Right along the main drag of Hanover St. in Boston’s North End neighborhood lays Trattoria Il Panino, my go to spot amongst the dizzying options in the Italian epicenter of bean town. From the delectable appetizers featuring a good bit of fresh Atlantic seafood to the homemade pastas that come enveloped in a multitude of irresistible sauces, Il Panin’s as I lovingly refer to it, really hits home with quality paisano fare for relatively affordable prices (considering the competition in the neighborhood). While I could go into detail recounting the numerous crave worthy carbs I have consumed there on my many trips, my last trip provided the biggest stomach magnet to draw me in, the Ravioli Porcini.
The ravioli’s were bursting with not just the normal mixture of ground porcini’s and ricotta cheese, but rather large chunks of freshly foraged wild mushrooms that had you feeling that you were eating a meaty mushroom steak more so than ravioli filling. While the ravioli itself had me from the start it was the addicting truffle cream sauce that really sunk its hooks deep in my palate. The luxurious and earthly truffle essence permeated every drop of sauce that clung to the ravioli. My dinner companion who herself had an appetizing Paccheri ai Frutti di Mare chalk full of some of the freshest seafood around couldn’t stop herself from sneaking sops of the crack-esque sauce with crusts of bread in between bites of her own meal.
For a nice authentic taste of Italian-American food in the North End I highly recommend the modestly priced Trattoria Il Panino. Just be fair warned that you may have to make a standing reservation there shortly after tasting those luring ravioli’s.