If you love Italian food like we do, frequent trips to Boston and the North End are a common occurrence. There are so many options to choose from but there are times when we would like to find something a little closer to home. We have some good news for you, now the North End is a lot closer in Chelmsford at Aprile's European Cafe. Owner Eddie Aprile decided to move his restaurant from the North End to Chelmsford and we get to enjoy the benefits of great Italian food just over the border.
Aprile's is located in one of the old mill buildings and it was not so easy to find. We arrived at the front of the the facility and drove down under the building (an arched entryway) to a parking area on the other side. No restaurant to be found. Where is this place? I thought. We drove back out to the front and started all over again following the same path and still nothing. Getting out of the car after we parked and turning around I stared at the back of the building trying to decifier the puzzle. Then, finally, I turned to the right and there was the sign in the distance. The restaurant is actually on the left side just after you drive through the arched entryway.
Walking towards our table I looked around to get a handle on the decor. The restaurant is large with high ceilings, a bar and many tables. The size of the space is a bit overwhelming as you enter the room. With more dining area that means less waiting for their customers so it is always a balance.
With full length windows, you are guaranteed a beautiful view of the exterior with trees and a small river along with railroad tracks. If you are a fan of the railroad like I am, you may see the cars go by, or in our case, the train was sitting there not moving for all too see. It reminds me of my youth when my father was an engineer and he talked a lot about the subject of railroads.
It will be of no surprise that they have all of your Italians favorites, from chicken and seafood to veal and beef dishes along with pizza. The portions are large so you will not leave hungry.
Our appetizer selection was the Bruschetta.
I think the picture tells you what you need to know.
Next, minestrone soup.
This is one of the best I have had in awhile. Most of the time these are watered down but this had a strong thick broth and of course tons of vegetables.
My entree selection was going to be the Italian coffee rubbed pork tenderloin. I ordered this with my mouth salivating for what was to come. Not only because I love pork but because I hadn't eaten any in a long time. Shortly after my request our waitress came back with the bad news, they were out. What? No! I quickly gathered myself and chose the chicken saltimbocca but the damage had been done. To all chefs, owners, kitchen staff, etc. please let your wait staff know when you do not have an item on your menu. Servers should be able to alert customers ahead of time.
Served with papperdelle pasta I did enjoy this entree. The sauce could have been a little thicker.
My wife had the seafood carbonara above which she liked very much and again as leftovers because there was such a large serving. She doesn’t like pancetta so they graciously accommodated her request.
And finally for desert the tiramisu.
This was less sweet than what we are used to and I think better because of it.
So there you have it, A positive review from us for a pleasant dining experience at Aprile's European Restaurant. You can find North End type food without driving all the way to Boston.