Birthday dinner at Pazzo

I’ve fallen off the healthy wagon again (damn work is stressing me out and leaving me no time for workouts or meal planning) so instead of feeling sorry for myself I’d rather talk (and think) about something much more fun like the beautiful birthday dinner Adam and I had at Pazzo last Friday night. Pazzo is a brand new Italian restaurant in Boston, located right in the heart of Newbury Street (that’s Boston’s smaller version of New York’s 5th avenue, or LA’s Rodeo drive). Friday was absolutely gorgeous weather, and enjoying some drinks and food outside in arguably one of the trendiest spots in Boston was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday! I mentioned how much I loved it here but this time you get to see it for yourself! :)

We arrived a little before our reservations and wanted (of course!) a table outside. The wait was going to be a little while so we decided to start with a drink at the bar. I picked the Newbury Lime cocktail: Cruzan vanilla rum, fresh lime, pineapple juice and graham cracker rim.

Newbury Lime cocktail

Ok, it’s official… I’m obsessed with rum! This was SO good… and Adam pointed out that every time I order a cocktail with rum I say it’s the best cocktail ever. Haha. I guess it’s no surprise that I like rum since it’s made of sugar :) This was well balanced – not too sweet and not alcoholic tasting at all. And the graham cracker rim was awesome! Oh yeah, definitely a great way to start my birthday weekend 😀

I was also starving by that point, so we decided to get an order of the Arancine Telephonosaffron risotto stuffed with mozzarella. What does telephono mean? These arancine were calling my name, but I doubt that’s why they’re called telephono 😉

Arancine telephono

All apps are $5 at the bar. What a deal! Our table outside was actually ready before we even got the appetizer, but since we ordered it at the bar they still charged us the bar price (would have been $8 otherwise). Nice :) Oh and the arancine were so yummy. I remember the first time I was in Italy and discovered arancine, I thought they were the best thing ever. We went to pizza places and I’d just order the arancine when everyone else had pizza. I’ve had pizza before but I couldn’t get enough of the arancine. Glad they’ve become a more common item on restaurant menus now! These were creamy and cheesy on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Perfect! The tomato sauce was very nice too. No onion flavor. I liked them! (Adam and I shared this so I had 1.5 arancini)

Next up, we got a bottle of a crisp Pinot Gritio and while munching on the crusty bread with a white bean dip, we started browsing through the menu. It was kind of funny that we already finished a whole appetizer before even looking at the dinner menu. I think it helped us order well (no insane choices were made due to crazy hunger) :mrgreen: The wine was so refreshing (perfect for a warm summer night) and the bread was super fresh, and even better with a warm garlicky dip. Btw, this post is going to be very positive because I basically have nothing bad to say about our whole experience.

white wine

bread + dip

For our next appetizer we almost got one of the pizzettas (they all sounded great!) but decided to go for something a little more unique. The pizzettas could be another great item to order at the bar (would have been $5 too!)… next time. So yeah, we went with a more exotic sounding antipasti – Sauteed Angry Maine Shrimp & Tuscan White Bean Passatina with fiery chili oil, lemon & garlic.

angry shrimp

The sauce tasted a lot like the white bean dip we got with the bread with a little extra garlic. This was quite soupy, so I asked the waiter for some more bread (worked so hard on just eating one piece before this arrived but it had to be done). Oh yeah, this was definitely the way to eat this dish! The bread soaked up all the sauce. De-licious :)

angry shrimp with wb sauce on crusty bread

We were having such a great time already! I think we go out to eat fairly often but some nights are just more perfect than others. Sometimes it’s the mood we’re in, sometimes it’s the weather, sometimes it’s exceptional food, and sometimes it’s all of the above… that’s the best! My entree was the most amazing dish of all. I have never tasted anything like it and it blew me away! I ordered the Herbed Ricotta Gnudihomemade ricotta dumplings, wild mushrooms & duck sugo. I love ricotta and I love wild mushrooms, so this was not a particularly adventurous choice on my part, but what I received when my order arrived was nothing like what I thought I was ordering… it was WAY better!

herbed ricotta dumplings

Don’t these guys look like scallops? Well, they are ricotta dumplings! I thought they would be like ravioli stuffed with ricotta, but these guys were actually made of ricotta! OMG – best dish EVER!!!!! I honestly don’t even know how to describe it. Has anyone ever had gnudi? SO buttery (thank you ricotta… oh wait, and butter!) and the sauce with wild mushrooms and peas was great too. The sauce was actually quite light which I thought was a great choice for such a rich “star of the show.” I didn’t need the duck although it was well cooked and was melt in your mouth tender. I think I’d get it vegetarian next time though (if I can… otherwise Adam will be happy to take care of my duck for me 😉 ) Btw, Adam agreed that this was spectacular. I need to look for gnudi now at other places!

And lastly, of course I had to have dessert. This dinner was stellar and I wanted to find out how their dessert was. I often say dessert can make or break a meal for me, but I knew that even with a sub-par dessert I’d be back at Pazzo (the gnudi is calling my name already… they should call them telephono gnudi. Ok I’m a dork 😀 ) The good news is that dessert was great too, so yeah, Pazzo is becoming one of my favorite spots in Boston already… and the restaurant is only 2 weeks old! Oh yes, back to dessert. I got (shocker I know!) the warm chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and (pink) ice cream (I can’t remember what kind of ice cream this was! Any guesses?… it was delicious – that I remember :) )

Pazzo molten choc cake

Yum yum yum. I was a good girl and shared everything with Adam. He was a good boy and paid for dinner 😉

Hope you enjoyed this post. It just made me happy thinking about the night – we had such a wonderful time!  I think Pazzo is exactly what Newbury Street needed… great location, amazing food, and good prices… we may just become regulars there 😀

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22 comments to Birthday dinner at Pazzo

  • Oooo my friend and her fiance tried this place a week or so ago too!! They said it was awesome as well…I think I need to get there asap. SO ordering those ricotta dumplings!!! THey sound incredible!

  • Tiffany

    Ok, I’m sitting here eating a slice of calzone and drooling over everything you’ve posted. I have food envy. I’m so making Kyle take me here 😉

    And I totally agree with you on the arancine bit. Yum!

  • Wow…looks so delicious!! I need some fine dining experiences like this in my life :)

    Don’t beat yourself up too much about the eating. Stress happens…just take each day and each choice as they come! You can do it!

  • Just the description of the crusty bread + the crisp Pinot sounds so amazing..and it’s only 11am here!

    Ok, so what is arancine?! Should I factor this into my splurges in Italy (along with gelato, wine, pasta, pizza…)?!

    I think I’m a rum lover, too. I had a nightcap a couple months back of rum + hot chocoalte. Wow. So amazing.

  • Thanks for the review- looks like something we’ll definitely have to check out. As in, ASAP, b/c drooling is not attractive and I don’t know if I’ll stop until Ryan takes me there.

  • That arancini looks incredible! And the cake too. Wow!
    Sorry you’re having issues with the “healthy wagon.” I am too. It’s so easy to get out of the habit. But no worries…I’m sure everything will be less stressful soon.

  • Colleen

    I just officially sent my fiance an email titled: Birthday Dinner … inside was simply a link to your post and the Pazzo site. :) Love it. Looks amazing.

  • KellyB

    mnnnn, my mouth is watering…

  • Elina

    Yay, I’m so glad I have so many Boston readers because you all should really try the place. Ha, I feel like an walking advertisement, but really it was awesome so I don’t mind 😉

    Lara, arancine are rice balls stuffed with stuff (usually cheese, sometimes something else too) and then fried. Yep, with your love for rice I think they must be added to the list 😀 Oh and that nightcap sounds awesome. I’m SO making it soon :)

  • sister inna

    i’m pretty sure you and i share our obsession with dumplings/ ricotta/ italian food/ bread/ wine…etc
    i think you get the point 😀
    i will allow you to take me here next time i’m in boston
    hehehe you’re welcome

  • I’ve had my eye on Pazzo for a little while now….and I think I gotta try it. Those ricotta things look amazing!!!!!

  • K

    Graham crack rim?! Oh my gosh – that sounds awesome! That looks like a truly decadent and delicious birthday dinner :)

  • Jac

    I love gnudi! Telephono is in reference to the fact that the cheese will stretch out like a telephone wire when you bite into it.

  • OMG INCREDIBLE! I think I would have ordered exactly the same stuff! Not that I’ve seen the menu, haha. I miss Newbury St! I’m sure it must look at least a little different since I was at BC 4 years ago – this resto is obviously a good example!

  • Elina

    Hahaha, Innz. I’ll let you take me out to Pazzo again for my troubles of going back – how’s that? 😉

    Jac, that’s brilliant! Thanks for clarifying this mystery name for me :)

    Diana, honestly I think Newbury St is pretty much the same… although I’ve seen a few boutiques closing lately. Kind of sad. Pazzo is a great addition though. :)

  • ooh wow, sounds fabulous! we need another get together soon… maybe sushi?

  • Laura

    Is arancine the same thing as suppli? I had suppli in Italy and it looks very similar…

  • Elina

    Shannon, we definitely should get together soon. I’m in for sushi or anything else :)

    Laura, I’ve never heard of suppli before but after googling them, they do look kind of the same. You really can’t go wrong with fried rice balls 😀

  • Yay for a new restaurant to check out! Everything sounds and looks amazing – although I can’t stand rum after my junior year college spring break trip to Nassau 😉

    Is the ice cream raspberry? That flavor goes so well with chocolate!

    The gnudi really does look like scallops – I’m intrigued.

  • looks delicious!!!!

    when a dish is called “telefono” it means it has mozzarella in it… the name originated bc melty mozz looks kind of like a telephone cord or something like that. italians are weirdos.

  • […] I was ready to chew my arm off by 8pm. We went to Pazzo. We actually went there for the first time on my birthday last year so instead of doing a separate post with a restaurant review, I’ll just include our eats in […]

  • […] only had gnudi at Pazzo (which has since closed, tear) and was shocked at how fluffy and airy those pillows of […]

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