Friday, April 15, 2011

Sportello- Boston

Walking into Sportello's, I was a little confused by the setup of the restaurant to say the least. There's not much space and the quarters are tight. In one corner, it looks like a pastry bar or cafe. In another corner, it looks like a gourmet grocery shop selling fine pastas and jarred honey. Then there's the rest of the dining area which is set up countertop-style. As if this imbalanced arrangement of furniture wasn't strange enough, there's also huge white support beams in the middle of the restaurant. Two of the three of us had the misfortune of being seated right behind one of these columns which obstructed our view. We stared at this lovely white column for the duration of dinner. Given all of these aspects that Sportello failed in, I will credit them for having the open kitchen. It's always fun to be able to see how your food is being prepared. After dinner, the manager led us through the back entrance (through the kitchen of Sportello) downstairs into Drink where we enjoyed a few delicious cocktails.

Ricotta Spread with Olive Oil
The bread here is really good. It's extremely fresh and soft. The ricotta cheese with the olive oil was a great spread- creamy and smooth with just a dash of salt for seasoning.

Vongole Misto
We all shared this appetizer of assorted shellfish which consisted of snails, mussels, razor clams and purple potatoes. The mussels and clams were cooked just fine but the razor clams were terrifyingly raw and I could not stomach eating crude shellfish. This was sadly an unsuccessful start to the meal.

Pork Osso Buco
Chowing down on this pork reminded me so much of the monstrous turkey legs that they serve up at Disney World. If you know what I'm talking about, these turkey legs look more bats/ clubs than they do the bird. I am by all means a huge lover of meats but the size of this entree was a little ridiculous. My girlfriend comically pointed out, "I think you got full just looking at that huge hunk of meat." It was true and I ended up sharing at least half of it. In terms of the pork itself, it was rather dry on the outside but had a few succulent and moist pieces towards the middle. The meat was seasoned with just a bit of salt and thus could've really benefited from some herbs for flavoring. It also wouldn't have hurt them to add a little more jus to keep the meat moist. And lastly, I'm usually not big on sides but I would have really liked a little extra garnish besides the sour artichokes to take away some of the severity and heaviness of just pork.

It's been mentioned a few times that I start giving ratings so I guess I'll start with Sportello.

Ambiance: 3 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Food: 3 out of 5
Verdict: Its saving grace comes in the form of the bar downstairs, Drink. Otherwise, I have little to no reason to return.


  1. they have osso buco at this italian restaurant in philly and its so good. esp their risotto

  2. which place is this?? i'm always looking for new restaurants to try