Friday night, a friend and I had plans to meet for dinner in Boston's North End. Because there are so many restaurants to chose from, I consulted my trusty Zagat's and Pagluica's came up on the short list.
The first thing to remember is that you are not going to drive to this restaurant. It is on one of the narrow side streets off Hanover St. and if you really think you can drive there and park you are out of your mind. Park outside the North End and walk.
Pagluica's in on Parmenter Street, which is between Hanover and Salem Streets. It is very easy to find but if you do get turned around, ask someone. They'll point you in the right direction.
The restaurant decor is nothing to write home about. The place has one exposed brick wall and paneling that reminds me of some of those finished basements in the 70's. It is however, air conditioned and since last Friday's temperature was in the 90's with humidity almost as high, air conditioning was called for.
Since we were eating early, we were able to walk in and get a table. If you are going later or have a large party, I think calling ahead would be a good idea. The place is fairly small but has different sections so it probably holds more people than you would think.
When we decided on Pagluica's, I thought it was a place I hadn't been before but when we got there I realized I had been there with another friend for her birthday a few years ago. At that time she had the chicken piccata and I had the veal marsala. I remember both as being very good with the prices being in the $13-$14 range.
However since Zagat's mentioned the white clam sauce in its write up of the place, I was determined to have that this visit.
Christine and I shared the tomato and mozzarella salad. It came with four slices of tomato and four of mozzarella with plenty of fresh basil and a lovely olive oil. I don't know how they got tomatoes that good at this time of year. They tasted like the ones you pick from your garden in early August - vine-ripened good. The mozzarella was fresh and delicious as well but I still can't get over those tomatoes.
We also both ordered the pasta with white clam sauce. I had linguine and she had fettucini. Our pasta came to the table steaming hot and was delicious. (The only down side was that I ended up wearing a little of the sauce - because sometimes when you suck in those little ends of pasta, they splatter a bit.)
Pasta dishes are in the $9-$10 range and the salad was $9.75. The other salads listed were less expensive but when I asked our waitress she recommended the tomato and mozzarella and I think she was right.
We passed on dessert because we wanted to go for gelato at Cafe Paradiso on Hanover (I will be writing that soon), but if the entrees are anything to go by they would be great.
There will be a lot of people coming to Boston in the coming months. If you among them, stop by Pagluica's. I think I have now said this a million times but the food is delicious, the staff friendly and efficient and the prices are excellent. The only variable will be your dinner companions so chose wisely.
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Kid Friendliness: Yes
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations The decor here is nothing to write home about but the staff is pleasant and helpful and the food delicious.
Best Suited For: Friends