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Ideas for a romantic, Italian restaurant in Boston

j
jenni49 Jan 15, 2010 03:27 PM

I plan to give my son & girlfriend (mid-twenties) a birthday gift certificate for dinner in Boston. After some searching, my thought is Mamma Maria's. I don't know Boston restaurants well, so any thoughts or other recommendations are appreciated.

  1. t
    teezeetoo Jan 15, 2010 07:50 PM

    mama maria's is a fine choice. Prezza might be a little hipper or "younger" in feel. Lucca's on Huntington Avenue is elegant and Erbaluce's is fresh and creative. Lot's of good choices.

    8 Replies
    1. re: teezeetoo
      mcel215 Jan 16, 2010 05:39 AM

      I agree with your choice of Mamma Maria's. They have valet parking and I go early and grab a canoli at Modern to take back home. The staff at Mamma Marie's stored my canoli's in their kitchen fridge until I was done dinner.
      Great service and excellent food. I haven't tried Lucca's, but have heard good things as well.

      1. re: mcel215
        w
        Winer Jan 16, 2010 05:48 AM

        Mamma's is the answer. The food is fantastic and the setting if far more romantic than any other option in the North End.
        Let us know what you decide to do and give us a little review

        1. re: Winer
          j
          jenni49 Jan 16, 2010 04:02 PM

          Thank you all, I will go with Mama Maria's, even though the wine mark ups are really high. A $15 chianti classico at my local store is $50+. Ouch. Hopefully, they will enjoy. Dinner will be in early Feb. Will respond with a review.
          One last ? Should they do dessert at one of the local bakeries instead?
          Great board. Nice people, thanks again.

          1. re: jenni49
            p
            Pegmeister Jan 16, 2010 05:31 PM

            Definitely, get out for a nice walk and head to Maria's. This will probably start a debate, but actually Mike's and Modern are pretty good as well. If weather is poor, you could walk down Hanover St and stop at Paradiso, one of my favorities or check out the new location for Cafe Graffiti, which I'm really curious about.

            1. re: Pegmeister
              k
              kimfair1 Jan 17, 2010 07:40 AM

              There should be no debate about this at all. Go to Maria's. Mike's would be the best Italian bakery in a city without one, but it's not when there are two better within 2 blocks. Modern is my favorite bakery on Hanover St, but the often interminable wait at times when there are very few people in front of you (once waited over 30 minutes, and I was third in line), and occasional attitude from the staff are downers. This leaves Maria's, with the best product (our usual buys are cookies, and sfogliatelle) as well as fast efficient and always pleasant service. They don't have the vast breadth of cookie choice that Mike's has, but they are my favorite Italian cookies in the North End, (though the cookies from Lumberto's in Revere beats them by a hair).

            2. re: jenni49
              b
              bakerboyz Jan 17, 2010 08:00 AM

              jenni49, I know that you have already decided on Mamma Maria's and I agree it is a very nice space and very romantic but for pure food and a more hip space for someone in their mid-twenties, I believe that the food at Prezza's is far and above Mamma Maria's. Prezza would be my 1st choice in the North End. I recently ate at both and found the food at MM to be nothing special and the food at Prezza to be one of the best in Boston.

              1. re: bakerboyz
                j
                jenni49 Jan 17, 2010 11:02 AM

                Prezz'a menu looks wonderful, but I have read several reviews noting poor service and the restaurant being very loud.. The few online photos make it look less than romantic, a rather austere decor and tables lined up very close together. Is this an erroneous impression? Thanks for your input.

                1. re: jenni49
                  b
                  bakerboyz Jan 18, 2010 05:34 AM

                  I have only been once to Prezza approx. 2 months ago and there were 6 of us. Our waiter was very friendly and the service was excellent. Although the tables were somewhat close, I did not find it to be overly loud and we had no problem with conversation. Did I find the atmosphers cold and austere...not al all. On the other hand, Mamma Maria although romantic, I fould to be a bit formal and "stodgy". As I said before, comparing the quality of food alone, I believe that Prezza and Mamma Maria are far apart.

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