Prezza Review: The North End

Last weekend for our night out in Boston my husband and I decided to try the restaurant Prezza in the North End.  After reading great reviews on Chowhound and Zagat I made a reservation.

Here’s what the chef Anthony Caturano says of Prezza:

“Today, Prezza, my restaurant enhances this peasant style by incorporating foods from other Mediterranean regions. With old-world-style and a heavy emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, Prezza offers overflowing dishes of robust flavors and rich portions.  The menu is constantly changing to include seasonal dishes, so the guests will always find unique additions alongside house favorites.”

The waitress was competent and friendly, without being annoying.  As I’m sure you’ve learned at this point, I love to share food so I can have many different tastes.  We decided to share one appetizer and two pastas.  The pasta dishes sounded more appealing than the entrees to us.

I started with a perfect piece of foccacia – doughy with just enough salt and caramelized onions.

FoccaciaNext up was our appetizer: 

Wood grilled squid and octopus, braised white beans and toasted parsley

Octopus & SquidThis dish was fantastic! It was light yet incredibly flavorful.  The wood grill added a slight smoky flavor without overpowering the delicate flavors of the beans and shellfish.  I loved this – and it was a healthy option too!

Our first pasta was:

Ricotta ravioli, rabe, sweet pork sausage, rosemary, roasted tomato with parmesan cheese.

Ravioli
Pictured is my half of the dish, the restaurant was nice enough to split our food in the kitchen for us, and as you can see this is a very generous portion!

I love filled pasta, so of course I enjoyed this dish.  There was just enough sausage to enhance the overall flavor of the dish without making it too heavy.  The sauce was light, and allowed the flavor of the fresh ricotta to come through.  All in all it was a successful dish, but nothing that knocked our socks off.

At this point, we could have been finished, but we had another course on its way.  Usually pasta portions at upscale Italian restaurants are smaller since they are meant to be served before the entree, but not here!

Our last pasta was:

Sweet Corn Raviolini tossed with toasted corn, pancetta, rock shrimp, butter and wine.

Raviolini

As you can tell the dishes got progressively heavier, and less healthful.  But once in a while that is ok!  The combination of corn and pasta may sound funny to you, but I was blown away by a preparation I had at the restaurant Po in NYC and knew we needed to try this dish.

The corn, shrimp and pancetta go together incredibly well.  The saltiness of the pancetta balances out the sweetness in the rock shrimp and corn.  All together with the velvety butter, wine sauce it was quite the dish!  Even though I was full, I did manage to finish it all!  However, we were too full to look at the dessert menu.

Once in a while, it’s ok to indulge in a meal like this.  During the day I knew we were going out for a meal that I would like to “splurge” a bit on – so I was mindful in my decisions.  I had an egg white and veggie omelet with a slice of toast for breakfast,  a salad for lunch and this dinner.  All in all it balances out.

Here’s a photo of me at the restaurant:

Eve

While we enjoyed our meal at Prezza, we did think it was overpriced for the food.  Personally, I think portions should be smaller and less expensive.

Nutrition Tidbit:  Eating Out

  • If you know you will be having a more “indulgent” meal balance it out with healthy meals throughout the day.
  • Do not skip any meals to save up for the big one!  This will cause you to be over-hungry and eat too much.
  • Make sure to exercise – even if it’s walking several miles, do something active!
  • Decide which parts of the meal are most important to you: wine, bread, a rich entree, dessert.  Once in a while it’s ok to have all, but you may want to cut back on a few components.  For example if you are splitting a bottle of wine with dinner, and you want to eat like I did, then try skipping out on the bread and dessert.
  • Try leaving some food on your plate.  Check in with yourself halfway through your plate and see if you’re actually hungry or not.  If you absolutely loved the food and can’t imagine wasting it, ask the waiter to pack it up so you can enjoy it the next day.  Or if it’s not that great, you can leave it or if you feel bad throwing away food, ask it to be packed up and give it to a homeless person.


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5 Responses

  1. All of those dishes look delicious. Octopus is really big here, but I just can’t bring myself to eat it any other way than fried calamari. I am still freaked out when my shrimp come to the table with head ons. I am glad you enjoyed Boston. Looks like there is some good food up there. Great tips for dining out. Have a great day!

  2. Looks really delicious! I’ve never tried pasta with corn, but this looks well made. I’d probably order the appetizer version of the pasta to save room for dessert 🙂

  3. Your food always looks so good! Also, I love the tips, I tell others the same about eating out! =) Laura

    http://findingahealthybalance.wordpress.com/

  4. ahhh eating out and making that selection… is it wine, bread, an appetizer or dessert? I always have a hard time narrowing down the selections, but over time realized I am most happy sharing a healthy appetizer with the table to avoid the bread basket, and having a few bites of dessert. YUM!

  5. Eve, that sweet corn raviolini dish looks amazing! Totally agree that it all balances out!

    Sarah

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