- Dress code: Casual
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Carmen Restaurant Review: One of the North End's tiniest, best kept secrets, Carmen is literally overshadowed by Paul Revere's house. But from a gastronomic standpoint, it distinguishes itself quite well. At the bar, order some wine and creative shared plates laden with roasted and marinated vegetables (think roasted sweet peppers with homemade mozzarella and basil) for an enoteca-like experience. Meanwhile, main plates aren’t always traditionally Italian, but they are essentially Italian, suffused with the zesty spirit of the cuisine: braised short rib ravioli with Gorgonzola, topped with hazelnuts and tossed in a tasty Gorgonzola cream sauce. Specialties include crespelle stuffed with porcini mushrooms and caramelized onions and served with a Bolognese sauce, but our favorite dish remains the marinated pan-seared lamb loin with Parmesan polenta and sautéed spinach. True, the tight seating makes some antsy --- and by some we mean both patrons and staff. But if you don't mind grazing body parts as you graze on antipasti, gallop on past the legendary silversmith's digs and hit this spot.