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Boston Home > Food > Roman Empire

Published November 28, 2012

Roman Empire
Hog Jowls and Negroni Flights on Harrison

Italy.

Such a beautiful country.

The sexy brunettes. The long, pasta-rich dinners. The Armani outfits on the police force.

But you don’t live in Italy. You live in Boston. So you’ll go here...

Say forza Italia for: Cinquecento, the gorgeous new Romanesque incarnation of the old Rocca space on Harrison Avenue, opening Friday.

This is a sexy, 220-seat cavern of natural wood, vintage Italian aperitif mirrors and floor-to-ceiling windows, brought to you by the Aquitaine/Gaslight people (no slouches in South End restaurant-ing).

Its primary purpose: killer first-date spot. Grab that feisty graphic designer you met two weeks ago at SoWa, ascend the staircase inspired by sidewalks in SoHo and check in at the host stand, made from the engine of an old 1930s biplane (naturally). Next, cover first-date essentials at the bar (favorite color, favorite band, favorite 19th-century political satirist...).

You’ll later move to banter over Negroni flights at a table by the window (gin always oils witty banter) before devouring braised veal breast with tuna aioli and bucatini pasta with cured hog jowls.

At that point, you’ll be ready for a grappa finish, an espresso from their full-time barista or just bed.

Or all of the above.
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