Monday, February 22, 2010

La Famiglia Giorgio

The birthday celebrations continued on Sunday afternoon with my Dad, his new girlfriend, Lisa, and her two year old daughter, Caycee who were visiting Boston for the day. There is always a restaurant or ten lingering in my brain, we'll call it my running “to eat list", which, in the North End covers just about anywhere I haven’t been yet. Ideally we'd benefit from somewhere that could cater to a young child. I assumed anyplace with family in the title ought to be able to cover it and therefore chose La Famiglia Giorgio just a few blocks over on Salem Street. We hadn't eaten all day and what was once going to be a late lunch turned into an early dinner. 
The restaurant was empty upon arrival except for a few tables, but by the time we left, the place was packed full with a line out the door. Looks like we’re not the only ones who love us some Sunday Italian feasts. We were seated at a spacious table for six next to a wall with a sprawling mural of the Italian countryside. They had a highchair - score one point for kid friendly. They had paper place mats - score another point for kid friendly. We had packed Caycee’s crayons and coloring books, but who needs a coloring book when you’ve got paper place mats!? Our waitress introduces herself as Auntie. She was fabulous throughout our meal. Drinks were ordered promptly. It was Mai Tais ($6.95) for my sister and I. She had just gotten off a shift at Spaulding Hospital, and was able to join us! But, hold the phone. Mai Tais? Honestly, who are we? Sometimes it is fun to order something completely unexpected off the drink menu. Lord knows we drink enough red wine. Adam stuck with a Coca-Cola ($1.50). I adore when Coke comes in the glass bottles, it reminds me of Europe.
To start I ordered a cup of Minestrone Soup ($3.95), a classic and an all time favorite soup of mine. I haven’t had a good Minestrone in awhile. This cup overflowed with veggies, beans and noodles in a light broth. It hit the spot. Bread was delivered and olive oil was mixed tableside with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. This classic Italian dining tradition never fails to impress.Dad ordered an Antipasto ($15.95) for the table, which was excellent. It was fresh, crisp, flavorful and included any and everything you’d expect your Antipasto to have.
Here we have salami, provolone cheese, tomatoes, prosciutto, marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and breaded eggplant strips over a bed of romaine lettuce. The entrĂ©e selection was plentiful and prices ranged from $12.95 for standard pasta dishes to $16.95 for seafood entrees. Nothing clocks in over $20, which frankly, is unheard of around here. (Or maybe I’m just hitting all the expensive joints?) Well, to me, this menu is impressively low priced. Entrees up! I chose Clams with Ziti ($16.95) which boasted Little Neck Clams sauteed in (my choice of) a garlic and olive oil sauce.
This dish was fantastic. The clams were impeccable, slightly briny and delightfully chewy. The accompanying ziti done to al dente tenderness was flavorful, bathing in just the right amount of garlic and olive oil.
Adam ordered the Mussels with Linguine ($15.95). He also chose to have his dish sauteed in garlic and oil. My family is into taking pictures of food almost as much as I am. I didn't intend to have a picture of everyone’s dish, but they passed my camera around the table! Dad received a heaping plate of Frutti De Mare ($19.95) overflowing with sauteed mussles, clams and squid in (his choice) of fresh tomato sauce. Leah enjoyed the Chicken SaltimBoca ($15.95) where juicy chicken breasts are sauteed with mushrooms and sage in a butter and white wine sauce and topped with prosciutto and sliced mozzarella. It was the days special of Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli ($16.95) stuffed with ricotta cheese and sauteed in a creamy vodka sauce for Lisa.Now that's what I call a feast. La Famiglia Giorgio’s does them right, family style portions and all, which means lots of leftovers for lunch. Don’t worry, Caycee ate too. They have a childrens menu offering dishes priced at $7.95 and under. They are definitely off the charts with kid friendly points at this stage in the game!
And then there was dessert. This is the type of spot where Happy Birthday is sang, and sang loud. In addition to chocolate Birthday cake, we had Homemade Tiramisu ($6.95), a man playing the accordion at our table, and cups of rich frothy espresso. All of it was just delightful.
The accordion player was thoroughly entertaining.
It has been an amazing birthday celebration (so far!) Birthday week will take a short hiatus and resume Friday at 8pm. Stay tuned!!
La Famiglia Giorgio on Urbanspoon

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