Florentine Cafe

333 Hanover St

Boston, MA 02113

April 10, 2016

Happy Sophomore Pinning Day to me! Finally I am declared as a Biology major with a concentration in Health Sciences with a Business Management minor!

My mom and dad were able to come to the ceremony and we trekked to the North End for a celebratory lunch/dinner.

I chose the Florentine Cafe to try next, and it was a great decision! It is a cute place that has great food for a very affordable price!

We started off with the bruschetta which was super good. The bread was crusty and amazing and the diced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese tasted fresh and oh so delicious.

My mom got the Chicken Francese, which was egg battered chicken sautéed with chicken stock, fresh lemon and butter served on top of penne. I tried a bite and it was super yummy! and she loved it too hehe. My dad decided on a traditional dish, the linguine with meatballs. Quoting him, “I always try the different stuff but I’m feeling like a typical Italian dish today”…background: we normally scope out the menus, decide what we want before entering the restaurant and then thoroughly discuss all options before choosing…yeah we’re a tad crazy! So anyway, he loved the dish–sauce was great, meatballs and homemade pasta–all fantastic. I ordered the Penne alla Norma which was penne topped with homemade tomato sauce, dried and salted ricotta cheese, and sautéed eggplant. It was super good with the homemade pasta and the sauce had great flavor.

I loved the painting of the Ponte Vecchio bridge on the wall as it reminded me of Florence, one of my favorite places in the world!

I would suggest this as a lunch spot for someone coming to visit. I think this was a great place but there are definitely other places with similar prices and quality!

Okay, ratings!

Atmosphere: 3

Service: 3

Food: 4

Overall: 3.3

Trattoria il Panino

278 Hanover Street

Boston MA 02113

February 16, 2016

I found this quote the other day and thought it applied perfectly to this quest we have embarked on, we are definitely embodying this statement and enjoying every part of it. Dad- thanks for taking this journey with me…

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like” -Mark Twain

After months of anticipation, we finally decided to try out the North End’s first trattoria, Trattoria il Panino, and we were not disappointed!

My dad and I started off with the Melanzane alla Parmigiana, which was baked eggplant, mozzarella and sauce and is fantastic! The sauce was so yummy and it was the perfect way to start off the meal.

We then had our main courses, which my dad ordered the Mom’s Quattro Carni Ragu, which was homemade meatballs, sausage, brasciola, and pork short ribs in their ragù sauce. He was absolutely in love, saying the short ribs quite possibly have been one of the best things he’s ever eaten, “So simple yet so satisfying and delicious, I would have a plate of just this and pasta all the time”. Basically he’d give that 6 stars out of 5!

I ordered the Pollo alla Napoletana which was chicken breast, artichokes, kalamata olives and tomatoes with roasted potatoes and vegetables. My meal was also stellar, but very salty because of the artichokes and olives. Also the bread to munch on was super good and fresh! All together a fab meal!!

Ratings:

Service: 5

Atmosphere: 3 (kinda boring decor, not super decorative, not bad–just very plain)

Food: 4.5

Price: $$

La Summa

30 Fleet Street

Boston, MA

2/6/16

I picked the restaurant after much debate, and we had a grand old time. La Summa was a great restaurant. It was tight and cozy but had great service and food. It did get very noisy, but it was crowded which isn’t exactly a bad thing! Reservations aren’t a bad idea here!

My dad went a little crazy and ordered three appetizers to start off the dinner. (Don’t do this unless you want to move up a pants size) We got the bruschetta, which was amazing, Funghi Ripieni, and fried mozzarella which was also spectacular. The mushrooms were pretty good, stuffed with breadcrumbs and cheese. I’d highly suggest the other two as they were cheesy deliciousness!

For the main course we each got something different. My dad got the house special which was a combination of veal, chicken, sausage, artichokes, pepperoncini, olives, mushrooms and italian spices infused with white wine. served over linguini. He loved it and ate every last bite. 

My mom got the pollo marsala. She loved it but was so stuffed from the appetizers she barely ate it. My dad was happy to take it home for her… she also said it was very sweet compared to a lot of chicken marsala she has had, but was still impressed!

Guess what Logan got? Yeah, Frutti di Mare…shrimp, scallops, lobster, mussels and clams sereved over linguini in red or white sauce. It took her a good ten minutes just to get all of the mussels and clams out of the shells, but she enjoyed it and finished it off! It also had some calamari in it. She’s still saying Bacco is the best, sorry La Summa.

I got the Gamberi Siciliano, which was jumbo shrimp sauteed with zucchini and broccoli in a scampi sauce over papparadelle. I liked it but was also very full, and so I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I probably would have. It’s always tough because appetizers are so yummy but you want to eat your main meal! Yeah, I know, first world probs…


Okay, ratings:

Atmosphere: 4

Food: 3.5

Service: 4

Price: $$, appetizers are quite cheap, most meals at dinner are between $15-25.

Trattoria di Monica

67 Prince Street

Boston MA 02113

I have made my return to Boston! After an amazing semester away in Florence, with the best food and wine I will ever consume, I am happy to be going to the North End and continuing this quest. My dad and I are still determined to finish–even if we are going once a week (a problem he doesn’t seem to have hehe)

Anyway,

Starting my spring semester of sophomore year off today with the family in the North End for a celebratory “get outta my house” dinner. Just kidding, my mom and dad miss me dearly already, but I’m sure Logan is dreading my return. Anyway, after moving into St. Joes Res Hall with the help of my mom while Dad and Logan watched football in the JYC, we boarded the D line of the T to North Station. Walking from Haymarket we made it to Prince Street and saw Trattoria Di Monica. I had scowered many menus before deciding on this one, and anxiously anticipated it!

It is an extrememly cozy place with only a few tables and two waitresses. The atmosphere was great. The four of us looked at the menu and finally decided on our dinners, but then our waitress read over the specials and sold me on the meal I ended up getting. (I made the right choice btw). The others were not brave enough, but its not like they had a bad meal either. Everything was great!

My mom got the chicken picatta with roasted potatoes. She remarked that it was fabulous and the potatoes were spectacular.

My dad got the Gnocchi di Spinaci al Ragu di Maiale which was spinach and ricotta gnocchi in a braised pork ragout. He loved it. I tried the gnocchi and it was very good.

Logan, our seafood lover got calamari over linguine. It was a special as well. She also said she liked it but “I wanted to go to Bacco, I don’t care about trying new places”. I wouldn’t consider her review of anything tbh.
Now for the best part….my dish! I got the special, it was pan seared scallops with walnuts in a pesto cream sauce over papardelle pasta. Mmmm mmm good. It was a great meal to come back from Italy to–and sort of reminded me of Cinque Terre (which btw specializes in pesto and seafood)

The dish was supah good and I was very happy with my restaurant selection!

Ratings out of 5:

Atmosphere: 4

Service: 4.5

Food: 4 (also bread was v good)

Price: $$ (on the pricier side, but well worth it)

Maurizio’s

364 Hanover Street

Boston MA 02113

October 18, 2014

Another visit from dad, another trip to the North End. We decided to go to Maurizio’s because my dad saw on Yelp there was a gift card, a deal where you spend $10 for a $25 gift card..or something like that. Anyway, it looked like a good menu, and I was excited.

Funny story, as I looked out the window, I saw my best friend, Ms. Emily Schwartz, and her parents walking by to go to another North End restuarant..she said it was really good so I’ll have to check it out.

Anyway, we were seated right away and ordered Bruschetta Alla Mediterranea for an app. It was slices of toasty crusty bread topped with black olives, capers, plum tomatoes, fresh basil, and EVOO. It was super good, and only $9.

For the main meal I ordered from the Carne, Limone. ($21) It was chicken with sauteed mushrooms in a lemon, white wine, caper sauce with penne pasta. It was very good and a great portion.

I believe my dad ordered Veal Cacciatora, but I honestly forget. What I do remember is that we were both very pleased with our meal, and happy that we had gotten the great deal from Yelp for the gift card!

The atmosphere was great, out of the window I could see a glimpse of the harbor, and the restaurant was also great. Service was fanstastic as well, and the presentation of the food was amazing.

Rating:

Food:4

Price: $$

Atmosphere:3.5

Service:4

Overall: 3.75

Benevento’s

111 Salem Street

Boston MA 02113

Febuary 26, 2015

Man, I missed my mom and sister! (mostly mom though) So, I convinced them to give me a visit in good old Bahstan.

I took them on the T (which I am now a master of), and we walked to the North End (surprise, surprise) Benevento’s had been on my list of places to go to for a while. And while I normally go with my dad, I figured I would give Logan and my mom a chance to shine in the lime light. LOL, its not like I have many viewers anyway. Okay, so Benevento’s.

I was craving pizza like it was my job, and Benevento’s is rated like one of the best brick oven pizzas in the north end..so no brainer, thats where I decided we were going. ( I didn’t care what their opinions were).

On to the food: we were served bread with oil…and mom had it with butter. (I’m a little embarrassed to be honest, but I still love her) and we ordered. I ordered the Ben Cotto Pizza ($12), which was a pizza with tomato sauce, oregano, Pecorino Romano cheese, garlic,  and extra virgin olive oil cooked in their brick oven pizza. They promise it will be cooked to perfection, and man do they ever! I ordered the personal pizza size, and ate about half and took the rest home.

My mom ordered the Margherita pizza ($12), which was also fantastic. It was with diced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garlic, basil and EVOO. I tried a slice and it was great, and she loved it as well. She also got the personal size and was nice enough to give me her leftovers. (YUM!)

Logan didn’t stick with the pizza theme. Instead, she got Linguine ala Vongole. It was fresh whole clam necks, chopped clams and garlic simmered in a red sauce over linguine. She loved it, and as usual, picked a seafood dishy that was the priciest on the menu. (Watch out boys)

The atmosphere: very modern, and kind of dark ( almost a little too dark?)I loved seeing the ovens, and when they brought out the pizza, they were put on the recycled tomato sauce cans. It was very cool, and I loved it!Very pretty inside.

To this day every time we are headed to the North End my mom asks if we can go to Benevento’s–the atmosphere and the food have made it one of her favorites by far. Maybe for her birthday. lawlz.

Ratings:

Food: 4.5

Atmosphere: 4.5

Service: 4.5

Overall: 4.5

Bacco

107 Salem St

Boston MA 02113

September 13, 2014 (Michael Katz’s 45th Birthday…Happy Bday to my North End Partner in Crime) This post is dedicated to you old man!

After kicking Suffolk’s butt in a game of soccer (yeah ECWS beat them 2-0) we went over the Tobin, and you guessed it…headed to the North End. (maybe I should stop saying this every time..oh well)

I had done my research (when don’t I), and decided Bacco for my dad’s special birthday dinner (even though seeing my beautiful face should be enough). Okay, jokes aside, the menu looked incredible, and since we were going with my mom and sister, I decided we needed a place with a plethora of options that they could find. Logan just needs a seafood dish but my mom is a little picky…(still love you though <3)

If you don’t look at the menus before you go, then good for you, but I always like to have a game plan..ya know, 1st, 2nd, 3rd options just in case.

So I had it all planned out, and then our waiter comes over and lists the specials. He listed the dish I ended up getting, it was a dish with lobster, clams, shrimp, and scallops with linguine in a pesto cream sauce. My oh my was it de-lick your lips-lic-ious!I forget the price for mine…I’m guessing it was $18-24 range.

Logan got Seafood Fra Diavolo with shrimp, scallops, calamari, little neck clams, basil, and fettuccine in a spicy marinara sauce. I’m quite sure it is the most expensive item on the menu ($25), but it was worth it. and Yes, to Logan’s future boyfriends/dates…she isn’t a cheap one! Side note: to this day Logan begs to go back to Bacco just for this dish…hint hint…she loved it.
My mom got the Jumbo Shrimp Scampi (she’s not too adventurous), but was in love. She said it was fantastic and would definitely go to Bacco again if given the chance. Too bad our quest only allows for us to eat at a restaurant once (besides La Galleria 33 which my mom and sister always want to go to…boring people). Oh, and her dish was $21

Finally, the birthday boy…

The man who was finally 45 years old got Chicken Cacciatore with sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms over linguine in a red sauce. The man was blown away, and loved his birthday dinner.

Atmosphere: We went in mid-September and got to sit upstairs, next to the open windows. It was absolutely beautiful–we got to see Salem St and hear the noise of the city (which I am so used to now). I loved it, and it was decorated like a nice homey Italian restaurant.

Ratings:

Food: 5

Atmosphere:4.5

Service:4

Price:$$$

Overall: 4.5

and a BIG HAPPY 45TH BIRTHDAY TO MY OLD MAN OF A DAD, MY PARTNER IN CRIME, THE PERSON WHO I ALWAYS WANT TO TRY NEW THINGS WITH. Love you always dad xoxo kenz

Panza

326 Hanover Street

Boston, MA 02113

February 13, 2015

I decided to go home for the weekend to watch Logan’s swim state meet, which was actually postponed to the next weekend…and they won again (Go Dover!)

Anyway, my dad picked me up, and so of course we had to go to the North End (why else would he come down to Boston?!)

So after researching, we decided on Panza, and weren’t dissapointed.

We started off with the Italian Chop Salad for two, which had Imported Italian meats and cheeses, pepperoncini, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, crispy pancetta, and chopped romaine. It was very,very good, and I would recommend getting it if you go!

For the main course I got Linguine All Pescatore:Shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, and calamari in a white sauce. That was also exceptional.

My dad got the special, which I was extremely tempted to get, but allowed him the honor. It was saffron papays ele with shrimp, scallops, grape tomatoes, and baby arugula in a white wine garlic sauce. Again, sorry peeps but no pic for you. It was truly amazing though!

Here are some pictures of the restaurant itself. It was very beautfiul and great atmosphere.

UPDATE: Went to Panza again and ordered the eggplant parmesean and yet again I was blown away with Panza. This is definitely one of my favorites in the North End!

Ratings:

Food: 5

Atmosphere: 4

Service: 4

Overall: 4.75

Carmelina’s

307 Hanover St

Boston, MA 02113

Okay, so first semester of my FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE is over? Say what?

Well, my dad and I decided we had to say goodbye to Boston (more me, and with sadness) for a month with a bang, so what better place to go than Carmelina’s? After reading the reviews from Yelp, google, and countless other blogs, I called my dad and quote “WE HAVE TO GO THERE, LOOK AT THIS MENU, WE ARE GETTING THE MEATBALLS’. Literally, I was very sad to say goodbye to my 12×20 ft dorm room and twin size bed (haha, not!), but my stomach was growling as I put the pen down and said si-a-nar-a to my first year writing teacher Stace (who by the way lives in the North End…living the dream!). So once my dad FINALLY arrived, we packed up my clothes…i brought home too many, and drove down Storrow Drive to the special place in my heart… you guessed it, the North End.

Again, as fate would have it, we found a parking spot on Hanover (the dynamic duo was back in business) and walked to Carmelina’s. We sat down, already knowing what we were getting (we researched the menu like it was our job).

We got bread, with oil and parmesean–very good and fresh. And ordered Mimo’s Baked Meatballs. I am completely serious when I say this…best meatballs I have EVER had without a doubt. My dad would completely agree with this, which is saying something people! If you go to Carmelina’s, which i HIGHLY recommend you do if you want a place to go, you MUST AND I SAY MUST order the meatballs. You will die and go straight to heaven (JK JK LOL).

I then ordered the crazy alfredo for my main dish, and my dad, after sadly hearing that the Carmelina was not on the lunch menu (tears), ordered the Palermitana, which he said was amazing. It was Rapi greens, garlic, pignoli nuts, sundried tomatoes, currannts, touch of hot, and Capellini for about $14.

I tried a bite as well and was thoroughly pleased. Sorry peeps, but no picture of the dish, use that imagination of yours!


The Crazy Alfredo was chicken, sausage, sweet roasted red peppers, in a spicy Alfredo sauce, with fettucine. And I think around $14 for lunch, its 18 for dinner. Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of sausage so I just didn’t eat those pieces, but everything about that dish was stellar. It was a tad spicy, but defintely in the best way possible. Definitely an interesting take on the typical Alfredo dish, and in the right direction. I loved the sweet roasted red peppers, they added the perfect balance for the dish. Also, perfect portion size for lunch after having some bread and meatballs…I was a happy type of stuffed.

 The atmosphere of Carmelina’s is modern mixed with old world, as you can see the pictures on the wall. I loved the atmosphere…one of my favorites so far. (La Galleria 33 still is on the top for atmosphere, sorry Carmelina’s!)


You can see the kitchen, and I imagine eating at the bar would be a very cool experience for two. We still enjoyed looking out the windows at the passerbys on Hanover St.

 

 

Okay, so if you couldn’t tell by now, I absolutely loved this restaurant, and it’s been one of my favorites!

 

Oh, and price–very reasonable for lunch, and even for dinner. Either way, its worth it!

 

Rating:

Food: 5

Price: $$ (for lunch)

Atmosphere:4.5

Service:4.5

Overall: 4.7

Lo Conte’s

114-116 Salem St

Boston, MA 02115

A surprise visit from my dad on a Sunday afternoon, it doesn’t get any better!

Somehow we found a spot on Hanover (yes we parked on Hanover…unreal) , and after researching online, I decided on Lo Conte’s after reading great reviews.

I decided with the Chicken Parmesan, and wasn’t disappointed! It was huge, and it looked like I barely ate any of it, but it was very good, and reminded me of my mom’s fantastic chicken parm, which I missed deeply.

I believe my dad got a special of the day, of which I truly do not know what it is, but nonetheless he found it delicious (picture above).

Okay, here are my ratings:

Food: 4

Service: 2

Atmosphere:3

Overall: 3