My friend and I decided to stop here last week after a Wednesday-night pilates class. It's at the corner of Mass Ave and Roseland, near Porter Square. We'd seen it while driving by and figured, why not? I forget what used to be here beforehand?
It's a warm and cozy place. Dark woods, low (but not obnoxiously dim) lighting. We were given the option of sitting in the restaurant proper, or in the bar area. Given that it was 30 minutes before the Red Sox-Yankees game, we opted for the bar. Drink orders were taken, a basket of foccacia and a small bowl of warm hummus, drizzled with olive oil, was brought out.
It was nearly impossible for us to choose what to eat. In addition to a dinner menu, we were also given the bar menu which featured some raw bar items, as well as 'cicchetti' (sp?) - small bites. Really, we spent forever trying to figure out what to get. Eventually, we decided to split a simple mixed greens salad off the regular menu. It was elegantly presented in a cheese crisp shaped like a bowl, foccacia croutons sprinkled atop. Very good, and more than enough for two of us.
After a lot of dithering, I ended up getting the tagliatelli bolognese - made the traditional Italian way, sans tomato sauce base. It was just divine - a nice meaty sauce, lovely al dente noodles. My friend got the baked rigatoni with tomato sauce and lots and lots of cheese - it came out in an iron skillet, hot and gooey. It was also amazing.
We were so full that we couldn't order dessert - much to our everlasting disappointment. Another time. There are tons of things on the menu that we want to try. I hope this place sticks around - it was very tasty and satisfying (and as a bonus - they have a small parking lot!)
Service was excellent throughout. It was perhaps about half-full, which wasn't too bad for a Wednesday night. The tab, for 1 cocktail, 1 glass of wine, 1 appetizer and two entrees came to around $25 each, before tip.
We're already trying to figure out when to return. It would be a lovely place for a date, as well as somewhere to catch up with friends.