Sunday, August 19, 2012


I heard about Nebo last year from a coworker of mine who has celiac. I’ve also heard other people rave about it and saw it on the Chronicle or Date Line last year. So when there was a Living Social deal last month I bought it without hesitation. I had been dying to go and last night I finally went.

I was not blown away. The flavors were amazing, so fresh and so bold. But I was let down by the over price menu and extra chargers for gluten free substitutions.

We started with two appetizers; the olives and timballo de melanzana. The olives were served warm in oil with orange zest and rosemary. This was delicious. I loved the warmth and citrus flavor mixed with the saltiness from the olives and and contrast from the rosemary and other spices they used. The Timballo de melanzana is eggplant and mozzarella timbale with fresh tomato sauce. In cooking, timable can refer to both a type of baking dish and to a type of food, usually prepared in and served in the baking dish of the same name. This timable was layers of eggplant, mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce and it was delicious. I highly recommend this dish. It is served hot in a timable and the eggplant was so tender.
Timballo de melanzana

We also shared the baby arugula and Parmesan salad. The arugula was so fresh with a slightly bitter taste and paired nicely with the lemon vinaigrette. It was easy to tell that the Parmesan was freshly shaved and it was delicious.

Everyone ordered gluten free meals so we could share. Well actually if I’m being honest, they did it because they are extremely nice and wanted me to be able to try everything and feel bad when I am left out.

Jeremy ordered the “Bobby Flay Throwdown Winner” zucchini lasagna and it was fantastic. This was layers of zucchini, homemade ricotta, mozzarella, romano and marinara sauce. It was light and noodle-less (and vegetarian).  I highly recommend ordering this, it was just amazing.

The Gluten Free Pizza was great. We tried the margherita and the scampi. We all preferred the scampi. But both were delicious. I could taste the freshness of the basil on the margherita pizza, it was like it was just picked straight out of my garden. The scampi pizza had much more flavor, from the garlic and parsley, and the crust didn’t get as soggy in the middle as the margherita did. I think this happened because of all the tomato sauce, and once it had been sitting for a while it started to get a bit soggy in the center where it was already softer to begin with.  I absolutely loved the crispy outer crust. I just wish they didn’t charge an extra $4 to make it gluten free. It was great but not great enough to pay $21 again for a pizza!
Margherita Pizza

Scampi Pizza

I was super excited to try the gluten free pasta. It is still not something I find very often on restaurant menus, although it is starting to show up more and more, but when I find a restaurant that offers it I get so excited! The gluten free pasta comes with only one option; spirals. It is not homemade, don’t be fooled. It is made and packaged in a gluten free factory, and Nebo charges an extra $3 for it. Maybe it’s just me but I think it’s ridiculous when restaurants charge extra for gluten free substitutions – bread, pizza, pasta. I understand the price of gluten free food can be more expensive, but why not try to find one not as expensive? It especially makes me mad when it’s not homemade and even more frustrated when it isn’t even good. Nebo isn’t the only restaurant that does this, so I’m not trying to pick on them, but the upcharge here is one of the most expensive I’ve seen. My pasta was way undercooked and it was so inconsistent. One piece would be semi undercooked, another completely hard and one spiral every now and then would be about 95% cooked. The taste was fine but the texture, not so much. We were going to send it back but by the time the waiter eventually came over to our table to ask how it was we were too hungry and had already begun eating it. It was such a disappointment because I had been looking forward to this and not to mention the sauce was delicious. So, I used the sauce instead on the lasagna – which I thought needed a little more sauce anyways.
Shrimp with slow roasted spicy tomato sauce with gluten free pasta

We had a living social voucher for $50, which in addition to wanting to try it for so long was the main reason we are here last night. Over all it was good but not for the money. I enjoyed the pizza crust, but the middles were a little doughier and softer, and the pasta was under cooked, both certainty not worth the $3 and $4 upcharges. The lasagna was great but was a little pricey at $21. The décor is very modern, not the place to go if you are looking for a traditional Italian restaurant. It was also a bit loud, great place for a big group, as it had a fun atmosphere, but not the most desirable for eating out with your boyfriend and his parents. I’m not sure if I’d go back. I might if there is another deal because I want to try the gluten free calamari, which the table next to use ordered, and it looked really good. If I had another deal I would go back for sure, but I’m not so sure I want to pay so much extra just so I can have a gluten free pizza. I know plenty of restaurants that make pizza just as good, if not better, for less money and no extra charges.

The online menu does not mention the extra fees for gluten free pizza and pasta, and I don’t think this is right. It’s kind of like luring you in on false pretenses.

I did like that the maître d’ and the manager both came to see how we were doing and if we were enjoying our meals. Our server was very nice, but not very attentive.

Location: 90 North Washington St., North End Boston

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