Grateful to xiaodan and other hounds for the tip on this place that is very true to the spirit of a trattoria. Simple but delicious cooking, where ingredients are well articulated. Also extremely good value, pasta dishes all below $10.
Menu uses Tuscany as its home base, but wanders over quite a bit of Italian territory.
Very good ribolita, a Tuscan bread and vegetable soup. Thick textured, well oiled, richly flavoured with vegetables and lifted in the corners by four leaves of basil.
Penne di modo mio (literally "in my style") is an excellent expression of the chef's quiet skill (he lived and cooked in Tuscany), even if the sauce strays away from Tuscany to Genoa. Penne coated with a pesto, pancetta and a touch of tomato sauce. Living flavours, with balance and depth, right down to what I thought was a garlicky aura in the pesto. This is honest cooking, purity without fuss.
A well intentioned tiramisu is fine, but falls behind some of the best ones in the North End.
They previously served crostini with chicken livers and a tripe dish, but these are no longer on the menu, as there wasn't any demand for these authentic Tuscan dishes. I was saddened to hear that, especially since these dishes aren't easy to find in the area. If you care about true-to-life Tuscan cooking, ask for them. Perhaps if there's enough requests, they'll bring them back on the menu.