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REVIEW: Riccardo’s Ristorante

Located on the Freedom Trail overlooking Old North Square and the Paul Revere House, Ricardo’s is one of the few remaining family-run, family-oriented North End restaurants offering fine Italian cuisine – the way it used to be – to an extraordinarily loyal and appreciative clientele.

Chef/owner Ricardo Travaglione along with his son, Richie, are proud in keeping “old school” culinary traditions alive in Boston’s historic North End. This father/son team of chefs feature family-style food – once the hallmark of so many of the neighborhood’s eating establishments of yesteryear.

Today, with over 80 restaurants to choose from, Ricardo’s shares the distinction of offering the kind outstanding “old fashion” Italian home-cooked cuisine, while also offering new varieties of food with a distinctive modern flair.
Take, for example, Ricardo’s homemade Stuffed Calamari from a recipe passed down from grandmother to grandson – a sumptuous blend of seasoned breadcrumbs and pieces of calamari stuffed in calamari tubes and served over a bed of linguine. Or, the house specialty, Veal Scaloppini featuring thinly sliced milk-fed veal in a robust, tasty Marsala wine sauce. And for a memorable evening meal, regale yourself in the thick, tender Grilled Pork Chops – a Ricardo’s favorite – with oven-roasted potatoes and vinegar peppers in a light piquant wine vinegar sauce. Ricardo’s delivers its traditional fare with consistency and perfection.

“At the same time, we’re also mindful in following many of the new trends,” adds son Richie, who learned the fine art of Italian cuisine at his father’s knee. Among some of the house specialties are Risotto Ricardo with chicken, spinach and shitake mushrooms in a light wine cream sauce and also the rich and hearty Pork Loin stuffed with prosciutto, fontina cheese and spinach and served with oven-roasted potatoes in a Madeira demi-glaze.
“We always try to respond to our guests’ special needs and desires; we invent what people want”, says Richie, mentioning Ricardo’s lighter fare such as their renown Pasta Primavera and their Mesclun Salad with bell peppers, gorgonzola, and pecans, drizzled with a light Zinfandel dressing.

With their friendly and competent staff, Ricardo’s presents a modern, spacious and airy downstairs dining area with windows opening onto North Street. The warm and tastefully designed restaurant also offers a second floor dining room with seating for an additional 85 guests overlooking North Square – a favorite venue for the many corporate and private functions and events that Ricardo’s often hosts.

Ricardo’s web site.

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