This week was Restaurant Week in Boston.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Restaurant Week, it’s when participating restaurants offer certain items from their lunch or dinner menus for a fixed price.  You can choose from a 2-course lunch for $15.11, a 3-course lunch for $20.11, or a 3-course dinner for $33.11.

My girlfriends and I decided to have a ladies night out in honor of Restaurant Week on Thursday night.  We chose Antico Forno in the North End.  I scoped out the prix fixe menu options to make sure there was something on there I’d be able to eat and not feel totally guilty about.  I didn’t want Thursday to be a complete indulge night because I knew Friday night I’d be having a lot of drinks.

Below were my menu options:


  • Polpette con salsa di pomodoro – Traditional Italian meatball, roasted pepper & mix green salad, tomato sauce
  • Insalata di Spinaci – Spinach salad with crispy italian pancetta, balsamic vinaigrette
  • Arancini di Riso – Our recipe of Sicilian rice ball, stuffed with ground beef, sweet peas mozzarella & fontina cheese, tomato sauce
  • Cozze Piccanti – Sautéed mussels in a spicy plum tomato sauce and roasted garlic


  • Fettuccine Alla Bolognese – Chef signature Bolognese sauce served with handcrafted fettuccine
  • Risotto Caprese – Arborio rice, fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, basil & asparagus tips
  • Chicken Parmigiana – Brick oven baked chicken parmesan, linguini pasta in tomato sauce
  • Swordfish e peperonata – Brick oven swordfish bistecca, pickled peppers, house signature sauce


  • Cannoli
  • Gelato of the day

I went into the night planning on getting the swordfish for dinner and one of the salad options for my appetizer.   I also read a nice healthy living tip in Fitness Magazine on my plane ride home from Arkansas that I was excited to try.  Different people from the Fitness Magazine staff shared their own personal tips on making good eating choices, and one person wrote that when she goes out to dinner she limits herself to “one of three.”  Meaning she allows herself to indulge in either alcohol, the bread, or a dessert – but not all three.  I like that.

The night didn’t really go as planned.

First of all, although Antico Forno had a cute cozy looking atmosphere, it didn’t feel that way once we were seated.  The restaurant was really noisy.  So noisy that the five us of were literally shouting across the table at each other; it was really hard to hear what everyone was trying to say.  Also, they seated the five of us at a four person table with two chairs on one side and three chairs smushed on the other.  So we felt crowded all night.  It was cute in there though.

Second of all, our service was TERRIBLE.  Our waitress was so unfriendly.  I don’t think she smiled once.  We got our appetizers before she brought out our drinks.  Two more crowded tables near us went through all their food, got their bills, and left and we were all still sitting there thinking, “Really?!”  It took about twenty minutes to get our check.

For my appetizer, I ordered the Italian meatball with the mixed green/red pepper salad.  And the swordfish as planned for my entree.  The waitress came back to the table after taking our orders to inform us that they were all out of the swordfish.  I understand that things like that happen, but I was so disappointed.  I really just did not even want to order any of the other Restaurant Week options!  I asked if I could substitute another fish off of the regular menu and she said no.  In hindsight, I should have just opted out of the Restaurant Week deal all together and just asked to look at the regular menu but I got flustered and pissed and just ordered the risotto.  It tasted fine, but carb-loading just wasn’t what I wanted and I really wasn’t happy to spend my money on a meal I didn’t leave loving.  That made me cranky that I totally ditched the “one out of three” idea and I had bread, sangria (which was actually really tasty), my meatball / salad app, the risotto, and the vanilla gelato for dessert.  Dammit, Athena.

And then the parking that we thought would be $3 with validation turned out to cost $35.  Awesome.

At least I was wearing my long mom skirt to hide my waddling out of the restaurant.

I was planning on taking the day off from working out on Friday, but I got my butt out of bed and to the gym early to burn off the Restaurant Week fail.  I did 30 minutes on the elliptical – 10 minutes of fast jog (5 minutes forward, 5 minutes backward), 3 sets of 2 minute sprints and 1 minute recoveries (forward), one minute fast jog (backward), then 4 sets of 1 minute sprints and 30 second recoveries (forward), finishing with a few minutes for a cooldown.  Then I did some abs and lower body work.

After the experience at Antico Forno, I read some of the reviews on Yelp – and a lot of them sound pretty similar to the experience I just blogged about.  Next time I’ll read some reviews first before committing $64 to the night.

Oh well.  Next time.