Last year, we took a look at some of Boston’s best northern Italian restaurants, so this year, we are heading south where olive oil and tomatoes reign supreme to find the region’s best fare in Boston. While northerners prefer rich dishes with hearty meats and creamy sauces (think risottos and polentas), southerners prefer the flavors of eggplant, tomatoes and peppers to form the base of the region’s most revered dishes. Here’s a look five of the best restaurants for southern Italian cuisine in Boston.
Owner Carla Gomes knows great southern Italian fare and serves it up at her restaurant Antico Forno. Translated “old oven, kitchen of wood,” the restaurant was the first and only wood burning brick oven pizza in the neighborhood when it opened. The original oven was built from the ground up and features a base made with volcanic ash to retain the heat better than most regular ovens. Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are cooked here topped with everything from smoked mozzarella to fresh cherry tomatoes and San Marzano tomato sauce. We love the cozy restaurant’s rustic fare like the fusilli pasta dish filled with sautéed eggplant, zucchini and roasted peppers in a San Marzano tomato sauce topped with goat cheese and basil cooked in the brick oven.