9.06.2012

Anchovies, A Neighborhood Spot In Boston's South End

A couple weekends ago, I met my friend Carrie in Boston and we trekked up to Portsmouth together for her final wedding dress fitting. After the fitting we came back to Boston, ran errands on Newbury Street, and then hung out at her place in the South End for a bit. We chatted about our upcoming weddings and other things going on in our lives and snacked on tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Before we knew it, it was after 10 p.m. 

Our original plan was to have dinner at Anchovies, a favorite restaurant of hers that I had never been to. And even though it was so late, we stuck with that plan. By the time we got ourselves out of the house and walked over to the restaurant, it was nearly 11 p.m. I was wondering if the restaurant would still even be serving dinner.

We walked in and were quickly greeted and assured that we could, indeed, still order dinner at such a late hour -- turns out the kitchen stays open until 1:30 a.m. -- so we settled into a booth and looked over the menu.

We started with a bottle of red (a bottle of red that cost us only $18!) and some of Anchovies' bread with spicy, garlicky olive oil. The oil was so spicy, the heat went straight up my nose, but it was good once I got used to it.


We ordered two entrees to share, and each entree comes with a small house salad. I had mine with the basil pesto vinaigrette. The salad is pretty ordinary -- just iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and shredded carrot -- but the vinaigrette really makes it. It packs tons of basil flavor and is just the right consistency. (Why have I never put pesto on my salad before?)


The potato gnocchi with braised short rib and a melty layer of cheese was incredible. The gnocchi were light and pillowy, and the sauce was so meaty and rich. I was disappointed to learn Anchovies' gnocchi is not made in house, but wherever they're getting it from is doing a great job.


"The Ricciardi" is Anchovies' specialty and my friend's favorite dish. And I can definitely see why. It's a heaping bowl of penne with chicken sage sausage and mushrooms in a tomato cream sauce (for just $14). The pasta was perfectly cooked and just as delicious as the gnocchi. I loved the strong hits of sage from the sausage and the rich cream sauce balanced by the tomatoes. I would have eaten the whole bowl if my stomach let me.


We definitely enjoyed our late-night dinner. The portions were generous, the prices affordable, and the food so flavorful and so filling (I was thankful we had to walk home afterward). The atmosphere is pretty cool too. There are lots of knick-knacks hanging on the walls and from the ceiling -- they make for a great game of "I spy." A disco ball sends dancing lights all over the room. And we actually had an old rocking horse (or maybe it was a carousel horse?) overlooking our table. Yes, it was a little creepy, but it just added to the ambiance. Anchovies seems a little bit dive-y and kind of looks like a hole in the wall, but isn't that true of some of the best spots?

I was so glad we stuck with our plan so I could discover this new-to-me restaurant. And I'm happy I got to spend the whole weekend running wedding errands and having some girl time with one of my good friends.

I'm heading to Vermont for Carrie's wedding this weekend! What are your weekend plans?

Anchovies on Urbanspoon

11 comments:

  1. We've been going to Anchovies for years and love it!

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  2. I love that idea of putting pesto on salad! Enjoy the wedding this weekend! I'm sure it will be beautiful, up in VT! I have my final dress fitting and bridal shower this weekend. :)

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  3. Joanne (eats well with others)September 06, 2012 9:39 AM

    I love a restaurant that stays open late! Both of your pastas look and sound amazing. Total comfort food.

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  4. Huge bonus for their kitchen being open late - but this dinner looks fantastic and at a great price point!

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  5. I really have not heard to much about anchovies. sounds like a cool spot with such reasonable prices. have a blast in VT this weekend!! I finally have NO PLANS.

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  6. I haven't heard of Anchovies but it sounds like a great neighborhood spot! Have fun at the wedding!

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  7. I haven't been to Anchovies in ages! Now your post is making me want to come back soon. That gnocchi with short rib looks perfect for the coming colder weather.

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  8. Have such as great time at Carrie's wedding!! I'm celebrating my bday this weekend ;)

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  9. I used to live just down the street from this place, though we only ever stopped in once to eat. It is a total neighborhood spot - I don't think you'd really know about it unless you lived nearby. I also got The Ricciardi when I went, and agree that it was delicious! I found Anchovies to be pretty average all-around, and my drink wasn't particularly good, but the generous portions and flavorful meals definitely make up for it.

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  10. oh my gosh, that gnocchi looks so good!

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  11. Looks like a great spot! The penne does sound great

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