Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Restaurant Review: Pescatore and KickAss Cupcakes

Tonight we decided to do something bold: try a new restaurant, one as of yet unrated by Zagat.  Could we rely on the Yelp reviews alone reliable for a neighborhood favorite?  We decided to find out.

Pescatore turned out to be a real find.  Located in Somerville's up-and-coming Ball Square neighborhood, around the corner from a trendy sommelier and a run-down diner, Pescatore was packed on a Saturday night, full of locals who knew just where to go to find a warm spot in a cold Spring rain.  We squeezed into the only remaining table and took in the sights and sounds around us.  Families celebrated birthdays as grandparents slurped fresh clams and teenagers inhaled homemade pizza.  The first date two tables away appeared to be going well over specialty coffees brimming with fresh whipped cream.  We hungrily scanned the menu, vowing to save room for the limoncello, grappa, and other specialty drinks, as our waitress cheerfully served perfectly spiced, fluffy bread and a plate of salt-cured olives.  

We started with the Haddock Cakes, a welcome and delicious alternative to crab cakes.  The delicate, yet hearty cakes were accompanied by a fresh, tangy, homemade tartar sauce and shoestring onion fries that were so light and crispy that we almost convinced ourselves that they were good for us as we ate every last bite.  Then the entrees arrived, a Haddock Piccatta served with a side of homemade fusilli, and a Haddock Paisano in a homemade tomato sauce with roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach.  The fish was perfectly flaky and tasted so fresh that it could have been pulled out of the Harbor that morning, and both preparations were served with care and style.  Our cheerful waitress told us the restaurant had been there for three and a half years, and that they were thankful Yelp had been so kind.  Next year, maybe Zagat would come.   You should find it before they do.

The dessert menu taunted us with incredible homemade options: a pear-riccotta torte, a chocolate ganache cake, a tiramisu, an amaretto-soaked almond pastry.  But we had a tradition to uphold. We jumped into the car for the three-minute drive down Somerville's windy streets to another neighborhood institution, KickAss Cupcakes, which serves vegan, gluten free, and "regular" cupcakes, all dripping in chocolate.  They indeed lived up to their name.

Pescatore is located at 158 Boston Avenue (@ Broadway), Ball Square, Somerville, MA. Reservations Recommended.  617-623-0003.  http://www.pescatoreseafood.com.  KickAss Cupcakes is located at 378 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA.  http://www.kickasscupcakes.com.  Open until 10 on Saturday nights to better satisfy your cupcake cravings.

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