Part of the fun of going to a Boston Red Sox game in Fenway Parkis stoppingat one of the nearby restaurants or bars for a bite to eat before the game or for a celebratory dinner afterward. When you want something more that a beer and a hotdog, a great option is Canestaro Restaurant – which also happens to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Boston. as a bonus, the affordable prices mean that you can go back again and again.
Located just acouple ofblocks from Fenway Park, Canestaro’s is also close toBoston University, Northeastern University, the Colleges of the Fenway (Simmons, Wheelock, Emmanuel), and several of Boston’s famed medical research hospitals, and draws fans from all of these areas, as well as the neighborhood.
So why is Canestaro’s so popular? That’s easy: everyone loves the home-style Italian classics. This is where you can get traditional favorites like Italian wedding soup, which is a tasty rich chicken broth filled with tiny mushrooms, spinach, and tiny pasta. Pair that with, perhaps, a caprese salad – ripe tomatoes layered with mozzarella and basil on top of crisp romaine – and it’s more than enough for a meal, especially if you add a few grilled shrimp or grilled salmon to the salad.
The antipasto platter overflows with provolone cheese, mortadella, prosciutto, salami, roasted peppers, olives, and other good things on a bed of greens, and likewise could be a meal by itself.
But unless you become such a regular at Canestaro’s that you have ample opportunity to try everything on the menu, you may want to consider some of the pastas or main course specialities. the seafood pastas are especially good – for example, lobster ravioli with a creamy pink tomato sauce laced with garlic and pecorino romano cheese, and shrimp scampi with tomatoes and mushrooms tossed in a lemony white wine sauce and served over linguini.
Main course dishes such as Chicken Marsala and Stuffed Shells are especially interesting because of the emphasis here on fresh vegetables, high-quality ingredients, and careful preparation. I especially love the Eggplant Parmesan with homemade marinara sauce. You’ll find lots of other classics as well – Chicken Piccata, Sausage and Peppers, and Fettuccini Alfredo. In addition, Canestaro Restaurant offers lots of reasonably priced sandwiches, steaks, burgers, and fishstraight off the grill, and absolutely fabulous pizza.
Desserts are worth saving room for – so plan ahead Boston cream pie is excellent, and so are the Italian specialties – cannoli, tiramisu, and spumoni ice cream. but you’ll find lots of other mouth-watering options as well – shortcake filled with vanilla custard and topped with fresh berries, a decadent triple mousse cake, and a really wonderful brownie sundae.
Combine all of these possibilities with a great wine list, plus local beers and specialty drinks, and you’ll quickly see why Canestaro Restaurant is so popular with Boston Italian food lovers – whether or not the Red Sox are playing nearby.