Review: Vito’s Tavern

A sports bar grows in the North End
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  April 10, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars

Okay, into the fusion-confusion with Korean-style chicken tacos ($11.99; also available in steak, veggie, or pork). What was Korean-style was some hot pepper in the grill-fried chicken morsels, like a mild order of bull dok. Is it a little odd to be eating it with salsa and pickles in three doubled, soft, white-corn tortillas? Yes, but it's good once you scrap the wrappers and pick up the fork, as the double tortillas tend to overpower anything inside them.

"Fried fish tacos" ($11.99) are like the ones in Baja California, except that these again use double tortillas and less salsa than you would get out west. But fried haddock is superior fish, and there is actual cilantro in the salsa.

Vito's also has burritos, wings, and ludicrous "big bowls" of pasta and Asian-style rice dishes. Or you could try something like the "tuna niçoise salad" ($14.99), with green beans, greens, sliced potatoes, tomato, olives, sliced hard-boiled egg, and — don't tell anyone from France — just-seared ahi tuna, making it a terrific, if unconventional, mixed salad.

Beer is iconic to the format, although the tavern also has wines and cocktails of the appletini ilk. The 12 taps are focal, but my last draft of Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale ($5) had a beautiful head and hop aroma — and a slightly spoiled aftertaste. Next time, I'll try something in a bottle.

There are no desserts at Vito's, either in respect of the unwritten North End law that reserves most desserts to the cafés (our chef grew up in the lamented Caffe Dello Sport), or because real sports fans take their sweets in solution of alcohol.

Robert Nadeau can be reached at  robtnadeau@aol.com.

VITO'S TAVERN  |54 SALEM STREET, BOSTON (NORTH END) | 857.277.0229 | OPEN DAILY, 12 PM–12 AM | AE, MC, VI | FULL BAR | SIDEWALK-LEVEL ACCESS | $3 VALIDATED PARKING IN PARCEL SEVEN GARAGE

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Restaurant Reviews , Restaurant Reviews, dining, North End,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ROBERT NADEAU
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: BONCHON  |  August 10, 2012
    What am I doing in this basement in Harvard Square, reviewing the second location of a multi-national franchise chain?
  •   REVIEW: CARMELINA'S  |  July 25, 2012
    After a good run with "Italian tapas" under the name Damiano (a play on the given name of chef-owner Damien "Domenic" DiPaola), this space has been rechristened as Carmelina's — after the chef's mother and his first restaurant, opened when he was an undergraduate in Western Mass — and the menu reconfigured to feature more entrées.
  •   REVIEW: TONIC  |  July 06, 2012
    Bad restaurant idea number 16: let's do a neighborhood bar-bistro where there already is one.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY’S BAR AND KITCHEN  |  June 20, 2012
    In a year of bad restaurant ideas, one of the better bets is to have a successful fancy-food chef try a downscale restaurant.
  •   REVIEW: GENNARO'S 5 NORTH SQUARE  |  June 18, 2012
    In year of bad restaurant ideas (often done well), this the worst idea — and best meal — yet.

 See all articles by: ROBERT NADEAU