All In Good Taste: Posto

On Elm Street, just beyond the center of Davis Square, sits Posto, a wood-fired Italian restaurant. The owners of Posto have a monopoly on high-end eateries in Somerville, as they also own Rosebud and The Painted Burro, which both reside a few storefronts over. The restaurant is relatively small and always packed with customers. Upon entering, it’s easy to understand the appeal. The restaurant has the appearance of elegance without taking itself too seriously. The tables are small and the large wood fired grill is visible from most vantage points. The atmosphere is romantic, but not pretentious. As we wait to be seated, tantalizing pizzas and homemade pasta dishes pass by.

The website boasts that the mozzarella is made fresh daily, so we immediately decide to split the basic mozzarella pizza. Pizzas range from $12 to $21 and there are 12 other unique pizzas to choose from, half of which are white pizzas. We next contemplate which pasta to get. Last year, I had one of the best carbonara dishes of my life at Posto, so I eagerly scanned the menu, only to find that the pasta dishes are changed seasonally. We decide to get the “spaghetti,” which includes cacio e pepe, black pepper, parmesan and thyme. The pastas are slightly more expensive, ranging from $19 to $22. The menu also includes meat and fish entrees, as well as appetizers and salads.

One of the most discouraging things about Posto is that there is no complimentary bread basket. This is realistically both a blessing and a curse. An order of bread is only $2.50, and we cannot resist the idea of rosemary sea salt dough but the appetizer unfortunately arrives with our food and we are immediately overloaded with carbohydrates. I start with the pizza. It consists of four large slices, topped with mozzarella and basil. The wood-fired grill makes the crust irresistible, with a crunchy outside but soft and warm within. The basil and mozzarella are a classic mixture. The pizza, truthfully, is not for sharing and is more of a personal size. My sister and I switch entrees, and I begin to indulge in the spaghetti. Though the mixture of pepper and parmesan cheese is good, I immediately regret not getting a more flavorful dish. The pasta is ultimately underwhelming and perhaps a little boring. By the time I finish my two entrees, I am only able to take a few bites of the bread appetizer before giving up.

Posto is admittedly a little pricey, however if you stick with a basic pizza, it can be well within reason. Though the homemade pastas are good, the pizza is definitely the show-stopper here. Reservations are a must at Posto, but they luckily can be made through OpenTable. Ultimately, Posto is a good way to get North End quality Italian food within walking distance.