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1128 Cambridge St. (Norfolk St.) Send to Phone
This modern take on the Northern Italian cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is a bold venture in a neighborhood with few fine dining restaurants.

Dinner Tues.-Sun.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Benatti Restaurant Review

: Chef-owner Andrea Benatti, a native of Modena, deserves credit for daring to set his upscale, modern, authentic Northern Italian restaurant in a neighborhood best known for modest Brazilian and Portuguese eateries. But the care and craft that goes into every plate---not to mention the intimacy of the service overseen by co-owner Anna Encarnaçao---makes this rare example of the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna worth seeking out. Ultra-modern décor of stucco, back-lit mirrors, abstract art and leather chairs let you know you're not in Inman Square anymore. The short, sharp menu emphasizes grill flavors, fresh herbs, pastas and roasted meats. Grilled vegetables from the open kitchen, as simple an Emilian dish as one could imagine, are nicely underscored by precious drizzles of real aceito balsamico. Pastas and risotti dishes show first-rate craft. There's a memorable, creamy risotto rich with forged mushrooms and truffle essence; poofy clouds of potato gnocchi within a light pesto; and featherweight, mushroom-stuffed agnolotti in a limpid broth of vegetables and fresh herbs. Similarly, the roasted meats like roast pork accompanied by a dense, oven-browned, Fontina-rich lasagna show similar Northern Italian simplicity and heartiness. Desserts are striking, especially a "terrine" that layers Campari-flavored panna cotta and bitter-orange semifreddo, an original combination of novel flavors and textures. The wine list is short and smart; there are modest Tuscan bargains anchoring the loftier luxury Italian Amarones and Barolos.


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