A few weeks ago, Josh and I realized that we had never been to the North End together before. For those not from Boston or who have never heard of the North End, it’s basically a larger, better version of NYC’s Little Italy. It’s a neighborhood “packed with restaurants, virtually all of them Italian, and the neighborhood is still deeply rooted in Italian culture.” (According to the Boston Globe.)
Friends and family rave about Giacamo’s on Hanover St., which is a teeny place with 5 tables and a constant line around the block. I was not too impressed.
So when we decided to go tonight, I started to ask around – see what places people recommended. And now I am excited, not only for tonight, but to go back and try these places, in the hopes of discovering a gem of my own!
For tonight, I picked Assaggio on Prince St. A coworker from NYC recommended it, and after asking another friend (who used to live in Boston, but hasn’t in 6 years, but knows her food – hi C!), she enthusiastically agreed that this place “ROCKS!” And so I was sold.
I was told by another friend to try Al Dente on Salem St., which will probably be the next place I try. It looks smaller and not as “nice,” and she wasn’t as enthusiastic as my other 2 friends about Assaggio.
I’ve read reviews of Mamma Maria, which seems much more famous and even a bit “commercialized.” Perhaps I’ll go someday, but when it comes to the North End, I prefer more cozy, hole-in-the-wall places.
Â I remember my last night living in NYC, when my sister, brother-in-law and I went out for dinner in Little Italy. I had one of the best Italian meals of my life that night – and I have been to Italy twice (ok, I was sick for the entire trip the second time, so food didn’t really have a taste). And since then, I’ve based my North End experiences on that. Which may not be fair. We did have quite a bit of wine; it was a bittersweet, yet happy night for me, as I was embarking on a new part of my life; and perhaps I am overplaying in my mind just how good that meal was. But I’d like to think I can still find something that sticks in my mind that much here in Boston.
And thus, the hunt continues.