I was looking for somewhere new to dine this past weekend, preferably with a nice patio given how wonderful the weather was both Saturday and Sunday. Rather than suggest some new to the Boston scene restaurants, my friend BosGuy suggested a couple of old favorites… Scampo and Cinquecento. I decided to do both. Dinner Saturday at Scampo, which was as good as I remembered it and then an early dinner with my friends, Nancy and Erika at Cinquecento on Sunday.
It has been a few years since I have done a review of this fun South End locale; I thought it might good for a blog revisit.
We decided to sit on their small welcoming patio at a wrought iron table looking towards the red cabana alfresco bar. The weather was perfect with a light breeze as the sun started to settle into one of those amazing evenings that you wish was not a Sunday and you had a long guilt free night ahead. Sadly, this was not to be but the evening was delicious nevertheless.
The cocktail menu offers an array of unique and interesting hand-crafted cocktails, which made it difficult to decide what to order. I had made a decision that the evening called for a gin cocktail, so I decided on the Negroni 500, while Nancy and Erika opted for the Minuetto. Sadly, and my only complaint of the whole evening was that our service was significantly inattentive. We waited a good 20 minutes before anyone actually came over for our drinks order, which continued throughout the evening.
Once our waiter joined us we ordered cocktails and the ricotta appetizer to share, which I was delighted was still on the menu. Both cocktails are amazing and obviously made with pride and care.
The dinner menu offers appetizers of grilled octopus, carpaccio and bruschetta to name a few. The warm ricotta is simply good. I just can never stop eating this wonderful creamy appetizer slathered onto grilled crusty bread and could actually enjoy this dish on its own as a main course.
The entrée menu offers are a tempting selection from pasta dishes, to fish and meats – something for everyone’s palate. I wanted fish and was torn between the salmon and the sea bass, ultimately settling on the salmon, which is a delightfully colorful and full of flavor dish, especially the warm beets, which I am eating a lot of this summer.
I had suggested the mushroom fettuccini pasta with truffle butter to Erika, which I had remembered was a divinely indulgent dish. Erika agreed that it was indeed perfect with its al dente, fresh pasta and mushrooms working in perfect harmony with a buttery truffle sauce, which made it more filling and richer than expected.
Nancy enjoyed the simple and faultless bucatini with salty pancetta and sharp pecorino. This is a good pasta dish.
We ordered a second cocktail each and asked for the dessert menu. Sadly, we didn’t receive the menu but that was probably a good thing as we were all suitably full.
While I know I have mentioned the inattentive service more than once, it really doesn’t change how I feel about Cinquecento in general, which still remains a super restaurant with great food. It would, however, have definitely added more pleasure to our Sunday evening of a relaxing alfresco dinner.