No matter where you end up, you always long to return to your roots, especially if you're Louis Gossett, Jr., and haven't had a great role since "Chappy Sinclair" in Iron Eagle. Going back to where he came from, the Kenny behind Kenny's Italian Kitchen.
Made homey with red-checker tablecloths, red velvet drapes, and B&W pics of staff and regulars from the owner's other spots (Daddy Jack's, Kenny's Burger Joint/Wood Fired Grill), KIK's a fond return to a childhood spent noshing his way through Boston's Little Italy, where no-nonsense restaurants were owned by mom, pop, and the refreshingly paperwork-free bank pop got the loan from. While the ingredients are sometimes up-leveled, the lineup's comfortingly throwback, starting with apps like mozz-covered "Midnight Meatballs" and steamed clams, then moving up to pastas from spaghetti & sausage, to mushroom ravioli w/ ham & white truffle oil, to Lobster Fra Diavolo; there's also a quartet of chicken classics (Marsala, picatta...) and five veal preparations including the sage/prosciutto/fontina Saltimbocca and a parmigiana served bone-in, something that poor calf never had the joy of experiencing. To make yourself jauntier, there's everything from a chilled tap of vodka at the full bar, to Peroni/Birra Moretti/other beer, to a 26-bottle wine list comprised of affordable West Coast & Boot labels, plus a few (Banfi Cum Laude, Silver Oak Alexander Valley cab...) listed under the heading "High Rent District" -- suspect pricing, since it all ends up in the same location, location, location.
Kenny's also trots out a separate lunch menu, anchored by "grinders" (New England-style hot, crusty hoagies, taken from Ital slang for dockworkers), from grilled fish to the ham/capicola/salami/mortadella "Cold Cut" -- which could also describe Doug Masters' rejection by the Air Force Academy, before he rescued his dad en route to what everyone wants to see: a Chappy ending.