Monday, November 29, 2010

Caffe Nuovo

The North End needs a quality brunch spot like the majority of America needs their morning coffee. The basic concept of eggs and bacon in this neighborhood leaves a lot to be desired. I was eager to discover if Caffe Nuovo, the breakfast eatery opened just last month at the longstanding vacant corner of Salem and Stillman Streets could fill the niche. As Adam and I entered the small modern space we were greeted by a host who I recognized as Frank DePasquale, the Chairman of the North End Chamber of Commerce and local restaurant entrepreneur (Mare, Bricco, Trattoria Il Panino, Umbria Prime). When I inquired about the restaurants ownership he explained this is not one of his own, he is just helping out the owners and hoping to see this spot succeed.
The brightly lit restaurant was bustling with clientele. Window seats overlooking the street prove a serene spot for solo diners. We were seated downstairs where the decor remained clean and simple, if not somewhat bland, with woven vinyl placemats, white linen napkins, dark hardwood floors, exposed wood beam ceilings and delicate light fixtures. A hi-def plasma TV on each floor stood out with the channel set to the local news.Coffee and water were offered right away and refills were prompt throughout. The speed at which our brunch was delivered was slightly less than prompt, but nothing to look down upon, especially since we felt well taken care of while we waited. I was beyond impressed with the menu as a whole. Caffe Nuovos dishes appear to remain true to Little Italy's Italian roots while satisfying classic American brunch cravings. Scali is the toast of choice and from the delicious sounding truffle scrambled eggs to the Italian vegetable fritatta, to the French toast with brandied pear compote, to waffles with fresh fruit and creme fraiche, they appear to know breakfast. If you're the pancake type, take your pick from apple, blueberry, banana or chocolate. If you're the lunch at brunch type, they offer a Spaghetti Carbonara, a Caprese salad with pesto and scrambled eggs, and a Milanse style veal or chicken cutlet topped with 2 eggs any style. The marriage of favorite Italian dishes with eggs is intriguing, but not as much as the Eggs Benedict served with your choice of lobster, grilled shrimp or lump crab.
Hell-o and welcome to the neighborhood.
A huge sigh of relief followed as I noted the reasonable prices. Dishes average between $7-$10, with the basic egg breakfasts beginning at $3.95 and the steak and eggs clocking in at the standard high of $14.95. Our Seafood Eggs Benny seemed reasonable at $12.95. Adam chose the lobster and it was the shrimp for me.
Three jumbo shrimp were served alongside the Benedict as opposed to on top of them. I was partial to this method of plating as it provided the freedom to drench in as much or as little egg yolk as desired. This also allows them to serve more shrimp (or lobster - Adam's had a significant pile) than might traditionally fit on two English muffins. The shrimp on their own were flavorful and succulent, the texture firm to the knife and tender to the bite with just the right amount of crunch in tact. A delicate dusting of paprika over joyously runny eggs and soft pillowy English muffins were completed by a side of savory homefries laced with sweet onions.Located at 76 Salem Street, the caffe is open seven days a week from 7am-2pm. They also offer breakfast and coffee to go.
They are slated to serve dinner in the near future. I'm just happy they got the ball rolling with breakfast.
Caffe Nuovo fills a neighborhood void by offering North Enders an affordable sit-down brunch. With an impressive classic-Italian-meets-well-rounded-American menu, all they need now is a cocktail counterpart. Perhaps a liquor license is in the works? For their sake and mine, I sure hope so!
Caffe Nuovo on Urbanspoon

18 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great new spot. I want to try their carbonara!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This place sounds great! I'm going to have to check it out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm glad you found this place but there are plenty of great places in Beacon Hill for brunch...and I'm pretty sure I know someone who will bribe you over with Bloody Mary's beforehand...just saying!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's so cool about Frank DePasquale. Way to show neighborhood support! The place looks charming.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Creamy hollandaise - yum! I think Boston is lacking in brunch places in general... especially on Saturday. I'd love to check this place out!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love brunch places. When I think of Italian breakfast/brunch, I always think of Nutella (actually, I think of Nutella pretty often) and really good coffee. I haven't tried eggs benedict with shrimp yet but it sounds delish!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great review! I totally agree about the lack of breakfast options in the North End! Now I have another reason to go there...like I really needed that. The eggs benedict looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow this place looks great, you must be so excited about a new, inexpensive breakfast spot!

    plus the italian / breakfast combo!! that just makes me so happy. ive never seen a veal culet with eggs before but i don't see why it wouldn't be fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This place looks amazing! You had me at jumbo shrimp. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love the intricacy of the dish, visually nice and I bet tasty. I love breakfast out

    ReplyDelete
  11. Joyously runny eggs... woohoo!!

    I think I might have bitten the bullet and gone with carbonara for breakfast!

    Sounds like a great little spot.

    ReplyDelete
  12. that eggs benny looks BEYOND delish. I am a sucker for good bfast!

    ReplyDelete
  13. "he is just helping out the owners and hoping to see this spot succeed." read: "I have secretly invested in this restaurant, and I'm standing around to see whose legs I have to break if it fails." LOL! No, that would totally happen in Providence, mafia capital of the northeast, ha ha! Looks fab, any variation on eggs benedict and I'm in! XX!

    ReplyDelete
  14. okay seriously if i lived in that neighborhood i could eat breakfast for 3 months and never get bored. the menu looks ridic!!

    xo,
    c

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds like a great find! And eggs Benedict with lobster? oh man...

    ReplyDelete
  16. sounds great! those eggs look perfect!

    ReplyDelete