Spork Rating: 3
- Neighborhood: North End
- Cuisine: Italian
- Price: Affordable to splurge. Appetizers $7-15, entrees $16-25.
- Hours: Daily 5pm-10pm
- Reservations: Yes via OpenTable.
- Recommended For Dining With: Infants, toddlers, kids
The little sister of the larger and better known Vinoteca di Monica, this 25 seat dining room features quirky, pop culture-inspired artwork and exposed brick walls. The space is small (you can easily carry on a conversation with most of the other diners from your table) and the location is tucked away off just off of Salem and Hanover Streets–a welcome escape from the often crowded sidewalks of the North End. You’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into a hidden gem, even though locals and tourists have been coming here for years for delicious Italian fare.
Really good. While the list of amenities doesn’t appear to be the most kid-friendly, the service more than makes up for it. This is one of the more kid-friendly North End restaurants in Boston, even if space limitations may pose a challenge for some families. The wait staff will fetch high chairs from the storage space next door, store your stroller and bring colored pencils for the little ones to draw on the white paper-covered tables.
The bathroom here is tiny and tucked in a corner of the kitchen. You’ll have barely enough inside room for one adult, let alone a child that needs help using the bathroom. Changing a diaper in this space would be worthy of a dedicated circus act. If you find yourself in need of some diaper changing space (and the weather is good), take a left out of the front door and you’ll find Polcari Playground, a small park (mainly basketball court) with benches a couple of doors down.
The dining room begins at the front door, so you’ll want to unload your stroller and fold it up on the sidewalk. Ask the wait staff where to put it and they’ll stash it away for you until your meal is over.
The menu here has all of the traditional Italian restaurant choices, including lots and lots of pastas, a decent chicken parm and some seafood options mixed in. But the star of the show here is always the list of specials, which usually include at least two non-traditional bruschetta variations, a few pastas, a couple of main dishes and more. The only thing more impressive than the long list itself is the wait staff’s ability to recite them all from memory. You can’t go wrong with:
- Pappardelle alla Bolognese
There isn’t a kid’s menu here, but most kids will be happy to pick a pasta and a sauce option and make a meal of it. Ask your server for a list of options and combos, and if you want to throw a some veggies into the mix, they’ll be happy to whip up a side of mixed veggies, broccoli in garlic and oil and more.
- The North End
- Freedom Trail
- Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market
- Haymarket Outdoor Market (Fri and Sat only)
- TD Banknorth Garden
- Stroller storage
- High chairs
- T accessible
- T accessible by multiple lines:
- Green and Orange Line’s Haymarket or North End stations (5-7 minute walk)
- Green Line’s Government Center station (10 minute walk)
- Blue Line’s Aquarium station (10 minute walk)
- This is one of Boston’s most challenging neighborhoods for parking. You may get really, really lucky and find a metered spot on the outskirts of the North End. If you are not familiar with the neighborhood and its tight, one way streets, your best bet is to park at one of the parking garages and lots that line the edge of the area on Commercial St./Atlantic Ave. and North Washington St.
The North End Garage at 600 Commercial St. (corner of Commercial and Prince Streets) is the best choice for easy access–both to the restaurant and for a quick exit from the North End.