Linguine alle vongole

In preparation for her run from Maine to Canada tomorrow (don’t worry, she isn’t fleeing the country, she’s just taking part in a wicked awesome half marathon), Samantha had the brilliant idea of gathering the girls for a classy carb-loading session in the North End. Never opposed to stuffing our faces with pasta, we all made our way downtown to kick off our weekend with good food, good company, and of course, a little bit of vino.

Quite ravenous, we didn’t waste time wandering in search of a new hidden wonder. Instead, we quickly tucked away from the main tourist strip of Hanover Street and picked the first restaurant with open-air windows and a fair floral arrangement that we could find. We managed to score a street-level table big enough for the five of us and settled into our seats to the sounds of a quiet summer’s night in the North End.

We began with drinks, except for Sam who, unfortunately, could not partake due to her upcoming race. The menu had a decent variety, although we questioned the wine list slightly upon noticing Cupcake on the list of whites (though it is mysteriously not listed on the online wine list, so perhaps that was just a stand-in). The majority of us went for the Merlot and all seemed pleasantly surprised with the taste for what was a relatively a cheaper wine. Kathleen broke suit for the Pinot Noir, which she also enjoyed. Still, wine can only hold a bunch of hungry carbivores for so long, and it was not long before we were snacking on bread and oil and sneaking peeks at the plates around us.

Linguine alle vongole, Bacco Ristorante.

The menu had a great number of pasta options, but I was surprised at the number of arrabbiata and fra diavolo dishes. Hoping for a plate with less of a kick, I requested the linguine with clams (my go-to) and sausage to be made with a white wine and garlic sauce instead of the listed arrabbiata. My request was happily obliged.

Bacco's Frutti di mare. Photo by Victoria.

Frutti di mare and eggplant parmigiana. Photo by Victoria.

 Photo credit for the frutti di mare: Victoria and her fancy new iPhone 6.

Kathleen and Tori split another order of the eggplant parm as well as the loaded frutti di mare, which boasted more types of seafood than we could count.

Bacco shrimp scampi.

Kayla went with the shrimp scampi, which looked fantastic.

Sam digs into her mountain of pasta.

Sam opted for eggplant parmigiana too, hers with a “side” of linguine. We had to stifle a few laughs when they presented her with a literal mountain of pasta–talk about carb-loading! That said, Bacco isn’t a bad place to go for a plate of pasta. They’ve got all the classics at good prices, and while it isn’t tucked away in a romantic corner of Boston’s little Italy, it’s central location and open-air environment allow for lots of shameless giggles and serves as a prime observatory for the hungry wanderers of the North End.

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