If you're looking for a great Italian dinner in Boston, there's no better neighborhood to explore than the North End. Thanks to its large Italian American population and collection of amazing Italian restaurants, the area is clearly deserving of its Little Italy title. Now, Tony & Elaine's hopes to become a new North End favorite by focusing on the classics.
After opening a trio of successful ventures with Ward 8, North Square Oyster and Bodega Canal, Nick Frattaroli is expanding his culinary reach with the launch of Tony & Elaine's. Set to officially open on Feb. 4, the latest North End hotspot aims to be a "throwback" to the neighborhood's roots, according to Frattaroli.
Tony & Elaine’s is the North End's latest Italian hotspot
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Tony & Elaine's, a name that pays tribute to Frattaroli's parents who worked for years as servers in North End restaurants, will feature elevated takes on all your favorite Italian classics.
"We’re going for an old-school, Italian American, 1970s vibe with the space throughout, and also the menu," Frattaroli tells Metro. "Think chicken parm, pink vodka sauce – all those dishes that people have come to love over the years."
Located on 111 N. Washington St., the space is an homage to the hole-in-the-wall, neighborhood joints that have dominated the area for decades. And just like those old-school restaurants, Tony & Elaine's isn't cutting any corners with its menu. All the pasta will be made by hand in house each day and each dish will feature the freshest ingredients possible.
While many Italian restaurants have started to shy away from beloved comfort food items like chicken parmigiana, Tony & Elaine's chef Eric Buonagurio hopes to elevate these classics with his menu. Other highlights include lobster ravioli, fried calamari, bolognese and sorts of red sauce favorites.
"[Other restaurants] have this thing in their head where they almost have to reinvent stuff, when the classic stuff’s the best," Frattaroli says.
Tony & Elaine's may not be open yet, but it's already racking up awards. Chef Buonagurio and the Tony & Elaine's team took home the top prize at the first annual "North End Best Meatball" competition during the Fisherman’s Feast festivities over the summer, so expect that dish to be a fan-favorite when the restaurant finally opens.