There is a story behind this restaurant trip. I had originally planned to go to Da Vinci with five of my other friends, and had reserved a table for six. But as the days went by and the much waited date for the dinner at Da Vinci came closer, three of my friends cancelled on us last minute, reasons varying from having salmonella to being overwhelmed with work. What was initially supposed to be a girls’ night out turned into an intimate dinner filled with deep conversations, accompanied by delicious food.
As its name suggests, Da Vinci Ristorante is an Italian restaurant. Because none of us has a car, we had to find our way from the T stop. It was not too difficult, except the wind was ferocious that day, and we were desperate to escape the cold as soon as possible. When we finally got to the restaurant, we were promptly seated by a gorgeous waitress, whom, I confess, we talked about as soon as we sat down and she walked away (yes, even girls talk about other girls at times when they are pretty). I had read good reviews about the restaurant, so my expectations were pretty high.
Although some reviewers said they did not appreciate the statues or the decor in general, I thought it was pretty classy. The high ceilings made the restaurant seem more spacious and the chandeliers lit the dining room warmly. I also liked how we could get a peek of what was going on inside the kitchen; it’s always fun to watch what the chefs are doing.
We were served bread with olive oil and hummus, which we were so glad to have, as we were very hungry. I particularly enjoyed the hummus, although the bread was not warm.
For the first course, all three of us ordered the Arancini, which were fried rice balls and mozzarella cheese served with tomato confit (or “fancy mozzarella sticks,” as one of my friends said). The rice balls were very hot when they came out, and the breadcrumb coating was thin and crispy – I could hear the crunch when I bit into them! It was a tasty appetizer with the just right portion that left us satisfied yet ready for the main course.
The reason I came to a fine dining restaurant was to have real great pasta. I chose the Orecchiette con Salsiccia, little ears with sausage and broccoli topped with Parmagiano Reggiano. It was too salty, but other than that, the pasta was delicious! I don’t like it when my pasta is cooked past al dente, and this was perfect. The little ear pasta and the small pieces of the Italian sausage were easy to eat, saving me from the embarrassment of trying to eat elegantly but failing to do so.
One of my friends wasn’t feeling the pasta that day, so she got the Sirloin Steak. To be honest, I was skeptical about getting steak in an Italian restaurant known mostly for its pasta, but when I tried a bite of the steak, I threw my doubts out the window. Although definitely not the best steak I tried, Da Vinci’s sirloin steak was definitely good. My friend enjoyed it thoroughly.
The winner of the night, though, was my other friend’s pasta: the Fusilli alla Bolognese. I have never tried a better pasta alla Bolognese. The tomato sauce was sweet and savory, with great quality ground beef, both of which the corkscrew pasta held onto very well. I was secretly glad that my friend had a smaller stomach than my other friend and I did – we got to try a generous portion of her incredible pasta.
During our dinner, the executive chef and owner, Chef Peppino came to our table and asked how the dishes were. We showered him with thanks for the great pasta and steak. He thanked us for coming with a genuine and kind smile. Chef Peppino seemed like a humble person, going around greeting and thanking each and every table personally. It was a big plus, and we felt honored.
By dessert, we were all full and content. Had I chosen any other dessert than my light Chocolate Mousse, I would have had been too full. I do wish that the mousse had a slightly stronger chocolate flavor, especially after such flavorful dishes, but I was satisfied with the portion and lightness nonetheless.
The friend who had ordered the fusilli alla Bolognese ordered the individual cheesecake, which I did not try but could clearly see that she was enjoying.
We could not believe that this fantastic meal was only $33.12 thanks to the Restaurant Week. Commenting on what a great dinner it was, we took a taxi back home as we had decided prior to dining, warm and all in a happy food comma.
*While researching Da Vinci during Restaurant Week, I also found out that the restaurant offers a three-course Prixe-fixe menu all day from Monday through Thursday and before 6pm on Fridays and Saturdays for $39. I am so excited to go back and try other pastas again sometime, hopefully soon.
162 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116