Dish Gal's guide to getting the most out of life, one meal at a time...

A Cure for a Discouraged Heart

Without getting into personal details, last night around suppertime Dish Gal found her heart to be quite heavy. Do you know that feeling? When life is just kind of getting you down, and any soul-searching you do seems to come up empty?

Dish Gal’s favorite remedy for this malaise, for a downtrodden spirit, has always been a hearty, home-cooked meal by her Italian Dish Mom. Sadly, living on one’s own, this medication isn’t available at all times. But luckily for me last night, living in the North End gets you the next best thing…

Last night, as the frigid air whipped through the narrow streets of the North End, Z and I stumbled into La Familia Giorgio’s on Salem Street. It was warm, welcoming, and so un-chic it was comforting. We ordered glasses of cabernet (ah! A grown-up cure for melancholy on its own) that came in juice glasses, as if you were in your grandmother’s house and that was all she had. When the bread came, I realized how hungry I was, as I dove into the uncomplicated bread basket and sopped up the heart-healthy olive oil spiked with crushed red hot pepper flakes.

We split a salad (side note: a green olive definitely fell into my massive purse, and I have still not recovered it. This is going to be a very odd surprise someday soon when I’m digging for my keys). When the main course came, I could’ve cried with happiness. A heaping, ginormous platter of ziti smothered in red sauce, topped with eggplant stuffed with parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella was placed in front of us. As if on a cartoon, my eyes doubled in size.

Each bite of this food was like a hug; I could feel the stress of the day melting away almost instantaneously. The eggplant was savory, satisfying, and uncomplicatedly-delicious.

In talking about this blog to Z last night, I said that I hope people can appreciate the fact that I don’t write unbiased restaurant reviews, and I always include my feelings along with my opinions on the food. In this case, I can’t imagine giving La Familia Giorgio’s anything less than a standing ovation for cheering me up on a cold and bleak evening. Perhaps the next time you're feeling similar, you'll wander up Salem St and try this spot, as well. It's just what the doctor ordered-- well, if he/she was a foodie ;)

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