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North End for the 1st time what next

my wife and i went into the north end last night for dinner. we have lived here all our lives and never been in there for dinner. She had her mind set on Tresca so we ended up there. After dinner, she decided she wanted to eat her way through the north end on our date nights.
any suggestions on what next to try?

Tresca was good, not quite what i expected but good...

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Tresca
233 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

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  1. Pizzeria Regina, Galleria Umberto, and Maria's pastry. No tablecloths to be found, but they're great.

    For a more upscale place, I've enjoyed my meals at Marco (though that was 5 years ago), Mamma Maria, and Trattoria di Monica.

    Lots of tips spanning both high- and low-end places in the archives. Poke around a bit!

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    Maria's Pastry Shop
    46 Cross St, Boston, MA 02129

    Mamma Maria Restaurant
    3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

    Umberto Galleria
    289 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

    Trattoria di Monica
    67 Prince St, Boston, MA 02113

    Pizzeria Regina
    11 1/2 1/2 Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113

    1. Good:
      Taranta, Lucca, Bricco, Prezza, Pomodoro, Waterfront Cafe, Modern Pastry, Ducali, Maurizio's, Pushcart, Ernesto's, Terramia, Mamma Maria, Monica's (trattoria and vinoteca), Neptune Oyster, Artu (stick to sandwiches), Nebo, Strega, Umberto, Maria's pastry

      OK:
      Mare, Damiano's, Massimino's, Antico Forno, L'Osteria, Mother Anna's, Mike's, Cafe Graffiti, Giacomo's

      I'd avoid:
      La Galleria 33, Piccolo Venezia, Pompei (unless you're hammered and in need of a pizza and or fight at 2am), Bova (again... unless you need to eat at 2am), Rabia's, Dolce Vita, Panza, Nico

      9 Replies
      1. re: Beachowolfe

        now THAT is a confident list there. Would you tell us which three you would hit for the best of the best dinners? (and, just curious, what about marco's?/mark orfaly's place; gone? never tried it but have admired him.) If your 3 include Neptune Oyster(we are already huge fans) and Prezza(not fans) would you make another list of 3? thanks so much.

        1. re: Beachowolfe

          Beachwolfe you are right on target. Accurate on each one.

          1. re: Beachowolfe

            I would add Marco to the "good" list, La Summa and Cantina Italiana to the OK. I've never eaten at Strega, but I've been there for a drink and that Mafia decor with the movies playing makes me sick.

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            Cantina Italiana
            346 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113

            Strega
            379 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113

            1. re: Beachowolfe

              I do have to say that I've always enjoyed La Galleria 33 on your list to avoid. I have a mild veal parmesan addiction, and their version is one of my favorites.

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              La Galleria 33
              125 Salem St., Boston, MA 02113

              1. re: Beachowolfe

                Are you talking about Bova Bakery? This place has the best bread around. Anyone would be smart to bring a loaf home. Bova is on the corner of Salem and prince. Cafe Pompei is more of a local hangout.

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                Bova's
                134 Salem St, Boston, MA

                1. re: Beachowolfe

                  My top 5 in order would probably be Mamma Maria, Neptune, Prezza, Vinoteca di Monica, and Taranta.

                  The decor and mob shtick at Strega is ridiculous, their pasta was pretty good though, give it a shot.

                  Bova's pastries are just flavorless and greasy, this doesn't stop me from waking up with them in my bed every Sunday morning. I've never bought bread there. The people there are very friendly and their food is serviceable at 2am. However, w/ Marias, Mikes, and Modern I just can't steer anyone there during the day.

                  I've only recently eaten at LaGall33 which was highly reco'd by someone at Terramia (I think). Maybe I should give it another try.

                  I should have included Il Panino as an OK spot, esp for the outdoor seating and I'd go back to Benevento's for pizza but probably wouldn't bother if I was coming from outside the 'hood.

                  Marco has been on the list for a long time, I really need to get there. Haven't been to LaSumma or Cantina I either... I thought those were the places that were giving the NE it's "tourist trap" label along w/ Saraceno, Giorgios, LoConte's, Bella Vista, 5North Sq, Villa Francesca, Bacco, Pagliuca's, Lucia, Fiore (- roof). Are these places worth trying?

                  Also- I heard Davide improved after the GR thing, any reports?

                  1. re: Beachowolfe

                    while anything is possible, that show showed a situation that convinced me could not be repaired. would never go there though i wish them the best.

                  2. re: Beachowolfe

                    I had lunch at Cafe Pompei today...gnocci with marinara sauce....the marinara sauce was one of the best I've had..very light and fresh tasting. Great coffee!

                    1. re: BlueMagic

                      The Pompei has always had great coffee. Lots of decisions have been made in the back room over their coffee. The Pompei's bed side manner may not be the best, but the food is pretty good. Once again, they cater more to the neighborhood then they do tourists.
                      Good choice and thanks for the post.

                  3. On the perimeter of the North End, I really like Nebo. Great pizzas, pastas, nice bar scene and the Palotta sisters are lovely

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                    Nebo Restaurant and Bar
                    90 North Washington Street, Boston, MA 02114

                    1. Be forewarned that Gallaria UMberto is a Mon-Sat lunch only place. Well worth seeking out when they're open, but they won't be on a date "night".

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: kimfair1

                        And be there before 11:30am on a Saturday.

                        1. re: Taralli

                          they also close for a month in the summer

                          1. re: Wannabfoode

                            They're closed in July, they'll be open on Monday August 1!

                      2. Bova's has the best chocolate croissants I have ever tasted. The cannoli at Modern is very tasty and they fill them upon request.

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                        Bova's
                        134 Salem St, Boston, MA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: BlueMagic

                          I will have to try those chocolate crossaints.

                        2. This is a very comprehensive thread on the North End, although the original post is rather old:

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

                          I agree that Mamma Maria, Modern, and Regina are great. My favorite is Neptune Oyster. And I hated Strega the one time I went (1.5 years ago) - good enough food but terrible service, so schmaltzy, and full of tourists who love the mafia theme. Not my cup of tea.

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                          Neptune Oyster
                          63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                          Mamma Maria Restaurant
                          3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

                          Strega
                          379 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: STL BOS

                            The New Strega in the seaport area is totally different. Bova for bread is a good choice, but that is about it. Not that the other products are bad, just that there are better choices.

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                            Bova's
                            134 Salem St, Boston, MA

                            Strega
                            379 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113

                            1. re: will007

                              How is the new Strega different? In a good way or bad way?

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                              Strega
                              379 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113

                            2. re: STL BOS

                              I feel compelled to address Mamma Maria, as I'm on record here as being a fan. I went for the first time in a year or so several weeks ago, and had a particularly poor experience.

                              Might have just been a bad night in the kitchen coupled with a server in a not particularly helpful mood, but it was one of those rare occasions (especially at a "tried-and-true" establishment) where I feel that a great deal of money and (more importantly) a significant occasion for someone I love was completely wasted. After having a number of celebratory/milestone meals there over the decades, I feel a bit wistful saying I won't be going back. Not ever. Not after that night.

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                              Mamma Maria Restaurant
                              3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

                              1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                oh, how i hate nights like that.Trusting a restaurant in that way is a bit like trusting a long-time loved one; nothing is better when it goes well and nothing is worse that feeling betrayed.

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  I'd add Euno to the list though I have to say, with the exception of Neptune's Oysters, I tend to get my Italian fix at Trattoria Toscana or La Morra's. Just can't hack the hassle of north end parking.

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                                  Trattoria Toscana
                                  130 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215

                                  La Morra
                                  48 Boylston Street, Brookline, MA 02445

                                  1. re: teezeetoo

                                    tee, what DO you do about N.O. pkg? we only go sundays because of it; when we went one wkday lunch, we got ticket on Wash st. even though the web seemed to indicate it was residential w/ different rules.thnx.

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                      honestly, when we want a north end fix, which has become more rare since ICOB has replaced Neptune in our rotation (no, it doesn't completely do it but the comfort, reservations, service make up for the slight loss of innovation), we take the train. there's not only almost no parking, but the scrum for finding what little there is takes the edge off my joy.

                                      1. re: teezeetoo

                                        Teezeetoo, if you don't mind walking a little bit, you can park at the Post Office Square garage after 4PM for $9 on weekdays. Plus, if you're in that area at 6pm or later, the meters end at 8PM so you could park at a meter for $2 or less (depending what time you park), & it's only about a 15 minute walk to the North End. They also have the same $9 rate for all day Saturday & Sunday.
                                        http://www.posquare.com/

                                        1. re: southie_chick

                                          thank you sc. can't say i've ever encountered an available meter but the post office square suggestion is a good one. have to say, it's a shorter walk from the Haymarket T stop however

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                                          Haymarket
                                          Blackstone St, Boston, MA

                                      2. re: opinionatedchef

                                        oc, you may know this but if you go for lunch on a Friday or Saturday, you could park at the Parcel 7 garage in the Haymarket building and buy a few things at Haymarket on your way back. Many of the vendors validate parking tickets and parking for the first two hours is $1, or $3 for 3 hrs.

                                        Careful, though, if you go more than three hours the validation is void and you pay the full outrageous rate.

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                                        Haymarket
                                        Blackstone St, Boston, MA

                                        1. re: bear

                                          bear, i just KNEW i liked you! i did not know that about haymarket, so thank you so much :-}

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            Happy to help! Oh, and we always show our ticket to the vendor before purchasing to make sure they validate. Some don't.

                              2. The Daily Catch

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                                Daily Catch
                                323 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

                                1. Neptune, Prezza, Marco, Carmen, Taranta, Maurizios

                                  Bar only..Artu and Lucca

                                  Pizza at the Bar only..Fiore

                                  Pizza...Regina, Pushcart, Waterfront, Ducali, Ernestos for a quick slice, Beneventos

                                  Red sauce.. Galleria 33, LoContes (chicken maranga)

                                  Sicilian street food lunch..Umberto

                                  Butcher..Sulmona

                                  Fish Market..Mercato Del Mare

                                  Italian groceries..Pace and Sulumeria

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                                  Prezza
                                  24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                                  Lucca Restaurant
                                  226 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: phatchris

                                    How does the pizza at benevento stack up against pushcart and waterfront? I think i've only ever had pasta there.