Barbara Lynch’s New Lunch Spot is OMG! Good

1226519822Whenever I hear about an exciting new restaurant, I try to remember that, as a professional food editor, it’s important to maintain a critical distance, to stay skeptical, and keep the consumer in mind.

Which is whyI held off for all of four minutes before completely losing my mind at Sportello, Barbara Lynch’s ohmygodit’ssogoodyouguys new Italian lunch counter in Fort Point’s FP3 building.

Maybe it was the cheery, modern lines of the room, with a big picture window overlooking Congress street and a white counter zigzagging through the room.

Or maybe it was the menu, which is heavy on truffle, porcini, robiola, bolognese, gnocchi, and chestnuts and divided into soups, salads, polenta, pasta, and schiacciata (grilled flatbread)—that’s a food pyramid I could get behind—all under $20.

Maybe it’s because half the food writers and publicists in the city happened to be perched on stools when we walked in, making for a scene of much in-the-know hugging.

In any case, we all walked out feeling a little drunk, even though we’d had just one glass of wine each (the Quattro Mani “Toh-Kai,” all minerals and crisp apple for $10). We had experienced something new and exciting at a time when the restaurant world seems to be heading into a time of buckling down.

Thank goodness Lynch planned and paid for this project long before the credit crunch. This casual, affordable, smart, and just-adventurous-enough eatery is just what the city needs.