Inexpensive romantic dinner in North End Boston
May 30, 2008 8:57 AM   Subscribe

BostonNorthEndDinnerFilter: Quick! Where should we eat tonight.

My girlfriend and I are staying at the B&B in Constitution Harbor tonight for a little romantic getaway (that is, getting away about a mile from our Cambridge home). We want to have dinner in the North End but since we're graduate students, have little cash to spend especially after the B&B price.

We basically only know the expensive places from before we were students, so I'm wondering what some of the reasonably priced restaurants are in the North End that are still nice for a romantic dinner (ie, not full of kids or loud drunk college students). A meal of about $50 for the two of us, including wine, would be good.

We're checking in to the B&B around 3:00 today, so the quicker the response the better!!
posted by jk252b to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I don't remember enough about the restaurants to be of much use, but I can tell you that you MUST go to Mike's after dinner and pick up their amazing, incredible, like nothing else you've ever had lobster tails. Just one will be enough for the two of you, and you can add some of their giant chocolate strawberries if you want to do the consensus romance thing. Then you can stroll down to those benches that are right on the water.

And if you don't find a romantic dinner restaurant and just grab a nice slice somewhere, you can still go to Mike's for a cheap and incredibly, mind-bogglingly delicious dessert.

It occurs to me that I should explain that a lobster tail is NOT the tail of a lobster. It is a pastry filled with God's laughter.
posted by prefpara at 9:06 AM on May 30, 2008

Pizzeria Regina is a great pie and a classic North End spot. Great pizza. Good prices. Cash only. And if you've already had their pizza at a mall or airport, it's much better at the restaurant.
posted by mds35 at 9:06 AM on May 30, 2008

Mother Anna's is reasonably priced and the food is good. If you're looking to get a bottle of wine (rather than a glass for each of you), there's no way you'll find dinner for fifty dollars anywhere in the North End.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:06 AM on May 30, 2008

Piccola Venezia (263 Hanover Street).
posted by ericb at 9:10 AM on May 30, 2008

I took my wife to Mother Anna's on our first date almost exactly 25 years ago. We are still married.
posted by thomas144 at 9:12 AM on May 30, 2008

you MUST go to Mike's...

Mike's is for tourists. Locals go to Modern Pastry (257 Hanover Street) for dolce!
posted by ericb at 9:14 AM on May 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Also, consider Giacomo's Ristorante (355 Hanover Street). Cash only.
posted by ericb at 9:20 AM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mike's is for tourists.

To be clear, do not attempt to go eat at Mike's, which is a crowded nightmare. Just buy the LOBSTER TAIL at Mike's. I've eaten in a lot of places at the North End, including Modern Pastry (eh). The lobster tails at Mike's are uniquely amazing and delicious, and if you aren't able to find a way to eat for <$50, I stand by my suggested Plan B of dessert & stroll to the water.
posted by prefpara at 9:24 AM on May 30, 2008

2nding Pizzeria Regina, if you have cash.

Or, perhaps not; it likely won't be full of loud college kids, but I wouldn't classify it as "romantic," unless you find the look and feel of a classic by-gone 70's / early 80's pizzeria romantic. I don't know if they have wine. I wouldn't recommend it as a place to propose.

But, that's definitely where I would take my honey.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:24 AM on May 30, 2008

^ just remembered, Regina might have a long line out its door. It's not "crowded", but the wait may be long if you're not having an early dinner.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:25 AM on May 30, 2008

I like Ristorante Fiori, which can be under $50, depending what you order. I love the tagliatelle.
I've also heard good things about Pomodoro.

Given the deadline, I suggest you also look on, where you can search by price and neighborhood. Also try - I've heard they're up-and-coming in the world of restaurant reviews.

And I second Modern Pastry, but you already know all this; you live in the area.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 9:34 AM on May 30, 2008

Monica's is just out of the way enough that it's not mobbed like some of the other North End spots. The food is excellent and very reasonably priced, and the space cozy and attractive.

They actually have several locations. We're fans of the Restaurant (linked above), but you can't go wrong with the great pizza at the Trattoria either.
posted by dseaton at 9:46 AM on May 30, 2008

Agree with people recommending that you stay away from Mike's. There's also Bova's. Not as popular or hip, but tasty.
posted by tom_g at 9:52 AM on May 30, 2008

Seconding Monica's, and I will specifically state that in my humble opinion Modern's Lobster Claw (as they call them) are better than the "tails" at Modern.
posted by jalexei at 10:02 AM on May 30, 2008

..the above was supposed to end 'better than the "tails" at Mike's' - of course - thinking about Italian pastry has addled my typing.
posted by jalexei at 10:04 AM on May 30, 2008

I've also heard good things about Pomodoro.

Pomodoro is my favorite restaurant in the North End. But, you'll likely pay more than $50 for two. It's cash only, few tables, but great food.
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on May 30, 2008

Taranta serves interesting Southern Italian-Peruvian cuisine in a very nice atmosphere. With wine, though, it'll cost you more like $70.
posted by vincele at 10:50 AM on May 30, 2008

I agree with Modern over Mike's. I like Bella Vista on Hanover St. for a not too expensive, but romantic dinner for two. It's a block or two away from Mike's Pastry on the same side of the street, and it's not usually overly busy.
posted by LouMac at 11:23 AM on May 30, 2008

Bova is my favorite Italian bakery in the world.
posted by mark7570 at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2008

I like L'Osteria on Hanover Street.
If you get a bottle of wine, you're looking at $60, minimum. It's a beautiful afternoon in Boston. I'd say it's worth it.
posted by emd3737 at 12:46 PM on May 30, 2008

oops, L'Osteria is on Salem St.
posted by emd3737 at 12:47 PM on May 30, 2008

I have disagree with the Pomodoro rec. Both the service (made reservations a few times and still waited more than an hour, sometimes hour and a half, after reservation time) and food quality are uneven IMHO, and there are so many better options in the North End ... and as someone else mentioned, $50 probably is pushing it for two people.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 2:24 PM on May 30, 2008

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