Finding a good place to eat and drink before an event at the Garden isn’t an easy task. The pre-event meetup spot must fit within a very specific set of guidelines to start your evening off with a bang. The Garden stops serving alcohol at 9:30pm (fact, I found out the hard way last week) so you need to get it in while you can.
There will be limited time between the end of work and the start of whatever concert or game you’re attending, so food needs to happen relatively fast. That doesn’t mean sacrificing good food and settling for bar food from Greatest Bar or the Harp. Oh noooo. Those places are too crowded before events and filled with out-of-town bros anyway. Let’s not forget about money. You’ll be spending a lot that night already, considering the $8 beers at the Garden, so cheaper is always better for a night like this.
Where does that leave us? Ducali. Located a convenient ONE BLOCK from the Garden.
Ducali is a casual pizza and craft beer joint serving up appetizers, salads, pints starting at $4, beer flights (!!), small and large pizzas with interesting toppings, and wine starting at $6 a glass. The place is loud, fun and filled with the intoxicating and somewhat overwhelming smell of fresh pizza. It’s intense. Once you walk in the door, the smell takes over and there is absolutely NO WAY you’re leaving without pizza in yo’ belly.
There’s probably going to be a wait, but people are in a rush before events, so don’t expect to be hanging around for too long. If the game starts, DON’T WORRY, they have TVs. If you think your concert is starting, remind yourself that bands always go on at least an hour after the advertised starting time.
We shared a large order of the Tre Porcellini pizza, topped with sausage, salami, pancetta, mozzarella and tomato sauce. It was mucho yum. The dough was a medium consistency with a crispy bottom, and there was a healthy amount of cheese, sauce and toppings.
Now for the bad part. We also tried the Carciofi (broiled artichoke served with homemade garlic aioli) appetizer. 1 – these are not broiled, they’re fried (which is fine, it’s just weird they called them broiled), 2 – that is not aioli (the sauce was fine too great actually, but its not aioli — it was chunky. Isn’t aioli creamier?) 3 – FOUR PIECES for $8? What! These tasted great, but that is just stingy. It’s one baby artichoke heart, quartered. So so so so lame.
I will definitely make it back to Ducali, but only for the pizza and beer. DAS IT. I just don’t trust the appetizers after that. Thanks to the Boston Brunchers for turning me onto this spot, it’s my new pre-garden go-to.
289 Causeway St.
Boston, MA 02114