The bruschetta is generous enough to constitute an entree, crispy bread layered with silky burrata, tomatoes, and prosciutto. Even lighter are grilled fish tacos, which come in four little flour tortillas, the warm tuna fillets not exactly spicy as advertised but still packing a punch from pickled onions, avocado, and lime.
Pizzas are supposedly a hit, but not with our table. We get one with meatballs and then squint to spot a few crumbles of meat scattered on every other slice. An arugula salad is refreshingly simple, worth noting since you can rarely get a salad in Southie that’s not drenched in dressing.
A chunky cut of tuna crusted with peppercorn — most of them whole — tastes purely of pepper, enough to make you reach for a glass of water before you start coughing.
Desserts, too, are still coming into their own. Along with the usual suspects (a brownie sundae, seasonal cheesecake), a Nutella flatbread piques our interest. Then we realize it’s essentially baked pizza dough with a thin smear of the chocolate-hazelnut spread.
Finally, on a third and final visit, Lincoln’s charms set in. Alone at the bar with the Lincoln burger — wood-grilled, smothered with caramelized onions and bacon aioli — I surveyed the scene with the Continental (St. Germaine, Aperol, Prosecco — up). Other bar patrons lean in to chat, and even the bartender seems indifferent to the hustle and bustle around her. Just as I put on my coat, she poses a question that makes me think this place knows its value is as much about the food as serving its community.
“What was your name again?”
Devra First is on leave. Beginning today, restaurants in Dining Out will be reviewed by a rotating team of Globe staffers.
James Reed can be reached at email@example.com.