After walking the Freedom Trail from the Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument, my fiance and I had developed huge appetites. Having passed through the North End of Boston on this walking tour, we decided we would stop for lunch in a restaurant there on our return. Though when we arrived at the North End, it was hard to choose a restaurant and decided to eat at the third restaurant we passed, which was the Florentine Cafe.
This cafe was visually appealing with hardwood floors and open air seating available. As it was fairly busy and we were hungry, we decided not to wait for a window seat. Once at our table, we were given water and menus immediately. The waitress appeared momentarily and asked for our drink orders. Having walked for a few hours, we chose to drink water but ordered Carpaccio as an appetizer.
While the waitress brought our order to the kitchen, we perused our lunch choices and wondered if we would receive bread. The appetizer was delivered within minutes of ordering, but we did have to ask whether bread would be served. The waitress assured us it would be coming, and a busboy brought it to us in short order.
The carpaccio was well-presented and tasty. Thinly sliced sirloin beef created a border along the sides of the plate. In the center was a bed of arugula topped with grilled asparagus and shaved parmesan cheese, all of which was drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
For our meals, we each chose a pasta dish. I chose the Penne Campagnola, which had great ingredients but lacked in flavor. Served over perfectly cooked penne pasta, this dish had peas, onions, and prosciutto, all of which were delicious. However, the tomato cream sauce was extremely bland. Even after adding parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, it was lackluster.
My fiance chose the Veal Alla Crema, which had a similar issue. Described on the menu as, “Veal scaloppine with shrimp, onions, mushrooms and roasted peppers in a sherry wine cream sauce over linguine,” it also had a sauce that was bland. The veal was excellent, making the meal worth ordering.
Comfortably full from this meal, we declined an offer of coffee or dessert and continued our return trip on the Freedom Trail.