An updated version of the classic neighborhood seafood joint, Il Molo combines old-world sensibilities with modern techniques and style at 326 Commercial Street on the North End’s waterfront. But don’t let the renovated digs fool you: this restaurant is still a North End family affair, run by a father-son duo with decades of industry experience and deep roots in the community.
Fresh seafood is the name of the game at Il Molo (Italian for “the pier”), presented every which way from whole fish to homemade pastas, small plates to shellfish towers. The lunch menu features a variety of salads with optional proteins, as well as simple pastas and a few straightforward entree selections. Things get a little more adventurous for dinner, with a few ingredients you might not expect to find in a North End restaurant rubbing elbows with reliable favorites like piccata, puttanesca, and pomodoro. Fresh local oysters are available at all hours of the day, and there are a few non seafood options for both lunch and dinner guests who haven’t got their sea legs.
If you were expecting a cloistered North End joint where you’ll be bumping shoulders with your neighbors, you can relax. Il Molo’s modern vibe and crisp design make it feel spacious and serene in a neighborhood known for a little bit of chaos. Located downstairs below the bustle, the sophisticated space has white walls accented with tilework in varying shades of blue. Delicate glass pendants light the white marble bar, and light blue banquettes line the walls of the dining room. In the back, a private room boasts a fireplace, a couple of armchairs, and a large communal table.
Like the food menu, the wine list at Il Molo is rooted in Italian tradition but takes pleasure in branching out into new territory. Red, white, sparkling, and rose selections can be found at a variety of price points hailing from places like Tuscany, France, and even upstate New York. The cocktails, too, take liberties with classic arrangements, and the draught beer selection rotates locals and guests depending on what’s seasonal and what’s interesting.
The restaurant’s secluded private space can be reserved for receptions and events.
326 Commercial Street
Boston, MA 02109