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Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

Antico Forno, North End, Boston

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Antico Forno, North End, Boston

Limster | Jun 28, 2002 02:07 PM

The namesake of the restaurant is at the far end of the dusky dining room. I don't know how old it is, but it's all bricks and aglow with a lively fire.

The Italian cooking here is hearty and competent, and the menu gives the old oven a serious workout. The baked eggplant rolled stuffed with mozzarella is a pristine example of the vegetable, baked soft but still firm enough to support the runny cheese, fresh tasting with a slightly curdly texture. the tomato sauce however, is somewhat shallow, and thinner than I would have liked (I prefer plummy rich red versions). Not a serious flaw by any means.

A similar tomato sauce comes with the linguine and calms that paper-wrapped and baked. But this sauce worked a little better, having benefitted from a good crack of black pepper that offered a nice shot to the palate. The clams are lovely, yielding good flavor as they squeaked at a sweet point between rubberiness and succulence, working well with the thin tangy sauce. However, the clams do need a lot more rinsing, as the dish is somewhat sandy.

The tiramisu dessert fails as dramatically as opera. There is a little too much cake/lady fingers and too little mascarpone. The cake layer is soaked in a dark sour liquid that fails to conjure up any coffee flavor, let alone satisfaction and the chocolate sauce is one-dimensional and thin.

On the whole, a reasonable dinner with a mix of hits and misses. It's in my neighborhood, so I would probably come back to give the pizzas a whirl.

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