Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nico Ristorante - Boston, MA

Goodbye California, hello Boston! Chris and I made the long trek from Cali to Boston on Friday for his winter break from grad school. I always forget how long a 6 hour flight really is, and although we grabbed food prior to taking off, we were both STARVING by the time we landed. In fact, towards the end of the flight we began discussing what we were planning on ordering for dinner once we landed.... such little fatties. We finally landed, picked up our luggage, and began loading it into his parent's car. As we were loading the luggage, Chris's father, Dennis, asked if we would rather just go back to the house instead of out to dinner (assuming we were too tired). We immediately both yelled "No! Feed us!" so it was off to Hanover Street we went! Jan and Dennis decided to take us to Nico Ristorante, located on the very Italian Hanover Street in the North End of Boston. I had actually never been to Nico's before, but the next time I'm in Boston I will absolutely be going back.

We arrived at Nico's and began the ever so fun task of valeting the car on Hanover. For those of you who aren't familiar with Hanover, it's a very narrow street that is always congested with cars trying to get to the many restaurants located on it. After we sorted out the valet ($20) we were promptly greeted by the friendly host, who had been waiting outside, and were quickly seated at one of their window tables. Our waiter brought us our menu and wine list, and shortly after we were ordering a bottle. As they poured us our wine the waiter went over a list of specials, some of which I struggled to understand because of his thick accent, however the accent also helped to make what we could understand sound absolutely mouth watering. We ended up ordering two appetizers, meatballs in sauce with ricotta cheese, and burrata with prosciutto, tomatoes, and artichokes. Up until this point I had only read about burrata in cook books so I was very excited to finally try it. Burrata is essentially mozzarella cheese encasing creamy ricotta cheese. Let me just say... it exceeded my expectations of how good it was.
This appetizer was amazing, exactly what an app should be. The tomatoes were fresh, the meat was tasty, and the burrata was nice and creamy. My only comment would be that I wish there was more cheese!
Meatball with Ricotta
Our other appetizer was an individual meatball with a dollop of ricotta cheese. It was delicious - It was a calabrese meatball with ground veal and wild mushrooms. The meat was extremely tender, the sauce was amazing, and the cheese was super creamy.
Linguine with Clams
For dinner I ordered Linguine with Clams. The meal was homemade linguine sauteed with clams in a fra diavolo sauce. This dish was straightforward, and overall very tasty. I don't normally order spicy food, but I guess Chris has been rubbing off on me, because this was spicy and I loved it. My only complaint was that the clams were a little gritty, and a few times I chomped down on a hard piece of shell, or sand, or something that shouldn't have been there.
Veal Parmesan
Chris ordered one of his favorites, Veal Parmesan. The veal was served with a spicy red sauce, over a bed of homemade pasta, with tons of creamy mozzarella cheese on top. Although very messy to eat, this was a really well done dish. On a side note, after eating at Nico's I have officially been inspired to start making my own pasta.... there is just no comparison.
Veal Saltimbocca
Dennis ordered the Veal Saltimbocca for his dinner. It was topped with prosciutto, fontina cheese, and sage, finished in a demi-glaze, served with a side of red peppers, asparagus, and creamy mashed potatoes. Dennis mentioned how much he loved this dish, although the portion was so large he couldn't possibly finish the whole thing.
Risotto with Scallops and mushrooms
Last but certainly not least, Jan ordered the risotto of the day, which was risotto with scallops and mushrooms. This is how risotto should be done. It was creamy, delicious, and had overall a great flavor. Risotto should be made with a lot of love and attention, and you can tell that this one was. I would be excited to see what other risottos they have to offer!

As we were finishing dinner we were stuffed. Chris and I had inhaled our food because of how hungry we were, so the thought of ordering dessert seemed blatantly out of the question. However, our waiter came over and told us that he would make us a special dessert, compliments of him. After we attempted to politely decline (we were seriously filled to the brim), we realized that we should just accept our fate, and we waited for the dessert to arrive. The plate, as you can see, was a deconstructed cannoli, served with fresh fruit, strawberry sauce, and chocolate sauce.
Although we all were almost too full to try it, the filling had a great taste, and the fruit was extremely fresh. We all ate as much as we could of it, paid the bill, and headed home to pass out. Our entire meal was amazing. The food was great, the service was great, and the company I was with was perfect. It was the best place they could have taken two extremely hungry fatties who had just traveled for 7+ hours... so thank you Jan and Dennis! 

And by the way, absolutely go to Nico's! The prices were extremely reasonable for the quality and amount of food we got (Around $20 for a pasta dish and $20 - 37 for a meat dish), and the service was impeccable!

Nico on Urbanspoon

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