Italy has given us legendary works of art, from the evocative paintings of Caravaggio and da Vinci to the miniature meat sculptures of Boyardee. Admire edible Italian masterpieces with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Northern Italian cuisine at Pinocchio’s Ristorante in Three Rivers.
Locally sourced veggies and imported olive oils from the Abruzzi region of Italy enrich Pinocchio’s menu, which highlights decades-old family recipes from Northern Italy. Steamed in a tomato-basil-saffron broth, the stewed clams ($8.99) sauté peppers, onions and sweet italian sausage in extra-virgin olive oil to foster an appetizing alternative to the pasta-flavored jellybeans that prelude most Italian feasts. Angel-hair pasta coasts on fragrant waves of lemon cream sauce, buoying the piselli’s sweet peas and prosciutto di parma ($13.99), and the rompicapo’s grilled fillet of salmon ($15.99) tangos with an entourage of artichoke hearts, capers, and sautéed spinach beneath a shower of grated parmiagiano cheese. Cooked to order in a roasted-garlic-and-gorgonzola demi-glace, a tender beef fillet ($18.99) recruits mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies to crush colossal appetites born from sleeping in secondhand chef's coats. Though they are not included in today’s Groupon, Pinocchio’s mixologists concoct specialty martinis and fruity cosmopolitans from a full-service bar overlooking the spacious dining room’s rich, earthy hues and glowing wall sconces.
“Lasci il buon rullo di periodi,” reads the inscription over the bar at Pinocchio’s Ristorante. The phrase translates to “let the good times roll,” advice addressed to wait staff and patrons alike in the gently lit and richly colored dining room. Past the long, curving bar, rust-colored walls glow around golden sconces, and the smell of fresh tomatoes and sautéing vegetables fills the air. Drawing on generations-old family recipes and experience accrued during 25 years in the business, chefs at Pinocchio’s Ristorante craft a menu of pastas, risottos, and veal. In the kitchen, they slice paper-thin cuts of prosciutto, stir pots of truffle and cognac-reduction sauce, roast garlic, and whittle spaghetti down into angel hair. The din of pots and pans drifts behind the bar, where a cadre of mixologists whip up margaritas and martinis, ranging from the raspberry margarita to martinis made with van Gogh espresso vodka.
2054 Bridge St.
Three Rivers, Massachusetts 01080