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.)
While I had ventured here many times, I'd never been for a romantic date (drunken nights with sister and friends? Yes) and have yet to find a restaurant I LOVE.
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.
I've been to places over the years that I enjoyed, but none that struck me as "this is my place now." Perhaps I'm too picky?
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.