There have been quite a few new restaurant openings in Boston lately – Buttermilk & Bourbon and North Square Oyster are just a couple that are on the top of my list to try. But when it comes to regular weekday dinner, I want something that I know will be delicious without sucking my wallet dry.
So even with all these exciting new places to eat, I find myself returning to the list of places that have already made a home in my tastebuds’ memories.
If you haven’t guessed yet, Area Four near Kendall Square is one of the few that fit that description.
That’s not just because I’m a bread nerd who marvels at the perfection that is their 30-hour-fermented pizza crust baked in an enormous brick oven. While their pizza is no doubtone of the best in the city, their apps and sides really set them apart. It’s not just a pizza place – they serve salads, dips, ribs, mac & cheese, and veggie dishes, under their own menu heading literally titled, “Not Pizza”. What elevates them from good to great is their approach – ingredients are local and dishes are made from scratch, and these high standards are evident in every dish that comes out of their kitchen.
The Supreme Garlic Knots are not for the faint of heart – they are supremely cheesy and supremely coma-inducing. In a good way. Imagine buttery pizza dough loaded with a garlicky gremolata (a fresh sauce made of garlic, lemon and parsley) topped with a melty mountain of fresh mozzarella, all atop a skillet of warm homemade tomato sauce.
If we were sane, we would have just shared one small pizza after devouring the garlic knots. But who are we kidding. The boyfriend ordered the Not Pepperoni, a pie topped with sopressata, fresh mozz, tomato, and pecorino cheese. I’ve happily eaten this one before, but in the name of trying to be a real vegetarian (heh), I went with another favorite: the Mushroom and Fontina pizza. Topped with mushrooms, pecorino cheese, and more of that delicious gremolata, this one is as close to perfection as a vegetarian pizza can get.
Because we couldn’t stop there, we ordered a Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookie baked in a mini-skillet and topped with a scoop of Toscanini’s ice cream. I opted for the honey coffee ice cream flavor which perfectly accompanied the gooey, caramely cookie.
Be sure to check out Area Four’s weekend brunch – my favorites are the Hot Veggie Mess, the breakfast pizza (my god, the runny yolks!), and the Sticky Bun, if you feel like having a side of heart attack. (Worth it.)
And don’t forget to visit their other location in the South End, or their new 21+ arcade venture with Roxy’s Grilled Cheese called A4cade located near Central Square. Together, they’re making all our dreams come true.