Last week the husband and I used our latest Groupon to dine at Genovese, an Italian restaurant on Massachusetts street. A sister restaurant to Lawrence faves La Parrilla and Zen Zero, Genovese strives for elegance meets downtown cool. And it succeeds. The ambiance is undeniable as soon as you walk in, the exposed wooden beams add an extra touch of rustic charm, and the space is so … spacious. There are two levels. The main level is more closed off for an intimate feeling perfect for wine and gossip with your closest friends. We, however, were seated on the second floor where customers feel like they have left the land of Oz. The walls are decorated with local art, the ceilings are high and there is even a small balcony on the second floor that overlooks Massachusetts street where couples can dine while people watching from above.
Once you sit down you are immediately served a selection of bread, hummus, olives and an olive oil and vinegar drizzle to enjoy while you look over the menu, which offers pizzas, pastas and other authentic Italian dishes. Unfortunately, the food is a little overpriced. But with the shortage of Italian restaurants in the Lawrence area, it might be worth it for special occasions.
I have to make one more note of criticism. And I feel bad because I don’t know if I’m being fair. The food wasn’t much to rave about. Everything on the menu sounded delicious, but I wasn’t impressed. Now for any die-hard Genovese fans reading this, I’ll admit that I might be the one to blame. Afterwards I was slightly disappointed with my order. The Lobster-Crab Ravioli with Tomato, Gorgonzola Sauce, Radiccio & Parmesan was really good, but it tasted like many ravioli dishes I have had in my lifetime. Looking back I wish I had stepped outside the box and ordered one of their mouth-watering appetizers, such as the Grilled Octopus with Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, Fennel & Lemon Vinaigrette or the Asparagus Risotto Fritters Stuffed with Mozzarella & White Truffle Aioli, or perhaps one of their non-traditional pizzas such as the Smoked Salmon, Capers, Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions & Taleggio Cheese. Let’s just say that when I return to Genovese, I will order differently.
And I definitely want to go back.
Genovese is a great place to order a glass of wine, eat unique food you won’t find most anywhere else and enjoy good company. Just make sure you bring an armed and loaded wallet. And according to their website, half price appetizers can be found during their Happy Hour, which is a daily occurrence from 2 to 5 p.m. Hope to see everyone there!