My friends were in town for the weekend, which called for somewhere new and fabulous to dine out at on Saturday night. Whenever Lauren, my old roommate is in town, it usually calls for gastronome delights, wine imbibing and a few extra pounds.
After calling a few of the new “in” places such as Trade and Red Lantern with no luck, I settled on Aragosta in the Fairmont Hotel at Battery Wharf. I had been reading some fellow blogger reviews of Aragosta so was quite excited.Even more excited after reading the menu online.
Surprisingly, I had never been to that part of Boston (North End) before. I never really had any need to. The hotel itself lines the waterfront and has wonderful views of the harbor and city. Upon entering the hotel there is a spacious, cozy lobby filled with sofas and lounging chairs. Aragosta is off to the left of the lounge. We were greeted by very friendly hosts and led to our table past the huge open kitchen area that was busy with happy chefs.
Seated close the window we got a full view of the restaurant. Warm lighting with autumn hues lent itself to giving the restaurant a more relaxed and comfortable feel. Down the center of the restaurant is a line of tables separated by silk curtains that make it look romantic and inviting.
As we looked at the menus a small wood board of fresh crusty bread and olives was brought over to table.
Both Lauren on myself decided on some creative looking cocktails. I picked the S’more Martini and Lauren picked the Moscow Mule. We all sat back as our waiter lit the marshmallow on my S’more cocktail. The bright blue flame only stayed lit for a second before the chocolate and marshmallow was dunked into my drink. The taste was a chocolate delight with a hint of vanilla. Lauren’s Moscow Mule was a ginger heavy drink spiked with vodka and very refreshing.
For the whole evening we decided to do family style and share everything that came to our table. The four of us were in for quite a treat. For our starter plates we ordered the Charred Octopus Salad, Arancinis and Truffle Rigatoni.
The Charred Octopus was one of the most interesting of our appetizers. Lightly charred and a little biting octopus that tasted fresh and deliciously salty with the pancetta.
The Arancinis were wonderful cheese and rice filled fried balls of goodness resting on tasty perfectly spiced Bolognese sauce.
Now let’s talk the Truffle Rigatoni. This dish rendered the four of us literally speechless. Large rigatoni stuffed with four cheeses infused with delicate truffle and covered with a warm, light goat cheese fondue. There is a tomato puree that added a vibrant color to this cream on white dish and with the goat cheese fondue it was outstanding. I would go to Aragosta just for this dish alone.
We spent our time enjoying our starters and chatting to our wonderful waiter while we perused the menu for our next choices. While we were deciding I knew I wanted to try the Ahi Tuna Flatbread so ordered it while we were looking for more dishes to share. This dish was unique and outstanding as far as any flatbread I have ever tasted. Gorgeously light tuna on crispy thin flatbread with sweet tomato and bitter arugula drizzled with a truffle mayonnaise.
We really did not need more food but more was to come. Our waiter very nicely told us that we could order half portions of the pasta dishes, which is ideal if you want to share a number of things to get a more varied tasting of their amazing menu. We decided on some half portions of the Pappardelle Bolognese and the Orecchiette and a main of Herb Roasted Organic Chicken.
The Orecchiette tasted so rich and decadent with a wonderful crunch of walnuts – a half portion would be perfect for any main. I only had a bite of the parpadelle, however the same as all the other dishes, it was a hit with the table with regards to the Bolognese. My dining companions did feel the veal was a little fatty, but that was the only very mild complaint. The roasted chicken was juicy and moist and a wonderfully herbed dish over creamy, cheesy polenta that I could not stop eating.
I am not sure there was any other room in our tummies for anything else except perhaps some Fried Zeppoles. Lightly fried donut balls covered in powdered sugar and dipped in chocolate alongside an espresso. A wonderful end to an over indulgent Saturday evening.
Aragosta might be off the beaten path a little bit but it is absolutely worth a trip. On Thursdays they do a Ladies Night Out where any drink and appetizer pairing is $20. They also invite some of the staff from Exhale over to the hotel to do treatments. I am definitely getting a few friends together for a Thursday and soon.
Aragosta is truly a hit with me and my friends.