Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“What it might lack in perceived upgrades it truly makes up for with service and a warm and family atmosphere.”
Neighborhood: North End
Address: 175 North St
Date of Visit: Friday, March 30, 2012
Bartender Name: ”6″ aka Unknown
(source - our photo was bad!)
Riccardo’s is an old-school Italian restaurant that we picture visiting with family as a kid. The decor isn’t necessarily dated, but it seems to lack the charm of other “on-the-beaten path” restaurants and isn’t quite modern, either. That being said, the staff and patrons at Riccardo’s Ristorante were charming and friendly. What it might lack in perceived upgrades it truly makes up for with service and a warm and family atmosphere (think baby and wedding pictures on the walls, and the people in them are the ones greeting you at the door). Not only was the staff incredible, Eric got into a spirited conversation with a couple in town who were regulars to the restaurant. Hey, if people keep coming back they’re doing something right!
We couldn’t figure out what all the noise was upstairs when we arrived on a somewhat chilly night during restaurant week, and just figured that might be where a larger dining room was packed with patrons. Little did we know that the restaurant hosts murder mystery dinner theatre weekly. We plan the head sometime with friends for what is sure to be a pretty awesome experience if it even comes close to this one!
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: Limoncello Martini
Ingredients: Limoncello, UV Raspberry Vodka, lemon garnish
Review: The Limoncello martini was essentially a lemon drop coupled with UV vodka, meaning that you couldn’t really go wrong. This drink was light, sweet, and refreshing (aka it was a perfect follow up beverage to my Girl Scout Cookie Martini). The only thing really lacking with this concoction was the traditional sugar rim that accompanies a lemon drop – it would have helped to balance the flavors out just a bit more. Nevertheless, out of the rest of the cocktail menu items, I would definitely recommend this for a bit of a change as well as its great taste!
Eric’s Drink of Choice: Sour Apple Martini
Ingredients: Citrus Vodka, Sour Apple Liqueur, splash of Orange Juice
Review: As many readers should know by now, I generally stay away from fruit-focused martinis and stick to brown liquors or a dirty gin martini when the occasion arises. That being said, I wanted to challenge myself a bit and break out of my comfort zone with the Sour Apple.
I felt as if the sour in this drink was a bit overwhelming and un-balanced, although once I got used to it it was a bit less medicine-y and more tolerable. I absolutely wouldn’t recommend this with any type of food, but if the craving for some sweet and sour hits you at Ricardo’s, this might be the cocktail that hits the spot. The high-end spirits used in the cocktail allowed for a smooth mouth feel despite all of the sugar in the drink, which surprised me given the orange juice that was present. I’m a novice mixologist at best, but I figured the OJ would give the cocktail more of a heavy feel, but it helped keep it more palatable (at least for me). Though I might not order it again, I certainly wouldn’t discourage friends from trying one.
While my cocktail wasn’t the greatest I’ve had in the world, the great staff (and the Chocovine we had as “dessert” complements of the owner) would certainly make up for it. We would absolutely head there again, and plan to for the dinner theatre!
Introducing our newest guest blogger…Sarah!
Sarah’s Drink of Choice: Signature Sangria
Ingredients: Wine, Liqueur, fruits
Review: Although not a signature drink, I ordered the sangria- clearly. The bartender poured from a decanter in the cooler under the bar so I’m not too sure of all ingredients. At first taste it was a good blend of wine and fruit with a splash of some liquor. However, after a few more sips, I encountered a overwhelming taste of pineapple juice. Some folks may love this, but pineapple is my worst enemy. The manager\owner overheard a passing comment to Val about my distaste for this and quickly offered to address the concern. He jumped behind the bar and grabbed a bottle of red wine to refill my half-empty glass. He waited to ensure it was to my liking and topped it off with a splash of cranberry as per my request. Phenomenal!
Wine Prices: Eight white wines and ten red wines are on the menu for $8 to $12 per glass and $30 to $46 per bottle. Three sparkling wines are listed by the bottle only starting at $43. The signature red sangria as seen above is $8 per glass or $30 for a carafe.
Beer Prices: Eight beers are available, all for $5 each.
Other: Riccardo’s has nine cocktails on their drink list, all for $12 each. Libations include many of the staples, such as an Espresso Martini, Mojito, Margarita and Cosmopolitan.