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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

You might of heard about this family, the Wahlbergs? They have some pretty famous family members. Paul Wahlberg is brother to Donnie and Mark, and the owner of Alma Nove. Alma is his mother’s name, the logo is her signature, and nove is for her nine children (nove is the Italian word for nine).

Alma Nove is located in the shops at the shipyard. There’s a lot of construction going on in the mall area-so big things must be planned for this place. The restaurant is towards the back of the complex. When you pull up to the front there is this great modern gas fireplace, surrounded by glass, and outdoor couches to hang out at. Really nice touch.

The inside reminds me of Vegas. Classy Vegas. High ceilings, nice architecture, modern lighting, glass over the bar-the place is certainly pleasing to the eye. We made a reservation online at opentable.com and decide to arrive a bit early. The place is about 3/4 full. We are sat at the perimeter of the dining room, next to glass windows that look out onto the fireplace outside. I am here with a friend, but could easily see this as being a good place to bring a date. I have to admit that I am surprised to see so many people at the bar.

Our waitress is personable, and knowledgeable-she recites the specials from memory which I appreciate (instead of reading them off her note-pad). We opt to split a mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette ($7.50). My friend gets ground pepper on it, I get cheese. The salad lacks flavor. While yes, it’s just mixed greens, there isn’t a lot of dressing on it, and the pieces that do seem to have a little more dressing on it, lack flavor (ie. doesn’t even really taste like balsamic). The bread basket has some nice pieces of bread-crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, but the olive oil that comes along with it, has one leaf  of rosemary in it, not one sprig, one leaf.

I like that you can order half servings of pasta here. So I opt to get a half order of the gnocchi ($18 for a full portion) that is homemade with wild mushrooms and white truffles and a half order of garganelli  bolognese ($17 for a full portion). When they come out, I did indeed get a half portion of the gnocchi but by mistake they made me a full order of the bolognese. The gnocchi was good, average (not as light and fluffy as I had heard about)…and the sauce was tasty and light. The mushrooms weren’t cooked to my liking. I prefer when mushrooms are a bit firm, and they can almost be mistaken for meat. These were a bit slimey and rubbery (overcooked?).

The bolognese is just ok. I thought that there wasn’t enough sauce, and for me to say that…is a big deal (because I don’t like to be over-sauced). The meat was just ok-it wasn’t very flavorful. (For me, a good bolognese is complex in flavor and simple in presentation. While it should look like just pasta and meat sauce-it’s really a wonderful melding of flavors and meats.)  I was really expecting more-and my friend agreed when she tried it.

My friend orders the wood grilled sirloin steak with roasted tomatoes and a Burgundy reduction ($29) and a side of asparagus ($5). The steak is enormous, I will say that. She said it was good, but not great.

Desserts are made by pastry chef Christie Radeos (all are $6.50). We pick the fresh berries to share. Fresh macerated berries, lemon mascarpone, brown butter cake and a red wine reduction. I’m surprised that my friend chose this one, she’s a finicky eater and mascarpone isn’t in her repertoire. On first bite, the mascarpone is heavy and dense. It’s struggling to be sweet but isn’t quite there. When I have mascarpone in desserts, I like it to be light and sweet (if it’s a sweet dish as opposed to a savory). The berries are good. We dig down to the brown butter cake that is in the middle of the cup. It’s soggy, and when you let it dissolve in your mouth….it’s kind of chunky….like oatmeal….and the red wine reduction just doesn’t seem to go well with the rest of the dessert-there are a lot of flavors going on here.

I thought this place was ok. I loved the location, the ambiance, the service, but, for me, the food needs a little bit of work.

A side story. We are sitting at the table, eating our dinner, and something happens to catch my eye outside. I look over, and at first glance I think it’s a cat. I point it out to my friend…oh no my friend….that’s a rat-and a HUGE one at that. Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t deter me from eating at Alma Nove, after all, it’s outside-not inside, but still…kind of freaks you out a bit. That’s what you get for being at a shipyard 🙂

Here are some other reviews:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/723701

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/dishing/2010/06/alma_nove_opens.html

http://www.patriotledger.com/business/x1218689675/Chef-Paul-Wahlberg-opens-Italian-restaurant-Alma-Nove-at-Hingham-Shipyard-complex

Alma Nove on Urbanspoon

http://www.yelp.com/biz/alma-nove-hingham

This post has great pictures http://eater.com/archives/2010/06/04/alma-nove-wahlberg-brothers.php#alma-take-two-3

http://www.boston.com/ae/food/restaurants/articles/2010/09/29/with_alma_nove_a_star_is_born_in_hingham/?page=full

Alma Nove

22 Shipyard Drive | Hingham, Massachusetts 02043 | 781.749.3353

http://www.almanovehingham.com/

Follow them on twitter http://twitter.com/alma_nove

Hours of Operation

Lunch:

Monday thru Friday: 11:30am – 3pm

Saturday: 12pm – 3pm

Dinner:

Monday thru Wednesday: 5pm – 9:30pm

Thursday thru Saturday: 5pm – 10:30pm

Sunday: 12pm – 9:30pm

*Limited bar menu served 3pm – 5pm, Monday – Saturday*

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