Restaurant Review: Appetito in Newton Centre
In response to comments suggesting “Appetito” in Newton Centre as a possible lunch spot to review, I recently decided to give it another try. Full disclosure: I have been there twice in the past (once for dinner as an undergrad at BC in 2006, and once more recently last semester for lunch) and enjoyed both experiences. This latest visit did not let me down.
On all three visits I enjoyed their fresh bread and accompanying dip, which appears to be a chickpea paste with olive oil. It is a nice change of pace from butter and it’s delicious. I began my meal with “Calamaretti Fritti,” small sautéed calamari with olive oil, basil, and a touch of sundried tomato aioli. The squid was tender, and the flavor was savory. It could have been a bit spicier, but that is a matter of personal preference.
Though I saw some reviews on Yelp criticizing the service as slow, I have not had that experience. At first, I was a little worried because my server seemed a bit aloof. However, she was, in fact, quite pleasant, and, as it turned out, very knowledgeable about the food. At her suggestion, I ordered the Gnocchi for my entrée and was not disappointed. My father makes a mean gnocchi and I am very particular when it comes to this pasta. All too often, in restaurants, it has an unpleasantly mushy consistency. At Appetito, however, the texture of the gnocchi was very pleasing…neither too firm, nor too soft. The flavor of the dish was also excellent. A brandy crème sauce was delicious, and a perfect accompaniment to tender pieces of chicken, grilled vegetables, and roasted garlic. They did not skimp on the chicken, and it was a large and satisfying portion of food.
For dessert I had the Tiramisu, an Italian restaurant standby composed of coffee-soaked cake-like biscuits (savoiardi) layered with a mixture of egg yolks, mascarpone cheese, liqueur (usually tiramisu liqueur, coffee brandy, or dark rum), and cocoa. I’m not sure if it is made in house, but it was pretty good. I’ve had better, but for a small Italian joint in Newton Centre, this was perfectly acceptable fare.
Appetito is located at 761 Beacon Street in Newton Centre, a three-minute drive from campus. If you decide to give it a try, you should be able to find metered street parking. If not, a city parking lot smack dab in the middle of Newton Centre (very close to the restaurant) generally has ample parking available. Please share your thoughts if you have visited Appetito recently, or have been there in the past.