Entrees continue the theme of Italian elegance pitched with outsize American scale. Pesce spada all griglia ($25.50) is a stunning version of the often-dull swordfish: juicy, tender, and flanked by a rich black-lentil ragù and a piquant peperonata (stewed bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes). Porchetta arrosto ($24.25) is sensational version of the legendary Latian secondo, a thick slice of a rolled pork roast with rosemary-garlic stuffing, topped with chunks of roasted parsnip and given some gentle acid balance with a dark cherry sugo. It's a staggering overload of piggy goodness: concentric circles of crisp skin, nearly molten fat, salty, tender interior pork loin, and fierce, savory stuffing. Cinquecento manages to exude cosmopolitan Italian sophistication, but knows that its audience will inevitably favor American celebratory excess over Roman restraint. Burnished with the Aquitaine Group's usual gloss of amiable, polished service, I fully expect it will redirect some of the mobs that currently favor the North End and the Seaport back to an increasingly revitalized South End dining scene.
CINQUECENTO :: 500 Harrison Ave, Boston :: 617.338.9500 or cinquecentoboston.com
: Restaurant Reviews
, South End, Food Coma, reviews, More