In the News
• Incontro Restaurant & Lounge is proud to announce receiving
The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 2007
Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards recognize restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.
• Incontro Awarded "Platinum Plate" from NECN's Diner with Billy Costa
From TV Diner with Billy Costa
• TV Diner employs the finest team of anonymous restaurant critics in the region to insure that reviews are comprehensive and unbiased. Incontro was judged on food quality, food presentation, ambiance, service and value. A Platinum Plate tells TV Diner viewers that they can expect an overall "excellent" dining experience.
• An encounter filled with Italian delights
From The Boston Globe, May 14, 2006
-The first time we stopped at Incontro, at 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday, we were told the wait was four hours; we left. Two weeks later we showed up at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday and were ushered to the last available table. Part of me resents the restaurant"s refusal to take reservations, or even offer call-ahead seating, but another part admires the quality that allows it to pack guests in anyway.
-From the handsome curved booths that soften the edges of a cavernous dining room in an old mill to the creative, upscale Italian menu, to the courteous and knowledgeable staff, no element of a satisfying dining experience is overlooked.
-Incontro, which is Italian for "encounter," opened at the end of February in the 1883 Brookdale Mill. Much of the building has been preserved. With its high, beamed ceiling, cultured stone walls, tile floors, and deep windows with burgundy blinds, the restaurant manages to be both elegant and rustic. But there is precious little to absorb sound, and it's noisy.
-At the helm in the kitchen is Bill Bradley, who has returned to the East Coast after 10 years in Napa Valley, Calif., where he was most recently director of the Culinary Institute of America's West Coast campus.
We began with an appetizer of fried calamari ($14), possibly the best rendition I have ever had. The juicy, lightly fried rings were tossed with Gaeta olives, hot peppers, and cool arugula. Pine nuts added an earthy texture, and a dollop of lemon aioli was an intriguing twist.
-A salad of baby arugula, balsamic marinated tomatoes, and shaved parmesan ($7) brought summer to the table. It was served at room temperature, which enhanced the flavors of the tomatoes and cheese.
-Sea scallops with onion risotto, caramelized citrus, and sweet pea jus ($21) featured six large, perfectly seared scallops atop creamy risotto, ringed with a pretty green puree. A slice of caramelized tangerine in the center of the plate added a tart zing, highlighting the sweetness of the peas. My husband's sirloin steak ($29), tender and cooked as ordered, came with a choice of sauce and two side dishes. A spray of onion rings was crispy and light. Pancetta and garlic roasted potatoes arrived as a dense, flavorful wedge.
-For dessert we shared a warm pear tart with caramel sauce ($7), topped with a creamy cinnamon gelato. The combination of sweet and spicy, warm and cold, was delicious.
-The restaurant offers a different regional Italian specialty each day of the week: braised beef in red wine from Piedmont, veal osso bucco from Lombardy, braciola from Campagnia, and so on. Bradley said the regional menu gives him an opportunity to explore Italian cuisine and highlight seasonal ingredients; he said he's working on a recipe that came out of a Renaissance cookbook.
-Service was decidedly a cut above what we typically find in the suburbs. Fumbling with my purse as we sat down, I reached to take the menu offered by the maitre d'. "Don't hurry"he said with a smile, and insisted I get settled before he handed it to me. I ordered a glass of wine, and our server brought the bottle to inspect and poured it at the table. When she saw me dabbing at a spill on my blouse a little later, she asked if I'd like some soda water.
-On a lunch visit with a friend, we enjoyed two more salads. A crispy duck leg was a tender accompaniment to a radicchio and endive salad with walnuts and bleu cheese ($13). In a grilled shrimp salad over greens, slices of sweet mango contrasted nicely with a lemony vinaigrette ($11). We intended to share a margherita pizza ($9), one of eight wood-fired specialty pizzas, but it arrived charred on the bottom. Our waiter offered to bring another, but at that point we were satisfied with our salads, so he removed it from the bill.
-If the kitchen has a weakness, it would be one for salt. I tasted it in the salads, and my husband noticed it in his steak.
-The restaurant is only half of this new venture. Upstairs is a large, stylish lounge with a long, gleaming wood bar, three flat-screen televisions, oversized leather chairs in front of a gas fireplace, a piano at one end and pool tables at the other. The menu includes pizza, salads, and a variety of small plates sized down from the restaurant menu.
-At lunch, we told our waiter we had visited before and what we had already tried, and he asked if we were "making our way down the menu." At the moment I can't think of a more appealing culinary mission.
• Finally!! Just what Franklin needed.
From Yahoo User Reviews
Awesome food - different menu - not your cookie cutter restaurant, classy and a bit upscale without being too pricey. Incredible ambience - soothing colors. Nice touches such as mini biscotti served on the side of coffee cup. Classy presentation of items if you ask for something such as a spoon etc. Furnished with high quality - no expense spared. Expert staff. Just have to try it!!!
• Beautiful Place!
From Yahoo User Reviews
This restaurant was incredible! We went to the upstairs area and made ourselves comfortable in the awesome leather couches. The atmosphere is great even on a busy night the service was very attentive and didn'm flustered. The appetizers were delicious while we were unwinding from a day of work and enjoying our drinks by the fireplace on a cold dreary night. Whatever the occasion whether it is a romantic night out or a random Tuesday night out for drinks and pool this place seems like it can accomodate. Whatever the mood you are in Incontro can cater to your needs. We took advantage of the delicious lounge menu with a brick oven pizza and some bruschetta. The portions are great especially for the prices. Something for everyone and everything was so fresh. We continued our night playing pool at one of the maybe 12 or so pool tables that are upstairs. I think this is a hidden gem because it is not easy to find a cool place to hang out that has as many available pool tables. Just an all around great place and I can' anything bad about it. Definitely worth going and you will love it too!!
• It was good for us…
From Yahoo User Reviews
Went there fairly early on Sunday evening and were seated immediately. Though not your typical "family" restaurant, they have a good selection on their children's menu (two kids, aged 9 and 11). We were all very pleased with our dishes, they happily accomodated us on customized orders, and we all managed to find room for delicious desserts. Yes, prices are higher than a Bugaboo or Applebee's, but the food was far superior and the atmosphere very comfortable and enjoyable. Overall, we were pleased and will likely return.
• Great place for Dining and Fun:
From Yahoo User Reviews
This is a great place for Drinks and Appetizers with friends and/or co-workers. The upstairs lounge offers great food and drinks with a cozy atmosphere. Leather couches and fireplaces to sit by. Nice big Bar, Pool tables and friendly service.