Il Molo (“The Pier”) Restaurant is having its Grand Opening this week bringing “Serious Seafood” to Boston’s North End / Waterfront at 326 Commercial Street. At the helm are the father-son team of Donato Frattaroli and Donato Frattaroli Jr. In the kitchen, veteran Chef Pino Maffeo is focusing on locally sourced seafood inspired by the Mediterranean and New England Coast.
North End restaurant connoisseurs know Donato Sr., previously at Lucia Ristorante and Donato Jr. from Artu. Renovating the Commercial Street location, formerly Davide Ristorante, has given a completely new look to the space. Davide had initial success at the off-Hanover Street location and then made headlines with its appearance on “Kitchen Nightmares” with chef/critic Gordon Ramsay.
Upon entering, a white marble dining bar and high top tables make up the first room with an adjoining dining room featuring a fireplace. Including a rear function room, the restaurant can seat up to 90 people. At the bar, you might see Luke shown here pouring one of the wine selections. We spotted several other familiar North End faces when we stopped in.
“I’ve worked alongside my dad for years, but this is the first time I’m opening a restaurant with him,” says Donato Frattaroli Jr. “It’s been a great experience to do this together from the ground up, from renovating the space to introducing the whole project to our amazing neighbors. We can’t wait to bring our vision of a true updated neighborhood restaurant to this spot.”
Il Molo aims to fill a void for an updated version of a classic neighborhood seafood restaurant. Chef Pino Maffeo has taken on this project with a simple menu including fresh local oysters; salads and appetizers; homemade pastas with seafood preparations; and entrees. Dishes include Hay Roasted Salmon, and Shrimp a la Plancha with Chilis and Garlic, as well as grilled meats and other options for those less seafood inclined.
The restaurant is located downstairs in a cozy lower level space at the corner of Commercial Street and Murphy Court. Comprised of three distinct areas, including the bar section at the entrance; the main dining room off to the side; and a back private room which can be partitioned off to create a secluded space for private parties, the comfortable space is finished with white granite bar tops and marble tables, shimmering tiles in shades of the sea, and complementing plush booths.
Il Molo can be found online at ilmoloboston.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is located at 326 Commercial Street in Boston’s North End. Donato Frattaroli Jr. said they are likely to tweak the menu over time. Here is the opening version shown below.