What happens when six well-regarded and well-established hair and makeup experts team up? The Makeup Artists, a collaborative of professionals with more than 35 years of combined experience and training, ready to help anyone, from a bridal party to a movie star, look great. This floating band of beautifiers work mainly on-site, dishing out private in-home makeup lessons or working celebrity events around Boston, then dolling up runway walkers for fashion shows. The hairstylists specialize in hair extensions and use cutting-edge techniques to achieve any look desired, be it for a professional gig to private occasion. The accolades for all of the six are extensive, reassuring clients that they can be trusted with their appearance.
On a street populated by numerous Italian trattorias, it’s almost impossible for a restaurant to stand out unless it offers something unique. Maurizio’s does just that, by offering an alternative to generic Italian food with its menu of Sardinian specialties. Chef/owner Maurizio Loddo opened the restaurant next to the Paul Revere Mall in 1993, and continues to feature a menu that combines a passion for Italian and a flair for the Mediterranean. The house bruschetta is but one example, topped with black olives and capers, while the pan roasted salmon is served over a saffron risotto. Signature Sardinian favorites include Malloreddus alla Campidanese, a hearty plate of pasta topped with a sausage and lamb meat sauce, then tossed with vegetables in a red wine sauce. The space itself is simple, if colorful, with vibrant walls, wrought iron touches and various sized paintings on the wall.
Set among all of the restaurants that line popular Hanover Street is a simple neighborhood wine and beer store known as The Wine Bottega. The friendly staff here is only too happy to help guests find the perfect wine for their palate, from burgundy and cabernet reds to chardonnay and pinot grigio whites, not to mention organic and biodynamic wines. The nice selection from small Italian and global wineries also leaves room for some unexpected finds, like sake and an impressive collection of craft beer. Free tastings are held on Friday nights, usually inside the subterranean wine cellar, well-appointed with long wooden benches and a communal table that runs down the middle.
Located next to St. Leonard’s Peace Garden in the North End is the cozy Italian eatery Panza. The friendly and accommodating wait staff treats guests like family serving up hearty dishes of baked ziti with meatballs, or lobster ravioli and potato gnocchi Bolognese – all offered at reasonable prices. There are some creative plates here, like the slow braised spare ribs with sweet Sicilian barbecue sauce and a “free form” lasagna made with rotating layers of black pepper pasta, mushrooms, chicken, creamy ricotta and fresh spinach. The signature veal Panza is their take on traditional marsala, but served with toasted pine nuts, spinach and sun dried tomatoes. With light Mediterranean tones, hanging chandeliers and simple wood accents, Panza is a great place to enjoy simple Italian cooking in Boston’s North End.
After resettling in the United States at age 9, Naples native Francesco Pellino worked hard hours each week as a dishwasher and chef's assistant to pay his way through college. Though he graduated with honors in accounting, Francesco's passions lured him back to the food industry. He opened his first establishment as an energetic 28-year-old, taking the chance to showcase his zeal for authentic Northern Italian cuisine. Rustic and self-described as "somewhat peasant and chic," each of his dishes shows the care in which it's crafted. House-made ingredients such as Francesco's own no-yolk salad croutons, fresh ciabatta bread, and handmade-to-order plates of porcini mushroom ravioli infuse the menu to leave his guests as satisfied as a zamboni in Antarctica.
Pellino's Ristorate's quaintness extends to the restaurant itself. Tucked in a cozy corner house with exposed-brick walls lined with bottles from the expansive and carefully curated wine list, the upscale dining room hosts meals and inspires Shakespearean soliloquies at starched white tablecloths.