On a recent Saturday night, we decided we wanted a nice meal out. My husband told me he was craving a steak and to take him someplace where he could get a good one. So I popped on the Internet and did my thing and came up with two suggestions in Quincy Center that I let him pick from: Alba and The Jury Room. He ended up picking Alba, because it was the first one we drove by and he found parking almost immediately right on Hancock Street. Alba does offer free valet parking in case the parking gods are not with you when you go.
Alba was previously located pretty much directly across Hancock from their current location. Their new space has 2 floors with a bar and dining area on each floor. The first floor is the main dining area and bar and the decor is modern traditional with dark wood and large globe lamps. On the night we went, we were told the wait for a table on the first floor was 45 minutes to an hour but that if we didn’t mind eating upstairs we could head up there and find a spot at the bar. That is exactly what we did. The decor upstairs is not quite as snazzy as the first floor but it was still nice. We found a couple of stools at the end of the bar and ordered some drinks from the bartender to sip while we perused the menu.
Alba serves up a variety of Italian and Mediterranean options including appetizers, salads, pasta, entrees, and desserts. We decided to split an appetizer and a pasta dish and ended up ordering the bruschetta and the seafood fra diablo. After his craving for steak, my husband decided he wanted pasta instead. Figures.
The Assorted Bruschetta ($11.50) was six pieces of toasted bread topped with 3 different toppings. There were 2 servings each of bruschetta topped with hummus and roasted red peppers, marinated tomatoes and balsamic mushrooms. They were served with a ramekin of assorted olives, and a piece of fried mozzarella on a bed of spring greens. This was the perfect appetizer to split between 2 people since there were 2 pieces of each of the 3 types of bruschetta. Both of us like the hummus with roasted peppers the best.
They split the Seafood Fra Diablo ($22.50) into 2 separate servings for us in the kitchen, so we didn’t have to fight over one big bowl of pasta. The linguine was lightly coated in a mildly spicy tomato sauce and topped with mussels, shrimp, and chunks of lobster. The seafood was perfectly cooked (no super dried out lobster and shrimp here) . It was not the best Fra Diablo sauce I’ve every had, I would’ve like it to have a bit more of a punch to it. Overall, the pasta was a satisfying meal and the half serving was enough to fill me up.
I would definitely go back and try other dishes. The service was good and the downstairs dining room felt like a South End restaurant…bring a bit of a Boston vibe to Quincy Center.
I give Alba 3.5 out of 5 mangoes.