suggestions, but definitely want to avoid North End type places... Bonus points where there is burrata present (the Scampo menu is looking great to me right now).

The best Italian meal I had last year was in San Francisco! That just doesn't seem right. =)

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  1. Scampo is excellent! Great food and service, nice room, nice vibe. What about Sorellina- also excellent but a little more fancy atmosphere. Like them both, but if I want to have burrata, clear choice is Scampo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: emilief

      Scampo's great; for less traditional, more innovative, Erbaluce is a great take, and the chef often comes out for a chat. The room itself isn't a wow, but the personal attention is great for a special night..
      Haven't heard much about Trattoria Toscana recently here. Perhaps not as high end, but it was fabulous food. Any recent opinions?

    2. Based on your requirements I would suggest Scampo too. The entire restaurant has a great "buzz" to it and the food is always good. I love their Lobster pizza as an app to split and burrata is alway6s good too. Other things I like are the Kurabota pork chop and their very simple spaghetti ala pomodoro. The Elelphant Ear bread is also delicious and excellent to share too.

      1. prezza is not on your list, but should be. although in the north end, it is not a "north end" cliche. the food and wine are both fantastic. every time i eat there the food is out of this world.

        i love scampo too, but entirely different vibe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          another vote for erbaluce - i have had amazing meals here with service matching the food, particularly a recent pasta with white truffle dish and a stellar sardine starter.

        2. Thanks for all of the input so far. I AM interested in Prezza, but am a little turned off by the photos of their space on their website (I didn't mention this, but a good room is somewhat important to me as well). Is it nicer in real life? I know what you are saying about it being in the North End but not a "North End type of place."

          I will look into Sorellina as well...I thought of it after I posted.

          I feel like it's probably down to Erbaluce and Scampo...happy there are so many people who vouch for both!

          5 Replies
          1. re: ginafly

            I like Prezza's space better than both Erbaluce and Scampo.

            1. re: phatchris

              me too. scampo feels cold and sorrelina almost feels clinical with all the white.

            2. re: ginafly

              What about Toscano on Charles Street. High end Italian and a great room. I have had really good meals and excellent service there twice in the past year.

              My husband's birthday is this weekend and we are going to try Erbaluce. I have high expectations, based on how much I loved Marcuccio's.

              1. re: ginafly

                I haven't been to Erbaluce, but the Prezza and Scampo spaces are very different. The photos of Prezza on the web site were taken in broad daylight so it looks different at night, crowded with people. It's small, but not intimate, with three parallel rows: the banquettes, the booths in the middle row, and the bar on the other side of the booths. It's got white tablecloths and is simply decorated. I prefer the vibe at Prezza to the cacophonous scene at Scampo, where the tables are lined up against the walls facing the the central bar like at a dinner theater.

                1. re: pollystyrene

                  I find Prezza sleek & like their subdued lighting.

              2. I also went to Prezza for my birthday and it was the best meal, Italian or otherwise, that I have had in Boston in about 20 years, everything was creative and outstanding.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bakerboyz

                  Yet another vote for Prezza. It's probably one of my favorite restaurants in the North End. I like the food at Mamma Maria as well, but the ambiance not modern. You're inside a townhouse, though, which is kind of cool. I had burrata (from Italy!) at Gran Gusto in Cambridge awhile back. Not sure if they always have it though.