Boston: 2 Favorite Cambridge Haunts for Italian & Spanish Dishes: Dali & Porcinis


On a recent trip to Boston, while I didn’t have a lot of time, I meandered past two of my favorite old haunts from when I lived there, both in Cambridge: Porcinis on School Street and Dali on Washington Street (officially Somerville though I think of it in Cambridge). Have any idea how thrilled I was to learn that they were both still around?

Dali is dreamy, romantic and has an old medieval kind of feel to it, with low ceilings, dim lights, lots of candles and sexy waiters with Italian and Spanish accents who beg you to ask for more about everything – the wine, the chocolate, the sauces, all of it. Bring it on!

Dali is traditional tapas style.  Imagine a table loaded down with the likes of these: baked goat cheese with tomato and basil, mushroom-filled artichokes, eggplant ganu with carrot-sherry sauce, fried Spanish cheese with honey and sweet onion, garlic shrimp, broiled scallops in saffron cream, stuffed squid,  Grilled Spanish Sausage w/Onions & Sherry and more. They range from about $5.5 to about $9.5 with the most expensive tapas being the Grilled lamb chops with a peach sauce at $12.5.   

As for how it all started? Think the outskirts of Sevilla in a tiny cafe bordering Utrera where farmers and lovers gather for a glass of something stronger than the sun. Have the setting?

Antonio Machado was writing a letter to his beloved Carmelilla Montoya, “Should my arms ever become too weary to embrace you and keep you warm – it would be because I had no arms.”

He sighed deeply and passionately gulped the last of the dry sherry that the bartender had put in front of him. Unfortunately, a very large bee had landed in the sherry, got stuck in Antonio’s throat, stung him severely and Antonio died an agonizing death, clutching the unfinished love letter while screaming, “Why didn’t someone put a lid on it!”. After that, all the bartenders in Andalucia covered sherry and wine glasses with bread and bits of food to honor Antonio.

You don’t have to be in love to go to Dali, but you’ll more likely fall in love with the place if you’re a foodie, love wine and great ambiance and want a long fabulous evening with lots of food and wine or sangria or spirits. You get the idea.












Porcinis is a little more low key but the food is also fabulous. Slightly simpler but equally rich if you want it, you can go for the Bruschetta, or a sauteed grilled chicken, Vidalia onions, basil & Roma tomatoes topped with melted goat cheese over grilled focaccia, or mussels simmered with tomatoes, scallion, basil & garlic in a a Pommery mustard & rosemary cream. Yum!

They also have a wild strudel, which touts wild mushrooms sauteed with fresh herbs mixed with cream cheese & smoked mozzarella cheese wrapped in phyllo dough. More traditional, you can order the sautéed calamari with kalamata olives, fresh basil, spicy Pomodoro sauce & grilled foccacia or the pan-seared Sea Scallops with a balsamic glaze over sautéed spinach with a roasted red pepper & olive sauce.


Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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