-By John Lynds
Building on a successful New Year’s Eve fixed dinner and new head chef, owners of Ecco Restaurant and Lounge onPorter Street in East Boston is hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner on Monday, February 14.
The $60 per person prefixed four course meal offers an appetizer, second course of soup or salad, an entree and desert.
“We had a great crowd for New Year’s so we figured we’d give it another shot for Valentine’s Day,” said Ecco’s Dave Modica. “People have been impressed with the new menu and chef so these dinners are a way to showcase the type of fare Ecco is offering nightly.”
Starters for the dinner include a choice of Main Crab Cakes, Angus Beef Carpaccio, Sea Scallops wrapped in Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Vermont Vegetarian Tarte or Shrimp Cocktail.
For soups and salads, Ecco will have a Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Fresh Ginger, Pear Soup, a mixed green salad or its signature Caesar Salad.
Entrees include a choice of Grilled Veal Porterhouse Chop, Pan Seared Black Pearl Atlantic Salmon, Market Cod, Stuffed Statler Chicken Breast, Grilled Beef Tenderloin or Truffle Risotto.
Deserts include a choice of Chocolate Fudge Cake, Vanilla Bean Creme Brule, or Oreo Bread Pudding.
“The menu is elegant and the chef has done a good job coming up with an exciting array of menu items for the perfect Valentine’s dinner,” said Modica.
Back in November Ecco made some exciting changes to its menu and plans to add live entertainment a few nights a week.
“We’ve wanted to make Ecco a neighborhood place but some our menu items were geared to a certain group so we added some more comfort foods that everyone will enjoy,” said Ecco’s Dave Modica.
Modica and wife Carla Santarpio (of Santarpio’s Pizza fame) have taken a survey of regular customers and first time Ecco patrons and found that people wanted a little more variety and bit more Italian fare.
The result is a delicious mix of Ecco’s more popular standards like Short-rib Shumai, grilled lamb chops and lobster mac and cheese but with added starters like shrimp scampi with bread points, antipasto, rice balls and entrees like chicken/veal marsala, chicken/veal piccata and chicken broccoli and ziti.
“These new menu items are great and the chef did a really good job coming up with some dishes people will like at prices that are very reasonable,” said Modica.
Ecco will also begin live entertainment with special theme nights to compliment the restaurants new menu and attitude.
In September 2008, Ecco opened to rave reviews and the praise for Eastie’s first high end restaurant and lounge that serves up gourmet fare at neighborhood prices has yet to cease. The Boston Globe recently named Ecco one of Boston’s best new restaurants, the Improper Bostonian gave it a glowing review, and Ecco was recently featured on the Phantom Gourmet and T.V. Diner with Billy Costa.
“Every month business seems to be getting better and better,” said Modica. “It’s a great feeling to be able to offer reasonably priced good food here in East Boston.”
Eastie was the only location Modica ever considered for his idea of top notch neighborhood eatery.
“People always say when they come into Ecco that they don’t feel like they’re in East Boston,” said Modica. “I tell them this is East Boston and the restaurant that the people of East Boston always deserved.”