I’ve been wrestling for some time about with how to share this story. As a (cough) journalist it is of utmost importance for me to maintain my journalistic integrity. As a human being, it is of the utmost importance for me not to get whacked.
So imagine my dilemma as I consider how to relate this not so flattering tale about an Italian family restaurant in the North End of Boston.
Therefore, here is my disclaimer:
*THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The events depicted in this blog took place in Boston in August of 2011. The names of the establishment and staff have been changed, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.
It all started when Jeff had gotten a whole bunch of wrong number calls from a very Italian sounding gentleman looking for *Maryanne. After a half a dozen or so of these calls and some high-larious voice-mails, Jeff decided to engage the guy and find out why he kept dialing the wrong number. He said something about it being his girlfriend’s number and that he just kept getting a couple numbers flipped. OK, but who doesn’t use speed dial nowadays?
Anyway, he said he had a restaurant called * “La Spaghetti” in the North End and that we should come on down sometime.
The North End! Would this mean we would now have a connection for some truly authentic Italian food? Ummm…no.
I immediately went to the interweb to read some reviews and found this:
Oh my! now we really had to go check this place out. We arranged a field trip with our friends Mark and Michelle and headed in to see for ourselves.
Now I haven’t spent a lot of time in the North End, but the restaurant Jeff and I dined at last year just happened to be right down the street from *La Spaghetti. This made it quite convenient compare and contrast these two establishments.
Let’s start with exterior of “Bricco” the fine dining restaurant.
And *La Spaghetti’s exterior:
Now, if I hadn’t read he reviews I might have considered that this could be a “Mama’s Kitchen” kind of place. You know, nothing fancy but in the back is a round, white haired Nonna stirring a huge pot of simmering homemade red sauce, but we knew better.
We decided to just ask for *Romero (the wrong number guy) and have a drink while we check out the place.
We were going to sit at the bar, but there were only three stools and four of us, so we had to commit to dealing with one of the gruff waitresses. We chose to sit in a booth, this was a mistake. The foam in the bench seats had long since disintegrated. It felt like they replaced it with nuts and bolts. Michelle plopped down and then leaned over to me and faintly whispered “my coccyx”.
We ordered a Caráfe of wine.
Now that we were sitting in the empty dining room we had to order something, so we went with the Bruschetta.
Crusty Italian bread topped with garden fresh tomatoes and basil dressed with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Looks fabulous doesn’t it? That’s just what bruschetta should look like; that’s not what we got.
We got this.
So here’s the thing, there was something quite odd about this situation, I mean other than the plastic flower decor. Let’s do some detective work shall we?
*Romero looks to be at least sixty five years old. *Maryanne (the blond over Michelle’s left shoulder in the previous picture) looks to be about twenty five years old. OK, I get it, what’s good for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones is good enough for the rest of America, but *Romero didn’t seem too glad to see us. He also didn’t stand less than twenty feet from his “girlfriend” while we were there. He hasn’t entered her number into his phone even though he calls her all the time…
Wait A Minute… Oh crap! Did we just totally out them in some hanky–panky here? Ok then, time to go nicetomeetcha, bye!
Next Up: Leave the gun, take the cannoli; The rest of the evening in the North End.