Monday, July 11, 2011

A night out at NeBo

Our friend C was coming to Boston and Nick and I were at a bit of a losts of where to go out to eat close to the Garden area, since we had to be at the Grand Canal later that evening to check out our potential wedding band.  Our other friend A suggested NeBo, and after going to the Action Kitchen event for the showing of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" where he competed against the ladies of NeBo, I was excited to finally head over to see what the restaurant was all about. 

Nick and I arrived a bit before our reservation so we grabbed a glass of house Cabernet and a Peroni (we were in the North End, after all).  I loved that the glass of wine came with a little carafe so you could have a nice manageable glass of wine, but still had a large glass for the price. Also, these etched Peroni glasses are really cool!

Wine and Beer
Once our friends C and A arrived, we sat at our tables and they ordered a couple of fun cocktails.  One was a raspberry martini with loads of different raspberry liquors and raspberry puree, all topped off with some champagne.


Raspberry Puree
Another cocktail was Jezebel's Kiss, which was a gin based martini.

Jezebel's Kiss
Both of these drinks were delicious.  Neither was too sweet and both had a large combination of flavors that worked well together and added a lot of depth of flavor.  There were plenty of other fun drinks to choose from that I intend to test out at some point.  I apologize for the lack of detail of the drinks, but they do not have the drink list on the website and I can't remember all the ingredients!

When we were brought to our table we were asked by the hostess whether we needed a gluten free menu, which was fantastic considering we actually did!  Given the number of people who are either going gluten free for a diet or medical reasons it makes so much sense for restaurants to be moving in this direction.  The menus had very similar offerings so I was excited to see how the flavors compared.

For appetizers we first ordered the garlic shrimp in a lemon butter sauce with grilled polenta.  When the dish arrived at our table, I could not wait to dig in.  The shrimp were well flavored, tender and perfectly cooked.  The polenta had a great consistency - a bit of char on the outside from the grill and the inside had a smooth texture.  The lemon butter sauce just added nice flavor rather than an overly oily feeling. 

Garlic Shrimp, Lemon Butter Sauce, and Grilled Polenta
The other appetizer we order was the burrata, which was a cream filled mozzarella, with prosciutto di parma and a balsamic fig glaze.

The Burrata
The prosciutto was fresh and flavorful.  The burrata was creamy and delicious, and the fig glaze added such a nice flavor to the burrata and prosciutto that just completed each tasty bite.

For the main courses we got a little bit of everything.  I went with the ricotta gnocchi with homemade sweet sausage, broccoli rabe and pecorino romano.  This was the first time I had gnocchi made from ricotta and it was amazing.  Each gnocchi was a light pillow of ricotta that had such a great consistency and flavor.  The bitterness of the broccoli rabe combined nicely with the sweetness of the sausage. 

Ricotta Gnocchi
Nick ordered the prosciutto e fichi pizza, which had homemade fig spread, prosciutto di parma, gorgonzola, rosemary and mozzarella.

Prosciutto e Fichi
Unlike other pizzas with fig, this one was not overly sweet, making each bite flavorful without that overly sweet jam taste.  The crust was light and crispy - overall, a good pizza!  Even better, we got to contrast the regular pizza crust to the gluten free - C got the bianca rucola with arugula, pacchino tomatoes, parmigiano, mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil.

Bianca Rucola
The gluten free crust was delicious - it really had such an amazing taste and didn't taste "funny" compared to the traditional crust.  C was really impressed with the gluten free options, but even more impressed that the taste held up as well.  Given that NeBo is a North End restaurant you would hope they wouldn't offer it without knowing what they were doing.  Lucky for us, they do!

A ordered the strozzapreti funghi, which had wild mushroom rag├╣, caramelized onions, fontina and sage.  The fresh pasta was delicious and had a great consistency and texture.  The sauce, mushrooms and onions balanced well and provided a great fork full in each bite. 

Strozzapreti Funghi
I was pleasantly surprised by NeBo - it really was a nice modern take on old-school Italian.  From the moment you enter, the feeling is sleek and modern but with plenty of warmth that makes you want to stay awhile and then come back for more.  The food was tasty with plenty of impressive menu items to choose from, and a cocktail list to match.


Nebo on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. I'll have to check it out! I recently had a delicious gluten-free crust at Stone Hearth and would love to see how this one compares (and I even eat gluten!). The garlic shrimp looks amazing!

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  2. you know, I often walk by Nebo and wonder why I have never been. that needs to change!

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  3. Oooh I love raspeberry martinis, I would have to try their version soon! And the Bianca pizza :)

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