I ventured into Boston’s North End (think Boston’s version of Little Italy) on Monday night to have dinner at Pomodoro with friends. The place came highly recommended from one of my friends (who happened to be in our party) and he was spot on.
The place is small and intimate with a definite allure — I wouldn’t hesitate to call it romantic. I’m pretty sure there was only one server for the entire restaurant. For me, that added to the charm and she was never stressed or rushed so it worked.
Normally, I wouldn’t pay any attention to the complimentary bread basket a restaurant, but let me tell you, the bread at Pomodoro is insanely good. The crust has a nice crack and the bread on the inside is light and fluffy. The olive oil is also great. They had olives in the actual olive oil which was something most places don’t do and it really pulled out the olive flavor from the oil. Don’t skip the bread if you go in.
We started by ordering the antipasto plate which was an Italian smorgasbord. It was loaded with Tuscan white bean salad, roasted sweet red peppers stuffed with a tuna salad, prosciutto, green beans, poached calamari, lightly fried potatoes, arugula, parmesan, fried artichokes, goat cheese toast and fresh olives. I don’t like olives much, so I skipped those, but the standouts of the board were the stuffed peppers (sweet heat), the calamari (amazing taste and texture) and the goat cheese toast (because it’s goat cheese). I wasn’t a big fan of the prosciutto, it was sliced too thick and didn’t have the saltiness I’m accustomed to. The potatoes had a nice crispiness to them, but completely lacked seasoning so there wasn’t anything to send them over the top. All the beans and arugula tasted fresh and complemented the other elements very well.
One of my friends ordered the Classic Linguini. Pomodoro tosses their linguini with a slow roasted plum tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. That’s it.
It may sound boring since there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles attached, but let me assure you that sometimes the most simple dish can have the most impact. This linguini was a perfect example. Light, acidic, herbacious, it had all the elements one expects out of a classic tomato sauce and pasta dish. Add some parmesan cheese and the flavor is taken to another level.
My other friend ordered the Veal Scaloppini. The veal was cooked with a sweet onion balsamic sauce and paired with a green olive risotto. While my friend thought it was overloaded with balsamic, it actually worked for me. I liked the acidic balsamic-onion combo especially when a piece of the veal was taken with a bite of the much subtler risotto.
I ordered what we all agreed was the best dish of the night: the Chicken Carbonara. Pieces of chicken with wild mushrooms, Italian ham and cracked pepper on a bed of rigatoni. The chicken was juicy and cooked perfectly. The white sauce on everything was beyond belief. All of these elements worked together in harmony to create one of the best traditional Italian dishes I’ve had in year.
After dinner, do yourself a favor and head over to Mike’s Pastry across the street. They have some of the best desserts you’ll find in Boston.
North End in Boston is full of Italian places and everyone who’s ever been to or lived in Boston seems to have their own unique opinion on the best place to go. After dining at Pomodoro, I’ll happily go on record saying it is one of the best Italian places in Boston. The ambiance, food and setting were all exactly what I wanted out of the experience.
Pomodoro is located in Boston’s North End at 319 Hanover Street. Hours are Mon. through Fri. 5 to 11 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.