Two Nights with Giulia

Giulia is simply the best restaurant in the Boston area, by far, and with very few places that come close.  I was in two nights, Friday and Saturday, prior to a play (“Waitress,” which is Broadway bound, and very good, it’ll be a hit once they trim 30 minutes) and prior to jazz at Regattabar (Joe Lovano and John Scofield: Tight, tight, tight).


So it’s a dark, long room bound on the right by a bar counter staffed by two very engaging and pleasant tenders.  The tables are wood, without tablecloths, and set far enough apart so you have privacy.  Yes, that was Elizabeth Warren in the back, apparently she’s a regular.  The music is a mix of jazz and blues mostly.

Friday night it was chicken liver crostini and raw oysters, followed by tagliatelle with fresh Italian porcini and Chatham cod.  A first rate Sicilian Rose.  Everything delicious, perfectly salted (not too much), and lots of seasonal vegetables.  Great price point, too.

Saturday night it was raw oysters, tuna crudo (looked like blue fin), and tiny west coast clams in a corn brodo followed by corn and brown butter agnolotti with matsutake, emmer farro casarecce with braised rabbit (and chanterelles), and tagliatelle with fresh Italian porcini.  A first-rate Sicilian white: Donna Fugata.

This is Italian food that’s as good as the best you find in Italy and NYC.  Simple, well-defined, a precise menu, and few ingredients.  You can readily forget about every other restaurant in Cambridge that calls itself Italian.  This joint is world-class, the others are pretenders: Busy menus that either draw attention to the chef or so many ingredients piled on a plate you feel as if the buffet has come to your table.

Speaking of things brought to the table: Servers at Giulia are tops–smart, pleasant, confident, well-informed.  Back of the house and front of the front, this place is nonpareil.


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