You love the South End for its restaurant scene. From cozy spaces and fantastic food to trendy locations — it can’t get much better than this, right? Well it can. Cinquecento is a new Roman trattoria, housed in the former Rocca space on the South End’s Harrison Avenue. The eatery is now introducing a brunch menu to accompany its dinner, drink and dessert offerings. The upstairs of this gorgeous restaurant has been transformed to feature a well-appointed interior, designed with reclaimed beams and bricks, Italian leather banquettes and two trattoria-style tables suited for communal dining. The massive bar is made from illuminated onyx with a black Italian marble top.
Cinquecento, which means “500” in Italian, is the brainchild of Seth Woods—founding chef and partner of Boston restaurant company, The Aquitaine Group (responsible for other successful city venues such as Gaslight Brasserie du Coin, Aquitaine Chestnut Hill and Aquitaine Dedham at Legacy Place). With direction from Woods, Cinquecento's menu was created to consist of traditional Italian comfort food. Get the party started with a glass of Arancia Frizzante, blending blood orange, vodka, lime and mint, or a tasty peach and Prosecco Bellini. Whether you are in the mood for breakfast, lunch or dinner fare, there is something for everyone. We highly recommend the tasty Funghi Arrosto e Uovo—a dish of roasted mushrooms and pancetta with fried farm egg and ricotta salad.
Our server suggested we share the Panino Grosso and we were glad he did when the toasted Italian panini with salami, prosciutto, mortadella and fiery hot peppers arrived. The flavorful Tagliatelle alla Bolognese, a combination of veal, pork, pancetta and parmigiano, might be the best in the city but we think you should decide for yourself. Cinquecento also offers a flat bread of the day as well as a variety of fish and pasta dishes like Sea Bass with Braised Endive and Mushrooms, Grilled Swordfish and Gnocchi with Wild Boar sauce. We can't wait for a return visit during the warmer months when the restaurant opens its 60-seat, outdoor patio.