A Night in the North End: Trattoria di Monica

I will take my first real stab at this…a restaurant review.

While I have dined in many, many places around Boston/Greater Boston – I never remember to throw my opinions down on paper. On Friday evening, my wife and I decided to venture into the North End – a neighborhood of Boston which we both usually avoid like the plague due to high concentrations of tourists, long waits, and many times food that I could simply make at home.

This brings us to our 9 pm reservation at Trattoria di Monica.

We started with 2 appetizers – a simple caesar salad and fried stuffed squash blossoms…though I can’t remember the type of cheese. The salad, was as you would expect, simple, safe, and just a run of the mill CS – all things being equal a nice way to start the meal. The blossoms on the other hand were simply over battered and over fried, with little taste other than the giagantic amounts of grease. It was 1 out of 4 bites that you could actually taste the blossom/cheese combo, with the others just forcing you to gulp down some water in between bites.

Entrees:

My wife ordered the house gnocci in their red sauce, a safe play to gauge Trattoria di Monica. Success. This dish, while it could have been a little larger, was delish. The red sauce was thin, but complimented the gnocci to a T. It wasnt heavy on garlic or too robust to taste the food, it simply existed and made for quick noshing.

Gnocchi alla Salsa Rosa: Gnocchi in a plum tomato sauce with a splash of cream

My dish took the top spot in my North End dining to date…

Fettuccine al Nero di Seppia con Capesanti Pan seared scallops in a white wine sauce with carrots and leeks over black fettuccine.

 My first experience with squid ink pasta, holy hell have I been missing something. This fettuccine and scallop dish was a mouth watering plate of continuous bites. The pasta was earthy, firm, and perfectly coated in the sauce. Three large scallops were nicely plated around the pasta, leaving you the diner, the option of seared scallop sans/avec white wine sauce. Each bite was better and better as you could really just pick up hints of the leeks and wine. I would recommend dining at this location on any visit to this over populated section of Boston. I find it difficult to find the value in food and wine pricing in the NE – both of which hit the nail on the head here at Trattoria di Monica.

Full bottle of Pinot Nero, 2 Apps, 2 Entrees: Total $96 well worth every penny

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