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Restaurants & Bars 3

Al Dente/Laurel

Joanie | Jun 16, 2003 08:37 AM

Felt like eating fairly cheaply in the north end so we tried Al Dente (which is also on IDine) one warm nite. Probably should have gone to one of the places with open windows but Al Dente was cute enough. Split a great appetizer of grilled figs on greens with prosciutto and goat cheese ($6.95). I would have preferred to split more apps but my friend had her heart set on chicken marsala so I got veal milanese for a mere $13.95. You could pick almost any shaped pasta to go with it, I got bow ties. The breading was falling off which made it a little unattractive but it was okay and actually tasted better as leftovers the next day. Service was nice but when did restaurants in the north end start having people stand outside with menus? Never noticed that before. Went to Modern for a ricotta in chocolate shell cannoli which I needed like a hole in the head but since I was right there...

Figured Laurel on Berkeley St. would be a good meeting spot Sun. nite and not too crowded with leftover gay pride activities (altho we cold hear the thumping music of the block party). It's a really pleasant, calming room with a nice bar which I hadn't been to since it was the Blue Wave. Apps. were a mesclun salad and hummus which I didn't taste. I had a horseradish covered pork loin w/ mashed potatos and some fried leeks, one friend had crab ravioli and one had salmon, which I think was the best dish. But the horseradish had a nice kick on the pork and the crab ravioli got wolfed down. And when you see that none of these are more than $13, it's pretty amazing. A few specials were $15 and 16, but it's good food for a good price. Desserts were a chocolate flan type thing and a trifle with chocolate, heath bar and whatever else at $6.50. Glasses of wine were quite reasonably priced too. Nothing that made me totally ooh and ah but definitely a place to keep in mind for "new American" food on a budget.

Did anyone go to the Cambridge Riverfest? Got some noodles and a spring roll at a Phillipino cart which was okay but there was a truck with crab cake sandwiches that were pretty amazing. Tons of crab, pretty thick, half of one made a good appetizer. I think it was called Nancy's but can't remember, definitely hadn't seen it at the Riverfest before. And the heath bar cookie from the little cafe at the Bay Village St. Fair was very yummy (and I got an oak secretary's desk with a mirror and shelves for a mere $185, delivered to my house even!).

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