Before starting my new job in the Financial District, hanging out in the North End after work seemed impossible. It took forever to drive from my old office in Waltham to the city, then I had to find parking and eventually make my way (usually tardy) to the designated meeting place. Now that my office is just across Atlantic Ave from this fantastic, signature, Boston neighborhood, I can finally enjoy all that the North End has to offer.
Last night I met one of my favorite girls for dinner at Bacco. She had never been, but I had spent a wonderful night there a few years ago celebrating a friend's engagement. That night I had the best risotto of my life.
Bacco is located on Salem Street, which runs parallel to Hanover Street. Once you turn the corner off of Hanover, you can see Bacco with it's big, red sign, beckoning you closer.
We decided to share an appetizer, the arancini. The last time this friend and I dined together, we ordered arancini (at Bin 26 Enoteca) and I have to say, the Bacco arancini just didn't measure up. They were missing that melt-in-your-mouth factor.
For dinner I ordered the eggplant parmesan. Normally I avoid this dish because it tends to be too heavy and served over a bed of pasta that I always feel compelled to eat. Bacco's version was full of classic Italian flavors, but tasted light and didn't leave me feeling like I swallowed a boulder. I would absolutely order this dish again!
My dinner date decided to order two appetizers for her meal. First she selected the proscuitto salad which came with mixed greens, warm, grilled pears and gorgonzola cheese. She said the proscuitto was delicious and that the flavors of the dish were sublime.
Her second plate was polenta with bolognese sauce. I found this menu item odd, as polenta is usually the one vegetarian dish on an Italian menu, but this iteration was covered in meat sauce! She said the polenta cake was super light, almost like a scrambled egg. She raved about the dish as a whole.
I have eaten at a lot of places on Hanover Street and Bacco is still my favorite. There is something about the open windows, the great view of the neighborhood and the consistently delicious food that just draws me back.
After dinner we walked up Hanover Street to Mike's Pastry. Believe it or not, I'd never been! Mike's is a huge tourist attraction, which is probably why I've never set foot in there.
I decided on a chocolate eclair and my partner in crime picked out an espresso cannoli. The lovely ladies of Mike's wrapped up our treats in their signature white and blue box and tied it up with string.
What is your favorite restaurant in the North End?