Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Umbria in Boston

After a busy weekend which included attending the Gold Cup (my first time - so fun!), lots of time enjoying the sunshine on Sunday and a birthday/bbq get together, I headed out to Boston on Monday morning for a quick work trip. I had an early evening event in the Boston Harbor area, which has changed dramatically in the past few years and now is really blossoming with interesting restaurants, shops and streetlife, not to mention beautiful views of the harbor. I read about Umbria on Franklin Street not too far from the reception I attended, so decided to pop by and take a peek. The space houses five floors and the ambiance generally is upbeat for sure yet also upscale too. There are fireplaces, exposed brick walls and light fixtures beaming gold on several levels, and the more "loungey" areas feature more modern lighting and industrial lines and fixtures.
Ristorante Umbria serves hearty, simple, yet elegant country-style food that features sauces and preparations that consist of delicious and fresh ingredients, and generally stays away from complicated processes. I sat at a cozy seat at one of the bars and enjoyed two items from the Antipasti menu - Involtini di Speck Tirolese, or imported smoked prosciutto rolls filled with truffled ricotta and goat cheese and served with warm chestnut flan; as well as Granchio in Carrozza al Bergamotto di Calabria, which is blue crabmeat salad scented with bergamot infused olive oil in a crunchy phyllo vessel. I paired the food with a couple of glasses of 2003 Rosso di Toscana, Avignonesi, which was light yet somewhat complex and matched the savory essence of each dish quite well. The prosciutto rolls were a perfect balance of the rich and tangy cheese flavors matched up with the fragrant and salty prosciutto. The plate was a beautiful presentation as well with each roll nicely formed and set against one another. I think I would have preferred just a simple crab salad as the meat was so fresh and tender I thought it would be best undisturbed, but the sweet meat worked well with the pungent bergamot (small and roughly pear-shaped citrus fruit) and the delightfully crisp phyllo shell. I was debating whether or not I should do something more low-key and casual (yet certainly authentic and delicious too) in Little Italy, but I am glad I explored a bit and was taken away to the Umbria region in Italy at least for the duration of the meal. Very neat spot.

Umbria Ristorante
295 Franklin Street in Boston, MA

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