My dining companion was a great friend from Dish Gal's childhood. Back in the day, we enjoyed singing along to "Everybody Dance Now" on her boombox and swimming for hours and hours and hours, stopping only for passing lightning storms or a quick Drumstick ice cream cone from the snack bar.
My friend, let's call her Lynn, ordered the penne amatriciana-- pasta with pancetta, onions, roasted eggplant, fontina cheese, and plum tomato sauce.
Sure, it wasn't her mother's famous bolognese sauce (I still dream of that sauce), but it hit the spot.
I'm not sure if it was the comforting food, the wine, the cozy restaurant, or the great conversation (I'm guessing it was a combination of all of them), but I left this restaurant with a great feeling, and I look back upon my time there with great affection. It gave me that great, indescribable buzz that every North End place should-- that feeling that you can't stop smiling, but also that you'd love to lie down and take a nap ;)