Bricco

It’s pretty rare that I get to kick it at a swanky-ass restaurant like Bricco, in Boston’s North End. I ate there about a month ago with my family, but it was the best meal I’ve had in months and it feels wrong not to write about it.

All the ingredients at Bricco come from Bricco Pannetteria and Bricco salumeria, a nearby bakery and grocery operated by the restaurant’s owner, who operates a bunch of restaurants, pizza places and gelato shops around the north end. The place is pretty fancy.

Though it doesn’t always feel like it – stepping into the restaurant off of crowded Hanover street, Bricco might look like any other upscale restaurant, minimalist tables and a fancy, ornate bar. But the main dining room on the restaurant’s second floor feels like you’re in an old North end apartment from 30 years ago; at the top of a steep, rickety staircase, there’s a smattering of candlelit tables tucked between brick walls on a sloping wooden floor. It’s a warm, cozy environment – ideal for pigging out on Italian food.

First bite: Insalata mista, a fantastic salad with tender roasted pears, cheese crostini, spicy pecans, and a fantastic passion fruit purée to top it all off.

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Best bite: My main dish – Chilean sea bass, with roasted bok choy and a warmed carrot fondue that was unfathomably good.

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The fish was wildly rich and sweet – the bok choy added a nice crispness and peppery taste. An incredibly balanced meal.

Other bites:

Meatballs – Awesome. Classic and familiar, and topped with really fresh, flaky cheese.

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Scallops – wrapped in ranch-seasoned pancetta and served atop a crunchy cucumber and arugula garnish. No photo – we ate these too quick.

‘Big Night Timpano’ – fantastic meatballs and ragú stuffed within a baked pasta ‘drum.

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I played cleanup on my sister’s meal and could’ve easily licked the plate. I definitely wasn’t familiar with pasta like this, but I immediately loved it – it crunches up on the outside but stays tender within. This was basically like a meatball sub with homemade, exquisite pasta instead of the bread. Sign me up.

TL;DR: Best meal I’ve had in months, in a homey, intimate space – nothing was anything short of spectacular.

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