Last weekend two of my friends decided to visit me in Boston, so I took them over to the North End for lunch. Daniella was in the mood for clam chowder, so we had initially planned on eating at Neptune Oyster Bar, which seems to be a popular choice around here for seafood. However, when we arrived there we were told that the wait for a table would be over an hour and a half, and my response was: "Hells no!" That's how we ended up next door at Rabia's.
As you can probably guess from the name, the restaurant is an Italian take on seafood. When we arrived, they had a few specials to offer, one of which was the roasted figs stuffed with prosciutto:
I normally hate figs - as far as fruits go, I find the texture too mushy, and the flavor too sweet without enough tartness to balance it out. I decided to give this appetizer a try though, in hopes that the saltiness of prosciutto might provide the right balance. Sadly, although the overall preparation of the dish was decent (roasted figs are less "mushy" and more "melt in your mouth" than when raw) and had a yummy sauce, I was disappointed by the amount of prosciutto, which was minimal: they had a sliver-sized piece tucked into each fig. In fact, I would almost swear that they cheated me, and one of my figs had no prosciutto at all!
Daniella and Anna both got New England Boston clam chowder, which they reported was too thin in consistency and bland in flavor.
For entrees all three of us chose the warm baby spinach salad with baked portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, herbed goat cheese, and balsamic dressing. The name here was slightly misleading since the spinach itself was not warm - although the mushrooms and red peppers on top of it was. The portabella and peppers were a fantastic pairing and the amount of goat cheese provided was generous. Sometimes balsamic dressing can be overwhelming, but that wasn't the case here.
Matt was the only one who selected a true entree, and he went for the Risotto di mere: a risotto made with lobster meat, shrimp, scallops, calamari, salmon, vegetables, and prepared in a "rose sauce." I couldn't tell whether he enjoyed it or not: his expression tends to remain exactly the same regardless of what he eats... as does his response whenever someone asks him: "how did you like your food?" It's virtually always: "good." *silence* ... *Victoria waits for elaboration*... *more silence* He finished the entire plate of food, so I guess I'll take that as a good sign?
Overall the place was tolerable, but I'm disappointed we didn't get to try Neptune - given all the hype that I hear about it. Maybe that's for the better though, given that everything that gets hyped up usually ends up being a big fat disappointment (Hurricane Irene anyone?! I'm soooooooooo glad that I spent all of Saturday being harassed by patients in the hospital trying to get me to discharge them home before the "big storm on Sunday!!!!!" Yes guys - all that rain was SUCH a disaster. All that rain and ... nothing else)
Overall rating: 6.5/10