Ristorante Damiano

Tis the season for dining out in the North End! I love this neighborhood year-round, but when summer comes, the windows of the restaurants open on to the streets, there are bustling crowds, and of course the weather is warm enough for gelato!

The North End offers so many different Italian eateries, making it difficult to choose, but when a bunch of us got together for dinner last week I knew I wanted to try Ristorante Damiano. You see, Executive Chef Damien DiPaola is a fellow UMASS alum and owned the Amherst-area restaurant, Carmelina’s, a place I never got to in college. Since I missed Carmelina’s I knew I had to get to Damiano, and we had the perfect night for it.

Ristorante Damiano


Ristorante Damiano

The interior of Ristorante Damiano features lovely exposed brick, the walls decorated with old North End photos.

Ristorante Damiano

Once we got settled at our table, we ordered a bottle of wine, Planeta Segreta Bianco, a blend of Grecanico, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Fiano. Then we started in on the extensive menu.

Ristorante Damiano

Damiano features piattini , small plates, and we ordered several to share.

Roasted Beet Salad – Arugula, goat cheese, toasted pignoli, blood orange vinaigrette

This light, refreshing dish offered a peppery bite from the arugula and was a nice, summery way to start the meal.


Lamb Lollipop – Dipped in pistachio crust, mint pesto, rubio glaze, fruit Macedonia.

I didn’t try these, but I loved the presentation!

lamb lollipops

Garlic Shrimp Sautéed Ebi Shrimp, garlic, thyme, lemon, over spinach

Shrimp and garlicky greens should be on my table every night. I loved the simple. flavorful ingredients


Braised Wild Mushrooms – Garlic, sage, trace of tomato, truffle oil, Parmigiano polenta

The deep earthy flavors of both the mushrooms and the sage went nicely with the pop of juicy tomatoes.


Carbonara – Pancetta, egg, parmigiano, cracked pepper, spaghetti

Mmm creamy, pepper, rich, and delicious. The spaghetti was nice and thick, perfectly coated with sauce


We also had fried baby eggplant in tomato sauce and a steaming bowl of mussels with a side of fresh rolls. I loved every bite of dinner and found the small plates eating style to be fun, especially with friends who are up for trying all sorts of different things.

We followed up dinner with cocktails at nearby Bacco at a table next to an open window, rounding out a perfect North End evening.

Do you have a favorite neighborhood to visit in your city? Is there a restaurant you are more likely to visit with a big group?

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Tags: Boston, Food, Italian food, North End, wine

  1. Daisy’s avatar

    you got some awesome photographs. this dinner – wait make that, this whole night was so much fun. Can’t wait for more north end dinners like this. (Neptune anyone?!)


  2. Elizabeth’s avatar

    I find the North End to very hit or miss. I’ve had some great meals there and several mediocre ones. It’s always hard to gauge, so it’s nice to have a detailed review like this. My fave place I’ve been in the North End is Antico Forno.


  3. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    I’m similar in that I don’t often venture to the N.End without a big group or occasion. I did visit the waterfront this weekend with my husband and was glad I crossed the river to explore this up and coming part of town!


  4. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    I was in the North End this weekend too! I’ve never been to Damiano’s though. But if I go there, I’m getting that carbonara!


  5. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I agree with Elizabeth above that the North End can be hit or miss. I’ll check this place out though. The shrimp looks tasty!


  6. Michelle’s avatar

    Per usual, dinner with you was a lot of fun! I always have a blast with this group!


  7. Sues’s avatar

    There are so many restaurants in the North End, I can get easily overwhelmed and end up going to the same tried and true places over and over again. This is great motivation to branch out!! Those shrimp look amazing!


  8. alicia’s avatar

    Gorgeous photos! I want that carbonara right now!


  9. Megan’s avatar

    That carbonara was soo good, and I loved the eggplant. I definitely like to go to restaurants that serve small plates when I’m heading out with a big group.


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