Another new restaurant in the Lower Mills area! This time it’s the “mother restaurant,” Osteria Madre, on the Milton side of the river but just “a stone’s throw from Dorchester.”
Since it has only been open for two weeks so far, we have to cut it some slack. This turns out to be a somewhat mixed review anyway. Barbara started with a half dozen very fresh “gluten free” oysters (what a surprise!), and I started with some absolutely delicious funghi al forno—so rich that I had to take half of them home. For her secondo Barbara combined two primi:
- Crab and melon salad with prosciutto and frisée (mostly excellent, except that the greens were primarily kale with very little frisée).
- “Madre’s meatball in sugo al pomodoro.”
For my second course I just had to have the featured giant bistecca alla Fiorentina with roasted fingerling potatoes and Tuscan herb chimichurri. The restaurant was oddly out of steak knives—they blamed it on COVID—I should have brought my own—though the server assured us that the steak was tender enough to cut with a regular knife. It was! If we were in Florence she would never have asked how I wanted it cooked, since rare would be assumed, but this is Massachusetts so she had to ask. It was not merely rare but very rare, just as I like it. It was also tender as advertised, and very flavorful, marinated and/or broiled with olive oil and lemon juice just as it’s supposed to be. Had to take half the steak and two thirds of the potatoes home.
I finished with a properly prepared double espresso.
So why do I call this a mixed review? Seems pretty uniformly positive as I look back at what I just wrote. Maybe I was just affected by three minor irritations: the lack of steak knives, the odd mixture of English and Italian which detracted from the authenticity of the experience at this osteria, and fact that the music inside was so deafeningly loud that we were forced to move outside onto their beautiful patio with its great view over the Neponset River and surrounding woodlands. Moving outside was obviously not at all a hardship, but I wish it had been our own choice.
All in all, a positive experience that came at an admittedly hefty price.