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By Olivia Kiers / April 25, 12:00 AM
Boston Accent: Kitchen King

North End-based restaurant magnate and Massachusetts Restaurant Association Restaurateur of the Year Frank DePasquale expounds on his love for Boston’s “Little Italy”


“The North End is a special Place. It always has been.” So begins Frank DePasquale, owner of several North End restaurants, specialty food shops and rental suites, and one of the neighborhood’s strongest proponents. DePasquale has operated hospitality ventures all along the East Coast, though he’s now “totally concentrating in the North End, in that great Italian community.”  

DePasquale came to the United States from Italy when he was 4 years old. His business acumen is matched by his love for America’s “Little Italys,” of which Boston’s North End is, in his estimation, the best. His first North End restaurant, Trattoria il Panino, was also Boston’s first trattoria. His boutique restaurant, Bricco, “embodies all the tastes, all over Italy” with its “ethos of brick-oven cooking, where everything goes into the brick oven for that extra char, that extra taste.” For those who prefer seafood, DePasquale offers Mare Oyster Bar, and for pizza-lovers, Quattro, which “emulates the great pizzas of Naples.” You can also travel home with a true taste of Italy from DePasquale’s Bricco Salumeria and Pasta Shop, or revel in the aroma of fresh-baked bread at Bricco Panetteria. “I think we are on the right mission,” says DePasquale. “Our food is beyond spectacular—not just at my restaurants, but everywhere in the North End.”

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association agrees. It honored DePasquale with this year’s Restaurateur of the Year Award. “You work hard all your life to reach a certain goal,” says DePasquale, “so it’s quite a joy getting nominated and chosen. It all comes from hard work, choosing a great team to manage your ideas and having a family that’s supportive of everything that you do.”

While DePasquale has already given so much to his beloved North End, he is not slowing down. His dream is for Boston’s North End to inspire Little Italys all across the United States. “People come to the North End to enjoy all the beautiful things—not just the food. There’s TD Garden with its great events, the Freedom Trail, all the feast days and the three Catholic churches that are, honestly, the foundation of the North End and its weddings, ceremonies and traditions. I love it, and I’m just trying to bring as much of Italy to the North End as I possibly can.”

DePasquale Ventures

241 Hanover St., 617-248-6800, depasqualeventures.com

241 Hanover Street, Boston, MA
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