Fierce wind gusts and the beginning of midterm season might not seem like the most romantic of backdrops, but once again, February is here and Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a night out with your significant other or with friends, Boston’s North End is the perfect setting.
For the month of February, the North End’s Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is a great place to spend either the beginning or end of a temperate evening. The trellis at the center of the park is illuminated with blue and pink lights, and romantic tunes play quietly from the speakers hanging on it. The “Tunnel of Love” features enlarged candy hearts with sweet sayings and cupids hanging at each end. It offers the perfect venue for Instagram pictures as well, with beautiful lights and the city skyline behind it. Watching the sunset before dinner, or strolling and looking at the city after, would be a great part of a Valentine’s evening.
The North End is famous for its Italian heritage and cuisine. Within a five-minute walk of the park are many well-reviewed Italian restaurants. Most are relatively expensive for a college budget, but doable for a special night. Be sure to have a reservation for spots like Carmelina’s or any of the more premier Italian eateries.
When visiting the Waterfront park and North End, I went to Piccolo Nido, a smaller and more intimate restaurant where I was able to be seated immediately on a Friday evening. It reminded me of small, family-owned Italian restaurants that I had been to in San Francisco’s North Beach, ones that have been passed down for generations. These places prove that what is great about Italian food is not its extravagance, but its simplicity and authenticity. The service was fast and attentive but not overbearing, and the food was delicious. The wine list was not extensive but for those who are not yet connoisseurs, definitely sufficient.
If Italian doesn’t strike your fancy — being on the water, the North End is full of seafood establishments as well as a having mix of other cuisines. Koy is a nearby Korean fusion restaurant, Wagamama provides a refreshing take on Asian fusion and Kala Thai Cookery is within a few minutes’ walk as well.
Whether with friends or someone special, the North End offers a beautiful environment and delicious food for a memorable night out.