If youíre out on Columbus Avenue, the neon sign doesnít try to invite you inside. And once you step indoors, there isnít a hostess waiting to greet you. You have to shuffle your way behind the line of filled barstools to find the waiting list ó but donít worry if it seems long, because a trip to Anchovies is as much about the wait as it is about the cheap Italian meal. The dim lighting makes it easy to take it all in: the neighborhood clientele, the glowing red lampshades behind the bar, old photos of Fenway Park, a stuffed sailfish, a suspended rocking horse wearing a sombrero. The funky décor ó attic chic, perhaps? ó and award-winning martinis make this restaurant a trendy destination, but its unconcerned attitude keeps it a neighborhood find.
Anchovies is worth a visit even if you donít want to eat. But if you are hungry, get ready to loosen your belt. Appetizers include a hunk of fried mozzarella ($4.95) and two sausages or meatballs ($3.95) ó meals unto themselves. Pizza comes one-size-fits-all (or at least two), with plenty of cheese ($5.95, plus $1 per topping). You can get your choice of pasta with sauce (ranging from $6.95 for garlic and olive oil to $10.95 for white clam sauce). And to round out this most basic of Italian menus, Anchovies also serves eggplant parmigiana and lasagna (both $9.95).
Anchovies, located at 433 Columbus Avenue, in Boston, is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call (617) 266-5088.