North End on a Thursday night?
A couple friends are coming into town next week and want to eat in the North End. We're in the burbs so only make it into the North End every now and again, so I need a couple of recs.
Cost is a factor - I don't want to blow them out of the water at Mamma Maria or Prezza, but they're both pretty sophisticated foodies so I don't to go too down market either.
They will eat anything but are devoted carnivores and big eaters, so dinner will include apps, entrees and desserts (although I might just take them to Mike's for cannoli for the full north end experience), plus wine.
Any suggestions appreciated.
Please skip Mike's - go to Modern instead.
Taranta is my go-to North End restaurant, although granted I don't go to it often, because I avoid the North End.
Can you convince them to go to Vinny's at Night in East Somerville instead? They won't have room for dessert...but you'll be relatively close to Christina's in Inman.
Lo Conte's on salem street is good and not too expensive.
Mikes or Modern is always the big question. Modern fills the cannolis to order but Mike's are not sitting long. Modern can get stuffy and the line can take forever to move. There are just a few tables at modern.
Mike's has the bigger selection.
Do you have your heart set on the North End? I think there's a disconnect between "sophisticated foodies" and the many, many red sauce places of the North End. I'm not knocking a good eggplant parm, but it doesn't exactly scream "sophisticated" to me, either.
For a nice experience without the Prezza prices, (although I ve Prezza) I think you and your friends would enjoy Marco on Hanover Street. Marc Orfaly of Pigalle fame is the owner and the menu is both intersting and relatively reasonaly priced. NIce wine list and house made salumi as well. And Modern Pastry is right downstairs!
I like L'Osteria. Nice food and service..nice atmosphere. From there I would walk over to Modern for dessert. Also...there's a cafe next door to Modern..can't remember the name but they have great gelato and make a nice chocolate martini.
My go-to for a step down from Mamma Maria and Prezza in the NE is Vinoteca di Monica. Very pleasant atmosphere for the price, good homemade pasta, a great caprese salad. And my vote goes to Mike's! All the cannoli I've had there have been fresh, and I don't consider them sweeter, but more flavorful than at Modern.
Just an FYI... The Bruins have a home game this Thursday night which means parking will be tougher than normal. Don't go to the Parcel 7 garage. Park at the Government Center garage. It's only $7.00 more than getting your ticket validated and it's just on the other side of city hall. Taranta is also a great go to restaurant. Not your typical North End fare. Service is also excellent but probably not as good as when I worked there! :)
But if the snarly traffic is going to get to you, I definitely agree with the rest of the bunch, Vinny's in Somerville may be the best bet.