Best Pasta Dish (2007)

Black Squid Ink Taglioline at Il Cioppino

Any human life passes through certain immutable stages, and the transitions are marked by a corresponding change of preference in semolina. A 7-year-old abandons his infantile dependency on Cream of Wheat in favor of Spaghetti-O's. The adolescent develops her personal recipe for macaroni and cheese. The ever-voracious college freshman finds himself irresistibly drawn to rustic plates of lasagna or tortelloni stuffed with sausage. In later years, as our palates refine and our pocketbooks expand, we crave those very exotics we once spurned in youth: dark roast French coffee, English gin, black squid ink taglioline. This is food for grownups who have embraced their shadow selves and don't mind peering, occasionally, into the void: homemade al dente noodles the color of the sea at midnight, dusky clams still in the shell, grilled shrimp tossed in butter and wine — a dish at once mysterious, aphrodisiacal, and powerful. Il Cioppino, a glittering, seafood-centric Italian café recently opened by Gregorio and Rosa Filipo on Ocean Avenue, puts together a plate of it for those of us in the prime of our pasta-loving lives.


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