Al Dente Restaurant and the North End

Happy Wednesday! Is it Saturday yet?

It’s been almost 2 weeks since the last time I was able to get into bed without setting an alarm. It’s going to be glorious! Except I’ll probably end up waking up by 8am anyway because I’m so used to it, but it’s the thought that counts.

So this weekend one of my bestest friends from high school came and visited me from New York City! (And I’m going to visit her in the Big Apple in a couple of weeks!!! So excited!)

I found that it was a lot different having her visit than other friends from home who have visited in the past. This is because she lives in New York City…Boston is not nearly as exciting to her as it is to my friends who have barely left rural Northern New York. I don’t even know if Pizzeria Regina would have impressed her after having NYC pizza whenever she wants! Gasp!

But of course I took her to the North End, because everyone knows it’s like THE best place in all of Boston! Instead of pizza we were in the mood for pasta and she said we should try a place that I hadn’t been before (what a good friend)! So I got to cross another restaurant off my to-try list with Al Dente Restaurant. We got there at about 6:30 before we had even decided that’s where we were eating and were looking at the menu posted outside when we decided it looked good. The host was also standing outside and asked if we had reservations. I sadly said “no” and asked how long of a wait it would be and he said “Well, I have one table for two left right now! Come on in!” It was meant to be.

Our meal began with the bread basket that was just pretty standard yummy Italian bread BUT it came with packets of butter!! WHA?! No olive oil? What kind of Italian North End Restaurant is that? I, of course, asked for some olive oil and she brought some right over (and it was veryvery good), but still. Come on, people!

I ended up deciding on the Eggplant Parmesan over linguine (for about $15) and my friend went with the special of broccoli rabe and sausage in a brown butter sauce over these very long, odd shaped pasta shapes (for $21). Now let me say this right now, these portions were HUGE!! Ginormous! Enough to have a whole meal of leftovers a couple of days later and then ANOTHER set of leftovers for the broccoli rabe special. Huge.

The eggplant parm was really good. It wasn’t the best Italian food I’ve ever had, but I was satisfied. The pasta was my favorite! It was cooked perfectly (as it should be with a name like “Al Dente”) and you could tell it was fresh. So good!

The eggplant was also really good though. It was nicely breaded without losing the eggplant. It wasn’t just a pile of fried breading as can tend to happen.

The broccoli rabe special was also very good without being spectacular. It didn’t blow me away and good have used a little more sauce for my liking, but still very good. The sausage was my favorite part of that dish!

And they grated a generous amount fresh cheese right over top!

Overall, I was satisfied. Not sure I would necessarily go back here though with all the other amazing options in the North End.

And of course after dinner I had to bring her to Mike’s Pastry to experience the best cannolis in New England. She decided on the chocolate mousse after much debating and wasn’t disappointed! Good ‘ol Mike’s!

This was the first time I’d tried the chocolate mousse and I really like it too. I didn’t think it really tasted much different than regular ricotta filling though. It was kind of overshadowed by all the chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle, and (unnecessary) chocolate coating on the bottom and inside of the cannoli shell. Still delicious though, of course.

Another successful trip to the North End, my apparent go-to place on the weekends. My wallet and waistline is cringing at the just the thought. So worth it!

Hurry up Saturday!

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2 Comments

Filed under Restaurant Reviews

2 responses to “Al Dente Restaurant and the North End

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