If you’ve been paying close attention, you know that life is kicking me around a bit these days. I’m very aware and grateful of the great things I have, and I do always take steps to stay positive when I can, but sometimes you just have these stretches where people are poopin’ in your cornflakes (I say this often. I’ve no idea where I picked it up. Not sure I want to know.) and you just have to weather the storm. This, too, shall pass.
After a particularly nasty customer service incident with the student loan folks – I know can you EVEN believe it – I was feeling pretty raw. Imagine how lovely it was to head into Rocca and be greeted by very nice people who offered to take my coat, said “Thank you” multiple times, and smiled. I was there for an event to support Mike Ross but between the over-the-top friendly staff and tasty bites that were being passed around, I’m definitely planning to return for dinner.
We hadn’t planned on staying out for dinner, but walking through the South End NJS and I realized we were hungry and set out to find something hearty but not over-filling, with good flavor but not too many flavors, with a comfort food lean but not trendy comfort food. Somewhere in between pub food and fancy food, with a low pricetag. I’m not quite sure how we ended up in front of Joe V’s, but seeing it, everything suddenly became clear. I work a few blocks away and every time I go by it I think, “I should have dinner here one night” but then 5pm hits and I think only of getting to the bus on time. I’m so glad I finally got this chance.
When we sat down I told NJS that it looked like a place in our house where we’d have friends over to hang out if we lived in our dream house – red walls, white lights, a TV in the corner, and a few seats saved for awesome people. Cozy, friendly. And you can’t really go wrong with a tastefully executed sock monkey theme.
We started with mussels in white wine and garlic with tomatoes. It was served with a crusty, delightfully salty bread. I say delightfully salty because when I bit into it I said delightedly, “OOOH salty!” and reached for more.
Then we had the Yoga pizza which had mushrooms and proscuitto, and was covered in arugula with a drizzle of white truffle oil. The crust was thin and crispy – not soggy anywhere. It really stood up under the toppings but wasn’t rock hard. Definitely the best thin crust pizza I’ve tried in Boston.
It was just what we were looking for – good food without pretention or a hefty price tag, and a friendly place in which to eat it. Add a half carafe of wine and you have yourself an experience that can make the jerks of the world melt away. At least until tomorrow.