Date Night at Tartufo
While there are a couple of great dining options in Newton Centre, the one that really stands out for a romantic night out is Tartufo. The small and recently refurbished dining room is the white tablecloth-type with professional-looking servers, most of whom have a very authentic-sounding Italian accents. There are also intimate tables for two that run along the restaurants’ front windows, looking out to the heart of Newton Centre.
I recommend starting with a martini, preferably one of Italian descent with Aperol or Campari. There is also a limited selection of wines by the glass, as well as bottled beer.
Ferrari Martini ($10), orange vodka, Aperol, lime, fresh orange and Negroni ($9)
It’s common to see fried calamari on a dinner menu, especially at Italian establishments. Tratufo goes a different, yet equally good route with grilled calamari. It might be a difficult switch if you’ve never had it before, but definitely one to try and Tartufo does a great job with this appetizer. Lightly dressed balsamic vinaigrette will add sweetness to the slightly salty beans.
Grilled Calamari dove lo Pescano ($13), baby arugula, cannellini beans, balsamic vinaigrette
If you know Jon, you know he loves bolognese. It’s a winter staple in our house, and one of his favorites to order at an Italian restaurant. Along with his theory of fried calamari, a good bolognese will win him over, and Tartufo’s certainly does. In the Italian tradition, this pasta dish is served as a secondi course, a smaller portion in between appetizers and entrees.
Bolognese di Bologna ($18), rigatoni pasta, freshly made beef tomatoes ragout
Sometimes I like to indulge, and sometimes spicy seafood is the exact indulgence I crave. Reasonably priced for a half-lobster portion, Tartufo’s far diavolo dish contains a pleasant amount of spice without being too overwhelming.
Lobster Fra Diavolo del Diavolo ($27), homemade tagliatelle, half lobster, evoo, white wine, cherry tomatoes, mild spicy
Jon’s menu favorite has become a simple chicken Milanese, swerved with equally simple pasta with garlic and olive oil. The light lemon dressing on the chicken really compliments the simple pasta. The portion size is perfect after ordering an appetizer and a primi portion of pasta.
Chicken Milanese di Milano ($19), pan seared breaded chicken breast, lemon dressing served with spaghetti garlic and oil
With specials that change daily, another favorite has become the grilled or stuffed veal chop. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a thick-cut veal chop, well seasoned and perfectly cooked.
For Newton Centre, Tartufo is not only a great option for date night, but also for a night of celebration or even for a more casual dinner at the bar. Jon and I have really enjoyed adding Tartufo to our list of neighborhood favorites, and certainly one perfect for a relaxing date night close to home.
Tartufo is located at 22 Union Street, and a short walk from the Newton Centre stop on the green line (Riverside D).