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    At Pulcinella Mozzarella Bar, cheese does not stand alone

    The North End restaurant’s menu includes red snapper.
    Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
    Mike Salerno, Nick Papalizo, and Gerry McGillicuddy at Pulcinella.

    Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
    The North End restaurant’s menu includes red snapper.

    A new Italian restaurant arrives in the North End, from the owners of the long-lived Trattoria Pulcinella in Cambridge. In Huron Village, an Italian restaurant doesn’t face the kind of competition as in this neighborhood. The second Pulcinella, opened in August, finds a niche by focusing on cheese.

    To start the meal, one can choose from several styles of mozzarella, then add accompaniments. Mozzarella di bufala, burrata, or smoked mozzarella might be paired with prosciutto, porchetta, and other salumi, as well as vegetable options from grilled eggplant to roasted mushrooms. It’s a choose-your-own antipasto platter.

    But there’s more to Pulcinella Mozzarella Bar than simply mozzarella. Other appetizers include buffalo carpaccio, grilled margherita pizza, and zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella. There are pasta dishes such as Sardinian couscous with seafood in fennel, tomato, and saffron sauce; spinach-ricotta ravioli with mozzarella and tomato-mascarpone sauce; and paccheri with mozzarella-stuffed meatballs. (OK, there is a lot of mozzarella.) Second courses range from swordfish Milanese to roast pork tenderloin with pomegranate sauce. Cannoli, tiramisu, and other neighborhood favorites round out the menu.

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    The restaurant distinguishes itself visually from other North End restaurants, as well, brightly decorated with colorful bubble pendants and artwork picturing Fiats and Caprese salad. That dish is on the menu, too. This is a mozzarella bar, after all.

    Devra First

    Devra First can be reached at dfirst@globe.
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