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Boston Area

Hazelnut cake @ Ristorante Lucia, North End, Boston

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Hazelnut cake @ Ristorante Lucia, North End, Boston

Limster | Aug 4, 2004 02:34 AM

Beautiful balance between crumb and chopped hazelnut, buttery-moist but not greasy, and a mellow but distinctive hazelnut flavour throughout. A nuanced kick of alcohol (rum?) in the accompanying soft hand-whipped cream is just perfect against the buttery cake. A simple, unassuming and pure dessert. Waiter said it was baked on premises -- looks like there's talent and care in the kitchen, at least in the one who bakes.

Main course of Maccheroni Chitarra Filippo was quite good, long, thick noodles of Maccheroni Chitarra strung along with plenty of mushrooms and substantial portions of nicely cooked shrimp and a rather spicy tomato sauce, perhaps an arrabbiata-style sauce characteristic of Abruzzo, which the restaurant claims to draw upon. Pasta seemed hand-made by the texture, a tiny tiny resistance (more would be better, perhaps a tad less cooking might help), a pleasant shadow of a good gnocchi chew.

P.S. another good hearty cake is the moist, pleasantly lumpy and very dense cheesecake at Piccolo Venezia (made with ricotta and polenta I think). Not as sweet as most desserts (a happy change) on its own, but one gets to calibrate the sweetness by the accompanying caramel sauce. Kitchen has a generous hand with toasted almonds.

P.P.S. The tripe dish at Piccolo Venezia is a very good peasant dish, the tomatoey sauce stocky with beef flavour. A dish that is more Tuscany than Venice and its environs, but hey, the menu's not very Venetian anyway.

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