It’s rare for a restaurant to score equally well for a first date or dinner with the kids, but owners Jerry Corso and Gina Tolentino Corso make everyone feel welcome—and just a little bit cool. At this Beacon Hill gem, the Prosecco cocktails and Morettis flow in good cheer, and the atmosphere is almost always boisterous, but not deafening. There is the vexing problem, however, with the side dishes: They are too delicious. On each visit, a diner must decide among a list of seasonal options, say, braised Romano beans dripping with rich tomato sauce, knockout sausages (pictured) or strapping salads embraced by good olive oil and garlic (sides range from $4 to $10). But if you give in to the fried risotto balls and all these other small plates, then you might not have room left for the transcendental pizza to come. And to skip the brazenly blistered pizza here would be a crime, whether it is topped as a classic margherita or with a new-school riff like Taleggio cheese and nettle pesto ($9–$14). The only solution, clearly, is to come hungry and often.
Dinner Tue.–Sat. Beacon Hill, 3057 Beacon Ave.; 206.395.2069; bardelcorso.com