nebo in boston, ma

This post/review is long overdue! Stephanie and I went to see the Killers at the TD Banknorth Garden the Friday of Labor Day weekend (read all about it here). Since the concert wasn’t going to start until 7:30 pm (which is typically still inaccurate, it tends to be 30+ minutes later than that even), we met up beforehand and had dinner at Nebo in the North End in Boston. Neither of us had been there before so it made the experience of trying some place new even more fun.

It’s in a kind of weird location (N. Washington Street) because it’s right on the edge or out-skirts of what most people know as the North End. What’s great is that it really is only about 252 steps away from the Garden (I’m still so used to calling it the Fleet Center) as they boast on their website. If you take the green line T to get there and exit at North Station, you’ll see a large painted sign on the back of the restaurant’s building, so you can’t miss it.

We got there a little after 5:30 pm and it was quite empty (Friday before a holiday weekend … maybe everyone had left by then?). I wanted to take pictures of the decor and set up inside but there were so many wait staff just standing around so I felt awkward whipping out the camera. It is much larger inside than it seems from the outside as it goes far back into the building. There’s a nice bar where people started to congregrate as they trickled in.

We started with their arancini appetizer ($10) which were three porcini mushroom and mozzarella stuffed rice balls. They normally drizzle the chestnut honey over top of them but we asked for it on the side instead. I liked the presentation in the white dishes, and they were delicious! It’s funny because as much as Stephanie and I both love to cook, we pondered over why neither of us had ever tried frying risotto balls like this. I think it is probably a lot more difficult than we think (they come out so smooth) so I’ll just leave it to the pros and look forward to enjoying them as we dine out. 🙂

We also shared an order of their bruschetta aglio e olio ($2) which translates to homemade grilled bread with garlic and extra virgin olive oil (evoo). It was very tasty but a tad too crunchy for my tastes. Of course, that didn’t stop me from eating my share.

And then we split a pizza con patate ($16) which was made with pancetta, golden potato, gorgonzola, rosemary, evoo, and mozarella. I like how it was a thin crust pizza and how the pancetta gave it a nice salty flavor. Part of why I wanted to try that particular pizza (they have over 20 different kinds to choose from, not to mention the ability to create your own!) was to see how it compared to the potato pizza at Cambridge 1. I have to say that I still favor the one at Cambridge 1, although the pancetta and gorgonzola on this one does make it quite different. It was a good pizza but I think next time I’d like to try the scampi pizza ($17) with shrimp, garlic, parsley, evoo, pecorino romano, and mozzarella.

It’s a nice alternative to fighting the tourist crowd in the North End, and especially ideal if you’re going to attend a concert or game later that night. I really can’t think of other nice, classy restaurants in that particular area (like on Canal Street, etc.) that aren’t basically beer or sports bars. They have a great wine menu, too, and the atmosphere is quite lively. The portions were good: we barely finished the pizza after sharing the two apps and did not have room for dessert. Also a good place for a group of people. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!


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