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

Ristorante Fiore in the North End

For Christmas, Sebastian received a gift certificate to Ristorante Fiore in the North End, and he very graciously invited me to join him there. I suggested waiting until the summer months when they open their famous roof deck, but of course we couldn't hold out, and last week we treated ourselves to a mid-week break.

It had started to snow when I got off the T at Haymarket, which made for the perfect night to enjoy a hearty Italian meal and some red wine. I got to the restaurant a little before Sebastian, and was greeted very warmly at the door. I waited for him at the bar-- small and intimate, a place I could imagine coming and enjoying solo, pondering life over a glass of wine and a basket of bread.

Since it was crummy out, the restaurant was pretty quiet, which meant that Sebastian and I got a prime spot next to the windows overlooking Hanover Street. The dining room was a little dated and cheesy, but at the same time still elegant and homey. Our waiter was friendly, professional, and knowledgeable-- a welcome change from the notorious North End waiters who sometimes try to rush you along. We decided to start with the insalata pomodoro ($10), beefsteak tomatoes with shaved parmiagano, olive oil, fresh basil, pancetta, and gorgonzola. This was kind of blah-- but part of it is my fault for ordering an appetizer that is based around tomatoes in the dead of February.
Luckily, the entrees made up for the less than stellar appetizer. We both chose classic Italian dishes, both of which Fiore presented very elegantly. Sebastian went with the saltimbocca di pollo, pan-seared chicken sautéed with mushrooms and marsala wine, topped with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and sage ($22). This was SO yummy. So savory, so salty, so delicious. I decided to go with my standby parmigiana di melanzane ($19)-- eggplant parmesan. I appreciated the fact that this didn't come smothered in breadcrumbs or dripping with grease. And even though some may complain about having to order a side of pasta to go along with this, in the end I think it's for the best it doesn't come with pasta-- it's substantial enough on its own.Overrall, while Fiore is overpriced (that's typical with the North End though), when you factor in great service and nice overrall ambiance (especially in the summer months!), it is worth it. While there are other places I may recommend before I recommend Fiore, you definitely would be in for a good meal if you choose this spot.


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