If you want a place that feels like a mid-90s New Jersey Italian restaurant, then you might as well go to Nico, a place that, for some reason, plays mid-90's movies about New Jersey Italian restaurants behind the bar (with no sound). The North End restaurant has a pretty traditional red sauce menu and a decent wine list that helps make up for the fact that it doesn’t have a full liquor license. It’s not bad for a casual meal, but there are better places nearby with similar menus.
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Il Molo is an Italian seafood restaurant in the North End that feels like the inside of a fish tank.
Pauli's is a North End sandwich shop that makes an enormous lobster roll, amongst other good lunch options.
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Scampo at The Liberty Hotel
A hotel restaurant with the added benefit of being housed inside a 19th-century jail.
Orfano is an Italian steakhouse in the Fenway. It has a three-foot tall pepper mill, so that’s something.
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