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Restaurants & Bars

Mamma Maria (North End, Boston MA)

BostonBestEats | Aug 18, 201807:14 AM

One of the better fine-dining restaurants in the North End of Boston. Located just across North Square (the oldest square in America!) from Paul Revere's House (who was an asshole by the way), the view from the windows tables upstairs is the one you want. Inside, the layout is composed of multiple small rooms like an old Victorian home. Service was outstanding, with always an eye out to keeping our glasses full (the wine list is very good, largely Italian, although not cheap with 2.5-3X markups over retail).

The menu is more upscale (and more expensive) than the typical North End red sauce Italian restaurant.

Since we arrived early, we started with some cocktails and wine-by-the-glass at the fantastic North Square Oyster across the street.

We enjoyed...

MEATBALLS:
~In a fresh tasting tomato sauce, these were definitely on the denser side of the spectrum, which you may or may not like, but had good flavor and I would order again (my DC didn't like them)

PULPO: Octopus
~Perfectly tender, with a nice smokey char

LOBSTER: Agnolotto filled with fresh Maine lobster, wild mushrooms, crumbled guanciale ($16)
~Possibly my favorite dish of the evening, these large, presumably house-made pasta were filled with nice chucks of lobster meat

OSSOBUCO: Veal shank in the classic style, saffron risotto Milanese ($48)
~Super tender, and the risotto was pretty good (not overcooked like a lot of places), the most expensive dish on the menu

TIRAMISU:
~Classic coffee flavor

For wine we had a 1/2 bottle of Soave to start, followed by a 2015 Ca' Marcanda (Gaja) Promis Toscana IGT. A glass of limoncello finished the meal.

Reservations are definitely advised. Valet parking is typically offered for $20 (not sure about right now with all the Summer 2018 construction on the Square), but we took advantage of $3 for 3 hours at Boston Public Market (as long as you buy at least one $1 cider donut and get your ticket validated). While some of the reviewers on Yelp commented that they were not treated as well when they showed up looking like tourists, we were fine in our nice casual clothes (high heels and tennis shoes, but no baseball caps!).

There are better Italian restaurants in the Boston area (Il Capriccio, Erbaluce, Pammy's, SRV...), but Mamma Maria is a nice place to bring a date or celebrate a special occasion with quite good Italian cuisine in a charming setting.

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