Today we visited the very touristy Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. This is also the the start of the Freedom Trail. Many points of historical interest in regards to the American Revolution are within walking distance of each other.
We are most interested in the Granary Burying Spot, home to the remains of Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and many more, known and unknown. It is a fascinating trip through the history of the region, and the country itself.
Al Dente is a small place seating about 60. It is busy, very loud and cramped. It feels like you are eating at a big Italian family event. Classic white Italian loaf and butter packets arrive with menus. Service is understandable harried but friendly. Our Barolo is delivered to the table and poured into cheap red wine glasses. I kind of expected tumblers but this is typical.
We want to try a few things so we order the lobster ravioli starter and the caprese salad. Both are large portions for starters. Four large lobster and ricotta stuffed ravioli swim in a decadent cream rose sauce with more chunks of lobster and fresh garlic and tomatoes…and Parmesan cheese. Take that Scott Conant, of the school of “it’s wrong to serve cheese with seafood”. The caprese is almost classic but has the addition of red onion which does not add to the delicateness of this already perfect combo. The tomatoes tonight are average, the fresh mozzarella is thick cut and rounded out by a balsamic syrup reduction and a chiffonade of fresh basil.
For mains I order the shrimp and calamari fra diavolo and Rob orders the gnocchi with sausage. My linguine is perfectly cooked and there is a very nice heat from chili peppers. The calamari is plentiful, the shrimp are not. The portion is huge. I can only eat about 1/3.
Rob’s gnocchi is served in a plum tomato sauce with sundried tomatoes, capers, basil, pecorino romano and parmesan cheese, mushrooms and white wine with addition of plentiful 1 1/2-ince slices of sweet sausage. The richness of the cooked-down tomatoes is multiplied by the sun-dried tomato and cheese. The whole dish is meaty, hearty and substantial. So substantial, that he could manage only half.
After dinner we sit and relax with a shot of on-the-house limoncello which is delicious and creamy. We pay the bill and head out into the busy North End evening. We stroll over to Hanover Street for gelato at Gigi Gelateria, stopping to say hi to Lucia the kitty at the local confectionery. Gelato is creamy and refreshing and a perfect topper to a perfect day in Boston.