Quattro – Boston, Massachusetts

First Taste: The Four-Front

At Hanover and Parmenter streets, four corners meet to form the heart of the North End. And there sits Quattro, the newly opened Neapolitan-style restaurant by Frank DePasquale.

A neighborhood icon, DePasquale also owns Bricco, Mare, the Gelateria and DePasquale’s Homemade Pasta Shoppe, among other ventures throughout the city. “What I’m trying to do is take a little bit out of each and every one of my restaurants and put it in here,” says DePasquale. “I just kept thinking of how the new places are in Italy, and this is what it’s all about.”

The 48-seat restaurant took over the space from Il Panino Express, but the interior has been redesigned to reflect the new concept. The eatery features two and a half walls lined with windows that open out onto the sidewalks, while marble tables and countertops complement a Marra Forni brick oven, imported from Naples. Even though this beast sits in the corner of the kitchen, somehow it feels like the centerpiece, and it gets nearly twice as hot as American alternatives, crisping a pizza in 45 seconds flat.

“There was a serious need for a brick, Neapolitan oven pizzeria, a rotisserie grill,” says DePasquale. As such, Quattro poses itself as the greatest-hits version of his restaurants, pulling in proven chefs and menu items. The Parma prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich, for example, features fresh baked bread and imported cheese, elements that made this dish—his first sandwich ever—a hit.

Paninis and pizzas are joined by house-made pastas, as well as a risotto of the day, and sfizi (cravings, or small plates) such as arancini and potato croquettes, sirloin burger sliders and stuffed zucchini flowers. There’s also a large rotisserie in the kitchen that produces full or half birds, served with traditionally prepared potatoes and vegetables. Separate grills cook fish and meat, so that the flavor of a whole branzino isn’t mixed with the rack of lamb.

“I’m just happy that I had the chance to put this in such a great neighborhood and such a key spot,” says DePasquale. “We thought of so many different names. Because it’s my fourth restaurant and thinking of the four corners, I said, ‘It has to be Quattro.’”

Quattro 264 Hanover St., Boston (617-720-0444) quattro-boston.com

This article originally appeared in the March 27, 2013, issue of The Improper Bostonian.