While many restaurants in the North End of Boston are often packed with both tourists and locals on a nightly basis, a handful of very good restaurants in this charming old neighborhood are still flying below the radar. A couple that come to mind are the low-key and excellent Ricardo's on North Street and the outstanding but mostly unknown Pagliuca's on Parmenter Street. And now we are ready to add one more to this hidden gems list. The restaurant? Rabia's, a cozy little Italian and Mediterranean restaurant on Salem Street.
Rabia's is smack dab in the middle of Salem Street's restaurant alley that includes such standouts as L'Osteria, Al Dente, and many others. But it appears that many people (including restaurant reviewers) don't even know that Rabia's is there. It is their loss, as Rabia's serves outstanding Southern and Northern Italian cuisine at fairly reasonable prices in an atmosphere that is simple, yet romantic in an understated way.
Some of the dishes served up at Rabia's include a truly unforgettable wild mushroom ravioli plate and a delicious lobster ravioli entree. Other items on the menu at Rabia's include butternut squash gnocchi, grilled duck with a variety of dried fruits in an orange sauce, and seafood with risotto in a garlic white wine sauce. In addition to the entrees, Rabia's has a terrific Caesar salad and a very good wine list, including some top-quality Italian wines.
Is Rabia's the best Italian restaurant in the North End of Boston? Maybe not, with the likes of Maurizio's, 5 North Square, Monica's, Bricco, Mamma Maria, and so many others residing in this part of the city. But you are much more likely to get a seat at Rabia's than many of these places, and their prices are very competitive. The next time you are in the North End of Boston, consider checking out Rabia's, especially if you like discovering hidden gems in an area that has precious few of them.
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