Aqua Pazza participated in the Taste of the North End on Friday, April 28.

Aqua Pazza, a new restaurant venture co-owned by industry veteran Mike Paquette and restaurateur Frank DePasquale, is slated to open Thursday, May 4th in Boston’s North End. The name, Aqua Pazza, comes from an Italian term, “crazy water,” which is used to describe a traditional seafood preparation. This new restaurant, located at the former Sfizi site at 135 Richmond Street, will bring a taste of the Italian coastline to Boston with a seafood-forward menu with hints of Asian and Italian influences.

Co-owner Paquette has managed several of the city’s prestigious restaurants including il Casale and Restaurant Dante, where he rose through the ranks to become a sommelier and a manager. His partner is also his father-in-law, Frank DePasquale, who is the owner of many North End restaurants including Trattoria il Panino, Bricco, Quattro, and Mare. Both Paquette and DePasquale hope Aqua Pazza will serve as an approachable neighborhood eatery that offers guests an authentic menu of both full-sized entrees and small plates for a shareable dining experience.

Aqua Pazza Executive Chef Matthew Jackson, formerly of Il Casale and Dante, aims to provide guests with flavorful dishes that are light, yet comforting. Ranging in size and made for easy sharing, the menu will be divided into five sections: Sfizi, or “tastes” in Italian, Antipasto/Insalata, Raw Bar, Primi, and Secondi. The restaurant will have a strong focus on crudo, raw bar, and ceviche with hints of Italian cuisine, like housemade pastas and panzanella salads. In addition to the regular menu, Aqua Pazza will also offer a rotating variety of oysters and six daily specials.

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Menu highlights will include:

– Zucchinata: goat cheese-stuffed, tempura-fried zucchini blossoms served atop zucchini puree with house-made zucchini chips
– Scallop Ceviche: thinly sliced diver scallop, blood orange, sweet potato, and leche de tigre
– Lobster Aqua Pazza: Maine lobster, lobster chitarra, charred vegetables, and “crazy water” broth poured tableside
– Razor Clam Carbonara: bucatini, razor clams, guanciale, and creamy egg
– Delmonico Ribeye: wild mushroom-stuffed Delmonico, potato & cardone gratine, and vincotto
– Daily Whole Fish: served grilled & stuffed or salt-baked

Aqua Pazza whole pig bolognaise
Aqua Pazza fluke crudo

To complement the menu, Aqua Pazza’s beverage program features domestic and Italian wines, a wide variety of local and Italian craft beers, spirits, and cordials. A specialty bottle of wine will also be uncorked each week and available for purchase.

Aqua Pazza will be open for dinner seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m at 135 Richmond Street in Boston’s North End.

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