Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Riccardo's

175 North Street, Boston, MA 02113
(617) 720-3994 Find location!

Photo of Riccardo's, Boston, MA It is no secret that the North End of Boston is such an extremely popular place for restaurants. In fact, you might think that if a dining spot in the North End is rarely crowded, it can't be any good, right? Well, not always. Some just happen to be tucked away in more out-of-the-way or residential sections of this Boston neighborhood. And while Riccardo's Ristorante is a stone's throw from the popular attractions of North Square, it is just far enough away so that few people even know of its existence. A shame, as Riccardo's is a top-notch Italian restaurant that is casual, comfortable, and, with few exceptions, reasonably priced.

The atmosphere at Riccardo's is attractive in a low-key sort of way, with low lighting and mostly dark, understated colors giving the place an intimate feel. Carpeting helps keep the noise level down, and the tables are spread out just enough to give diners a decent amount of privacy. Large tables are available, making Riccardo's a good option for family or business gatherings. Service is prompt and professional, and the waitstaff makes a point of putting in orders for appetizers before diners order their meals--a minor point, perhaps, but one that isn't practiced often enough these days.

The menu at Riccardo's holds few surprises, but the some of the dishes are extraordinary, including the lobster ravioli appetizer, which can also be ordered as a full meal on request. Other standouts include the hearty lentil and green pea soup, which isn't served all the time (though it should be); the delectable eggplant rollatini appetizer; the pollo exquisito, which is sauteed and battered chicken topped with savory prosciutto and mild cheese in a hearty marsala wine sauce; the mussels in a zesty tomato-based sauce; and the meat lasagna, made with homemade pasta and layers of delicious beef and cheese and smothered in an excellent red sauce. Riccardo's also has a terrific wine list, though some of the wine prices are a bit on the expensive side.

Riccardo's is by no means the best restaurant in the North End, but it is better than the vast majority of Italian restaurants in the Greater Boston area. And--just to stress the point again-- because Riccardo's is not well known, it is usually pretty easy to get into, even on a weekend night. So if you are looking for some great Italian food in a casual environment and you don't like waiting in line, Riccardo's should definitely be one of your top choices in the North End.