Giovanni Olivaâ€™s Pulcinella Mozzarella bar and ristorante on Salem Street is a creation that puts to work 30 years of experience in the restaurant business.
Pulcinella is trendy, Italian design conscious to a fault and the food prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Norik Massihi, brings to a new level Mediterranean style cuisine in the North End.
Since opening about 3 weeks ago, local residents in search of satisfying their passion for eating simple but healthy Italian treats are finding Pulcinella exactly the place to enjoy farm raised game meat, succulent seafood and shellfish, fresh prime ingredients such as eggplant, hot peppers and tomatoes, natural olive oil, garlic, olives, capers and Olivaâ€™s first love, mozzarella di bufula.
â€œPulcinella is the Kingdom of Mozzarella,â€ Olive said.
Mozzarella appetizers of different and tasty incarnations are a specialty.
Mozzarella is served with prosciutto di Parma, among many other combinations of treats. Pulcinella has Parma that is aged for 24 months â€“ so so smooth and sweet.
There is also Prochetta Di Ariccia(slow roasted pork loin with herbs), Salame Napoletan, Bresaola (house made cured beef), Mortadella with pistachio and a fabulous dish featuring a medley of Salami â€“ all imported from Italy.
This is Pulcinellaâ€™s signature and its draw. Everything served there other than fresh baked Italian bread from Bricco Bakery, is from Italy â€“ all main dishes. Nothing is pre-cooked at Pulcinella.
And what they do with Mozzarella is outstanding.
A wonderful example of this is an antipasti called smoked Mozzarella Milanese offering breaded, pan fried, mozzarella di bufala with fresh tomato sauce.
Pulcinellaâ€™s sauce is made from imported Italian La Valle tomatoes. Chef Massihi chops a bit of fresh garlic, a touch of salt and pepper and tosses itÂ in â€“ voila â€“ a fabulous sauce with just the right taste and texture.
The menu, according to Oliva, offers smaller treats for abundant tasting at the right price as well as plates in the $20 – $24 range for dinner.
Stuffed meatballs with large tube pasta, and buffalo mozzarella($20) is one such treat. Gnocchi with large shrimps and pistachio pesto ($22) is another.
Main course dinners offer chicken, pork tenderloin and the menu price topper -Â Napoletan Buffalo Steak marinated with garlic and rosemary and grilled to perfection at $36.
Dolci (dessert) is a treat at Pulcinella.
Chocolate Mocha Budino, traditional Tiramisu, Pulcinella Cannoli and a Gelato di Gigi Gelateria are offered at $6 – $9.
Pulcinella is the North Endâ€™s best and newest traditional Italian restaurant.
The design inside is clean and crisp, black and white, stainless steel, and windows that open onto Salem Street. All the lighting fixtures and furniture comes from Italy.
Pulcinella is a reflection of its ownerâ€™s class and understanding about what he wants his restaurant to be.
â€œI try to be a little different,â€ Oliva said during an interview. Pulcinella is not an Italian/American restaurant. We are away from that tradition. We donâ€™t serve veal parm and plates like that. I want our appeal to be to locals who appreciate what we do, who demand quality and organically grown ingredients like the five types of oil we use â€“ all of it imported from Italy,â€ he added.
Even the imported Italian glassware has a truly Italian flare. The heavy water glasses appear to be leaning.
â€œThey are meant to remind our diners of the Leaning Tower of Pisa,â€ said Oliva.
If you are looking for a North End restaurant where attention to detail is strictly imposed as a policy and where organic ingredients of the finest kind are used and where everything that comes to you on your dish including the pasta is made to order and where the taste is exactly what you wanted it to be â€“ then Pulcinella is the place to go.
Pulcinella, 78-80 Salem Street. Tratorriapulcinella.net or telephone 857-263-8521.