On every level, retirement seems like the awesomest, but once you realize you're waking up at 5 and going to dinner at 4:30 just to be cool, it's time to get your ass back to work. Driving slowly back to a second career, the owner of La Molisana Ristorante
Started by a former clothing industry exec bored with his quiet Medford days, LMR's an airy Italian breakfast/lunch eatery featuring a beige stone tile floor, long wood-paneled ordering counter and seating for 60 w/ another 18 outside amidst the frenzied nerdstorm that is Technology Square. Except the bagels, everything's cooked fresh in-house, from focaccia for paninis, to daily-changing specialty calzones and pastas, to entrees like oven-baked Tilapia covered w/ pickled onions, and mozzarella-smothered potato gnocchi doused in pink tomato sauce, which it has no issue wearing because it's perfectly comfortable in its sauceiality. Other highlights include oven-baked pizzas (fresh sausage, roasted veggies, pepperoni, etc), pomodoro-sauce laden chicken parmigiana over penne w/ fresh mozz, and the spiced-up Sausage Panini, which mixes two sliced-up links w/ marinara, peppers, onions, and gorgonzola, then immediately gets grilled, although that's all probably for naught, since every hero knows snitches end up in dishes
If you prefer to go sweet, LMR's got six gelato flavors straight off the boat from Italy, including pistachio nut, and La Giuliana -- a coffee-esque treat that came out of retirement to offer an entire flavor profile built around talking about 9/11.