Anchovies is one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants / bars. It is filled with locals and serves good food at very affordable prices.
The decor in this cozy South End establishment reminds me of my Nana’s basement. The beautiful, long dark wood bar is surrounded by tacky decorations that include everything from a rocking horse on the ceiling to old posters.
The narrow space can make it tough to get around in Anchovies and it fills quickly so if you arrive later in the evening you should mentally prepare for a wait (possibly outside on the sidewalk depending on how crowded it gets). However, I love this place and always enjoy my dinners here. The Italian menu includes appetizers and salads, pizzas, calzones, pasta and meat entrees as well as sandwiches and paninis. Nothing on the menu is over $17 and you can easily walk out stuffed and satisfied for less than a couple of cocktails at most restaurants in the South End.
We started dinner with an absolute *must try* for any first time visitor. Anchovies combines the best of Mexican and Italian with their signature Italian Nachos for $11. This is a large platter that is meant to be shared. My advice is to use the crisp nachos on the bottom of the plate to scoop the soggier chips laden with braised short rib ragu sauce, ricotta and cherry peppers. The salty chips marry well with the rich meat sauce, and the cherry peppers add just a slight pop but the creamy ricotta gives a great finish. Although the pictures may not show this, the portions are generous. Neither Sergio nor I finished our meals. Sergio ordered one of Anchovies most popular plates, The Riccardi – penne with chicken sage sausage and mushrooms in a tomato cream sauce for $15.I continued with my cheese-fest by ordering a calzone at Anchovies for $15. I think it is fair to say that Anchovies adds more cheese to their calzone than anyone. I love their tangy marinara sauce served on the side. I dip the cheese and fillings with the dough into it. This is my go-to comfort food order; it is so large I can barely eat half of it.
Anyone looking for home style, no frills Italian will love Anchovies. Best of all the kitchen is open until 1:30 AM 7-nights a week. Anchovies is in Boston’s South End at 433 Columbus Ave.