I’m surprised with myself at how frequently I’ve been eating in the North End recently. Honestly, my first choice in cuisine is never Italian, so in the past I haven’t spent much time in those restaurants. But the North End is in such a great location that I find myself there more and more.

However, when it comes to restaurants in that area, Al Dente is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while. All I needed to see were the photos of their homemade fusili, and I knew I needed to go there. The pasta looks so good, and I can now happily say with confidence, also tastes so good.

I got the puttanesca [my go-to] and my friend ordered the carbonara. Both were wonderful. Of course, the noodles really stole the show. SO dense, chewy, and perfectly cooked – truly al dente. I could eat this pasta forever, no matter the sauce. I’m not sure I have it in me to try any other place in the North End, just because if I’m in the area, I know I’ll want this again. Aaaaand they also serve homemade gnocchi which I’m sure is equally as great.

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Honorable mention: they serve bread and olive oil, of course, but the olive oil is mixed with parmesan, chili, balsamic, and some other herbs. Molto bene.

Also, our waitress was the quintessential Italian mama. I felt like she had made this dish for her children and then forย me too and it was just swell.

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