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Dining: Aragosta keeps it cool

Away from the bustling South Boston end, the spot where Aragosta sits at the foot of the North End is a peaceful haven.

Some like it hot, and some don’t — especially in the summer swelter. There’s another side to Boston’s booming waterfront. Away from the bustling South Boston end, the spot where Aragosta sits at the foot of the North End is a peaceful haven.



Tucked into the cul-de-sac that houses the Fairmont Battery Wharf, Aragosta took over the spot from Sensing, a gorgeous, modern restaurant that hearkened back to French traditions while presenting itself in cool minimalism, with seriously good food. But it was perhaps a little too airy for Boston tastes, which never tire of the Mother Cuisine: Italian. So now, we say hello to Aragosta — Italian for lobster.



Executive chef David Daniels (The Federalist, Topper’s — The Wauwinet, Nantucket) sticks with classics and, yes, there are dishes that make use of the delicious crustacean, whether it’s tucked inside ravioli or combined with cannelloni beans and truffle oil on top of wafer-thin crostini. There’s no gimmick though — just the simplicity of slicing burrata mozzarella, quartering succulent golden and red tomatoes and drizzling the plate with olive oil and sweet balsamic vinegar. A single potent basil leaf renders that signature kick to this classic salad. Or, say, pairing a oreganano-dusted halibut with risotto and Cape Code clams en brodo. Less is always more satisfying.



Appetizers at Aragosta range from $9 to $16; entrees range from $17 to $34.



Death by chocolate?



When it comes to dessert, Aragosta has a Boston Cream Pie semi freddo that playfully turns the table on its otherwise subtle unshowy mantra. Vanilla sponge, cream and chocolate-flavored semi freddo are set on a cocoa macaroon, the flavor of which is intoxicating. Just when we thought chocolate had been done to death!



 
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