One of my favorite Brit bands of my younger adult years was Tears for Fears. The album The Hurting got me through a lot pain and angst, in particular their song Mad World, which even today may be one of my favorite singles of all time. So, whenever Tears for Fears are in Boston, I make every effort to go and see them. Usually, they are at one of our smaller venues like the House of Blues, however, this time they were supporting the hugely popular 80s band, Hall & Oates at the TD Garden. I am not really a fan of The Garden at all as I find it too big and little scary, especially when you are high up, but I couldn’t miss the chance of seeing Tears for Fears again. They did not disappoint me at all. The iconic 80s duo rocked the arena with all of their greats from Shout to Head over Heels and Pale Shelter. They were brilliant!!! I have been listening to their albums on repeat ever since! Alexa maybe fed with me. Between “Alexa what is the weather tomorrow” and “Alexa play me Tears for Fears” she may actually be trying to find me a therapist as we speak!
Prior to going to The Garden my friend Laura and I were looking to go for a bite to eat. We didn’t want to be in the heart of the overly touristy North End nor did we want a sports bar in North Station so Laura recommended Ducali Pizzeria located right on the Causeway between the two neighborhoods. While I had driven past this place a million times, I had actually never dined there so now was my chance.
On an early Saturday evening I walked into the packed urban casual pizza restaurant with all of its windows wide open onto the street and met Laura in a cozy little corner of the restaurant. Sat on slightly rickety chairs and surrounded by walls plastered with sports and drink posters, I felt completely at home. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever pretentious about Ducali. Its utterly casual atmosphere welcomes everyone equally.
The menu offers traditional Italian appetizers of antipasto and arancini followed by salads, sandwiches and housemade pizzas baked in the traditional Roman-Italian style. We were both excited to try a few things so sharing was in order.
We started with the Lobster Arancini. Deep fried rice balls with sweet chunks of lobster dipped in a mildly spiced sauce proved to be attention grabbing of what was to come.
A seemingly simple arugula salad came out next. Fresh ricotta cheese surrounded bitter greens with a clean, crisp bite of juicy pear, but what made this salad was the dressing, which honestly could have been a simple vinaigrette. Whatever it was it was fabulous.
Of course, we had to have pizza so ordered the Prosciutto, which was stacked high with thin slices of salty meat and more arugula than our salad all resting on top of the most perfect base. I never eat the crusts of pizza and I devoured this dipped in the Fra Divaolo sauce from arancini.
I cannot find fault with Ducali as far as a pizza restaurant. I loved the easy feel and casualness of this neighborhood locale. If you pushed me to actually find a bit of fault, being a wine enthusiast, I am going to have to say the wine list. A list of 4-5 great wines at affordable prices (they are out there), which pair perfectly with pizza would force me rave about this place.
All in all, a wonderful starter to the still amazingly entertaining Tears for Fears.
From the website: FORZA DUCALI!
The name “Ducali” comes from the nickname of the soccer team in the city of Parma. Named in honor of the city’s historic duchy, I Ducali, or the “duchy men” play in Italy’s Serie A, one of the world’s best soccer leagues. The team, famous for their yellow and blue striped jerseys, has developed some of Italy’s greatest players including Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluigi Buffon and Filippo Inzaghi. Parma’s gialloblu (yellow and blue) adore the interior of the pizzeria!