La Morra has been on my list for a while now but I was hesitant to try it as I used to fear small plates – I like my food and I rarely like to share! That mentality has changed now that I realized with tapas/small plates I get to try more dishes. My mom noticed La Morra in Boston Magazine’s ’50 Best Restaurants’ issue and suggested we go… I wasn’t arguing!
Bread: A server carrying a large basket delivered slices of homemade fresh bread, 1 for each of us. On the side was a ramekin of ricotta with sea salt, cracked pepper, and EVOO. The bread was excellent-warm, doughy, & hearty, and I really enjoyed the ricotta spread.
Menu: Cichetti (small tastings from $3-$4), Antipasti, Primi, Secondi, Contorni, Dolce (and a pre-fixed 4-course menu for $35). I wanted to try everything, especially the pastas in the primi section. I ended up with the items below, and thankfully my parents ordered a few other things I was eyeing.
Chickpea Salad (compliments of the chef) – chilled chickpeas, celery, wood grilled peppers, oregano
Although it was a little too salty for my taste, this was a great ‘palette cleanser’ as it was crisp and fresh in flavor. A nice addition to the start of the meal!
Ceci Fritti – Chickpea Fries
I imagined these to look more like a thinner French fries, but 4 thick ‘fries’ came arranged like Stonehenge, balancing on one another. The outside had a thin crispy crunch and the inside was soft and piping hot. A really excellent side dish.
Insalata di Barbabietole – roasted beet salad with apples, goat cheese, aged balsamic vinegar, and walnut puree
A stack of alternating slices of apples and beets came topped with goat cheese. The apple beet combo is always refreshing and pairs well with the goat cheese. The walnut puree added a tasty light dressing.
Tagliatelle al ragu – homemade pasta with bolognese
Praise the food gods for the ½ portions! For $11 I ordered the ½ size of the Bolognese which was the perfect amount for me (I even took ½ home). The meat was pulled rather than ground and topped with grated cheese. I typically like a tomato based sauce, which this was not, but it was still amazing, especially the al dente tagliatelle!
Service: The service was excellent; our waitress has clearly been working at La Morra for some time now and it showed. She was able to describe the preparation & presentation of each dish we questioned, was attentive when our wine was running low, and was personable & helpful. I hope to have her again next time.
Overall: This is honestly a new favorite! I love Italian food, I recently found a love for small plates, and who wouldn’t like a warm, cozy, casual atmosphere? The prices are reasonable with Antipasti and half pastas topping out at $11, and full pasta portions and Secondi ranging $19-$24. Fantastic value for price in my opinion. The downstairs seats about 30 and has a small stone bar, while the upstairs can hold about 60 with tables and ½ table/booths lining the 2 side walls. I highly recommend La Morra and already can’t wait to go back!