Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Panza - More North End Goodness!

When friends of ours from New York City were travelling through Boston on their way back from a wedding in Maine, we were more than willing to meet up on a Sunday night for dinner.  When asked if they had any particular requests, S mentioned that it had been ages since she visited the North End, so Nick took that as a mission to find a place that took reservations on a Sunday night.  While we love Mamma Maria, we wanted something a bit more low key.  After comparing some Yelp reviews to what was available on Open Table, he stumbled upon Panza, and we decided to give it a go.

Panza is located in the North End on Hanover Street across from the crazy lines of Giacomo's.  The restaurant is classic North End with its tiny space, two rows of tables and a nice open window at the front.  After arriving I was surprised they actually took reservations since similar restaurants typically don't want or need them!  Nick and I arrived, luckily just before it began to rain, and were seated straight away.

View from the table
While looking over the menu, we munched on some hearty Italian bread.

While I went with a glass of Chianti (when in Rome!), Nick and M went with the special for the evening: a white sangria.

White Sangria
For appetizers Nick and S could not resist the buratta and tomato salad, which was fresh and amazing.  The cheese was unbelievably rich and creamy, and the seasoning on the tomatoes was just right.

Cheese and Tomato Salad
I started with the mushroom and goat cheese spring rolls.  I could not resist my favorite combination of foods.  The rolls were yummy, but a little greasy - maybe a bit more mushroom would have helped.  The greens on the plate offered a nice little freshness.

Extreme close up on the spring roll
Spring Roll Plate
For a main course, Nick went with a hearty Italian meal by ordering the Veal Saltimbocca with prosciutto and mozzarella in an white wine sage sauce.  There was a delicious amount of cheese on this plate and the veal was cooked perfectly.  Each of these components was highlighted by the sage sauce.

Veal Saltimbocca
In sticking with the classic dishes, S got the Potato Gnocchi Bolognese with light potato dumplings and a classic beef and pork ragu.  This was a hearty and flavorful dish.  The gnocchi was not too heavy and the perfect texture.

Gnocchi Bolognese
M and I both ordered the Linguine alla Pescatore with shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams and calamari.  While I went with the fra diavolo, M got the white sauce.  This was a massive plate of food!  The seafood was cooked well and the sauce was flavorful with a great bit of spice to it.  I dove right in and ate the majority of seafood before I even touched the pasta.  I only ended up having a few bites of pasta because the plate had so much seafood.  I would definitely order this dish again.

So much seafood on the Linguini alla Pescatore
Full plate of deliciousness!
Panza served great food at an even better price point.  The linguini dish was the most expensive at $18.00 - I'm not sure I have seen a cheaper menu for a meal like this in quite some time in Boston.  Panza offers up great food in a quaint atmosphere.  Skip the long lines at other Hanover Street establishments and make a reservation here instead!

Panza Ristorante on Urbanspoon


  1. I have never been here, though obviously walked by a million times. looks delicious.

  2. I wouldn't expect to see spring rolls at a North End Italian restaurant! The linguini with all the seafood looks incredible though.

  3. Everything looks delicious! I'm putting it on my to-try list. I could seriously eat Italian food every night of the week and never tire of it.

  4. I've never even heard of Panza! I need to spend more time in the North End.

  5. As much as I love Mama Maria, this sounds like a great alternative if you're looking for something a little more mellow. That fra diavlo looks like a winner!

  6. Pretty sure Dave and I had a date night at Panza a few years ago. Not mindblowing but definitely good. The burrata looks great

  7. I'm salivating just looking at these photos. Especially that Gnocchi Bolognese...*drool*


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