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5 North Square - Happy Birthday Annie!


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Thanks to Abby and JP for letting me guest blog. Also, many thanks to Abby for an amazing birthday dinner!

We started off the evening at a free concert at Government Center. It was the English Beats, a very fun band that my boss likes. There was so much awesome old white people dancing, I mean, they were just letting lose, shakin' it with abandon. However, they didn't start until pretty late, so 3 or 4 songs in, Abby and I were STARVING so we had to say goodbye to my boss and leave. We headed to the North End.

Now, I have a very big problem with making decisions, so Abby and I strolled the North End for awhile checking out menus. I knew I wanted seafood/Italian. I had in my head a dish called cioppino. It's like a stew of seafood in a tomato broth, so I kept my eyes open for that, but didn't see it on the first 4 or 5 restaurants we checked.

Then we happened upon 5 North Square and the creepy old man/maitre'd standing outside told us to check out the menu. They had cioppino on the menu, and it said it was their specialty, so I was sold. We went in and were shown to a cute table for two. The service overall was very friendly and relatively attentive. It was strange, because they were absolutely not rushing us. We weren't exactly sure what we wanted at first, so we ordered an app, and then it wasn't until after we got our app and ordered wine that they even took our entrée order.

For the appetizer, we got the pomodoro. Thick slices of tomato topped with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and basil, on a plate of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with roasted red peppers on the side. Just…wow. Everything was very fresh and very tasty.

We ordered a bottle of Chianti, which was very good. I don't remember what it was called, but we enjoyed it. We had to wait awhile for our entrees, but luckily I had good wine and good company, so it wasn't that big of a deal. The restaurant is small and quiet, and very conducive to conversation. A little too quiet almost, since sometimes our conversation can border on the inappropriate!

Finally our dishes arrived. Now, before when I've gotten cioppino, it's been a bowl of seafood and broth, with maybe some rice on the side, or a piece of bread. Now, this time, they set a bowl of heaping seafood in front of me. On the menu, it said that it came with a side of linguine. I imagined a small bowl of pasta on the side that I would ignore. I didn't expect a whole other platge of pasta also topped with seafood. It was like two meals in one! A veritable bounty of seafood: mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, calamari, and a crab leg. The seafood was AMAZING. Everything was perfectly cooked and tender (especially the calamari--just spot on texture-wise). The broth was just extremely flavorful, slightly spicy, and amazing. I have to admit, I ate almost the whole thing! There was some pasta and maybe a few mussels left. I felt kind of bad since Abby probably has 2 days of leftovers from her puttanesca! But not that bad. It was amazing.

After our plates were cleared, and we sat finishing our wine, we were brought a complimentary tiramisu since it was my bday. This too was very good. Moist and tasty, and either semisweet or bittersweet cocoa powder sprinkled on the plate kept it from being too sweet. All in all, I couldn't have been happier. Granted, we were a little taken aback by the pace of the meal, but I think this was just a matter of NOT being rushed as opposed to poor service. I would definitely come here again—I left completely satisfied. Good portions, nice staff, nice atmosphere. Thanks again, Abby!

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I'm at work right now, but when I get a chance this weekend I'll upload our pictures! ~Abby