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Review of Erbaluce

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Ranked #173 of 3,243 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Transit: The nearest T stop is the Arlington Street stop on the Green Line. The restaurant is two blocks away, down Arlington Street toward the South End, on Park Square.
Description: Charles Draghi and Joan Johnson's highly acclaimed contemporary Italian restaurant and wine bar. With Charles' simple, ever changing menus, rooted in traditional regional Italian cooking,and the best seasonal local ingredients. This restaurant has won numerous awards and kudos from critics, and many loyal guests. Alongside the Italian menus an equally lauded, all Italian wine list, comprised of rare and traditional village wines. The enoteca/wine bar is a cozy and lively meeting place, with its own menu of simple plates and a fun cordial cocktail list.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

There is not much to add to the raving reviews of this place, which is of exceptional quality. So we'll just note a few small things that made it all the more to our like.

1. If you despise the institution called “hostess,” which in too many restaurants has become the title of a young woman dressed as in a night club, you’ll be glad to be find a more refined welcoming here.

2. All the waiters are dressed alike, with no visible differentiation between the professional waiters and the ones who “merely” bring water. A small mark of equality that we found nice.

3. There was more than one vegetarian main course and there were several vegetarian appetizers.

4. Light is dim to the right level – not too dark to see your partner or the menu. A small thing but one that affects you nevertheless.

Wonderful place, warmly recommended.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank AngryVegans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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396 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lauderhill, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
349 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“A real gem!”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

I'm a wine geek, always on the lookout for wines and grapes that are new. I saw this restaurant, named for a white wine grape from the Alto Adige region of Italy, one that I'd just discovered for the first time on a recent trip to Italy. The place was right behind my hotel, so I made time on last week's business trip to Boston to check it out. It turned into a truly memorable experience.
Décor is elegant and understated...this is all about the food (the "flowers" decorating the table was a rosemary plant). Menus change from week to week (to some degree from day to day), and there are daily specials. The wine list is extensive, fairly priced, with several unique options even by the glass. The gracious hostess (and, I believe, owner) Joan is very knowledgeable about wine and their holdings (there are several bottles not on the list if you inquire). We had a nice conversation about our mutual love.
Now, to the food: before anything, I was served an opening course of chunks of whole-grain bread and Tuscan white bred, with a lima bean paste. If that latter sounds awful, think again--this was cooked with garlic, and a stick of cinnamon, pureed finely and served with a good olive oil...it was subtle but really delicious.
Next up was a Treviso salad, with radicchio leaves alternating with green leaf lettuce, lemon zest, dill, and a mound of burrito with pistachio in the middle. This medley of flavors was blended perfectly and presented beautifully.
Then I had a plate of nicchi, a ravioli-like pasta but with a top ridge, like a sailboat, stuffed with braised pork and wild boar, coated with an asparagus pesto, walnuts, and a few sliced tiny red tomatoes, and shaved parmigiano. It was fascinating, every flavor in beautiful balance (that word again!), and in a lovely presentation. All this washed down with a bottle of Freisa from Piedmont, a mineral-laced red with a slight effervescence, perfect for the meal (and a new grape for me!). Another surprise at the end, I was given a small plate with a lovely chocolate truffle and a maple meringue.
Service could not be improved. My server was efficient, friendly, attentive (though I had to come at opening time, the place filled up quickly, and she was busy), and all the other staff performed like a well-oiled, albeit friendly, machine. Prices are not cheap, but for this quality, are quite fair.
I've only been in Boston once before, but this place alone will make the return visit worthwhile.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank KentheEnchanter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocala, Florida, United States
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A bit of Tuscany in Back Bay”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

This intimate Italian style restaurant is tucked away on a picturesque street just a stone's throw from the Park Plaza and Four Seasons hotels, but seems miles away from the chain restaurants of the area. It was difficult to choose from the menu of fanciful and appetizing items that changes daily. None of our selections disappointed and all were presented beautifully. Our server Jessica was an enthusiastic and informative guide to the cuisine and clearly loved where she worked, which made the experience all the more enjoyable. We appreciated the availability of gluten free options. We were there on a Saturday night and there was only one seating, much like restaurants in Tuscany. We were free to linger over coffee with friends as long as we liked.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Richard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great Spot in Bay Village”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Decided to come to Erbaluce on the recommendation of a friend, and very glad I did. Definitely an unexpected spot in a quiet corner of Boston near the theater district, yet unlike the chain restaurants you find a block or two away. The staff were all very friendly, and the food is quite unique and excellent. The menu changes somewhat frequently, so I'll definitely come back next time I'm up in Boston. Best recommended if you're there as a couple of with a few friends, but you can ask to sit at the bar if you're there on your own, and you'll still get the full menu and service.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank joshNVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Best known secret in Boston”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Incredible pairings of food and wine. This has been our default best restaurant for more than 4 years and it never disappoints.

Chuck Dragi is tops in our book-

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank cm3ward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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