Italian Eats in Boston

Thanks to some great recommendations from my culinary school friends I was able to take advantage of some fantastic food while visiting Boston.  We took a break from a historical morning on the Freedom Trail to have some lunch at Carmen’s in the North Square.  We walked in to a charming little dining room with a wine bar in the front overlooking the historic Italian streets with wine bottles lining the window sill.  While reviewing the menu I noticed the waitress unveil a pasta dish a few tables down.  Through the dim light I couldn’t quite make out what it was, but it looked like she cut into something to reveal the contents of the dish and steamy aroma of deliciousness.  The historical landmarks of the morning quickly took a back seat as I was captivated by this culinary wonderment.  The dish was a baked penne with little meatballs in a roasted tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella served in parchment paper or in the culinary world we call it – papillote.  basically, the pasta if half-cooked and then placed in this little parchment paper pocket with all the other ingredients and finished off in the oven.  The packed it served to the guest and then opened at the table by the server to make for a beautiful presentation as well as release the hearty aroma of the baked pasta and tomatoes.  An aroma that I wish I could bottle up in a perfume bottle!  Between the pasta and the wine I reached my culinary euphoria for the day and enjoyed the rest of the Trail rejuvenated.  Word of caution:  If you are thinking about going there for dinner be sure to make a reservation in advance.  I managed to catch a glimpse of the waitress opening the reservation book and it was packed!!

You may remember last year when I did my cannoli (My Trip to Boston) taste test and promised the next time I returned to Boston I’d have the Lobster Tail.  I never break a promise!  As a New Yorker, I’m programmed to have a high tolerance for waiting on long lines for things.  And this along with the cappucino was worth it!

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