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Feb 18, 2002 01:22 PM

Vecchia Roma - Newton

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I've been meaning to mention this casual little Italian "restaurant" in Newton (Nonantum) on Watertown Street. It's really more of a take-out spot (great sandwiches/pasta dishes/soup during the day), and at night they dim the lights and put up a painted screen to hide the counter, with a more ambitious menu. I've only been once for lunch but really enjoyed it. Delicious home-cooked meals and great prices. The sandwiches looked good - roast pork, veal, calabrese, etc. We stopped for lunch one day and I had tender gnocchi with a puttanesca sauce that reminded me of my friend Nancy's nonna. My SO had a special - tender strips of beef in a tomato/caper sauce over pasta. Enough for leftovers the next day. Small, seats about 20, paper plates and plastic utensils (at least during lunch), but wine by the glass.

I picked up the dinner menu - antipasti ($6.00-8.00) such as stuffed eggplant, mussels, polenta. Pasta dishes ($8.00-10.00) such as fusilli with broccoli rabe and spicy garlic oil, parpadelle with pancetta and wild mushrooms. Meat dishes ($9.50-14.00) such as salmon with red and white grapes,thyme, and white wine, mixed grill, veal piccata, etc. It reminded me of what the old North End used to be like. If it's slow, the owner will come out and chat with you - you feel like you're at his home. Check it out if you're in the area!


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  1. Glad you mentioned it.
    We were there twice last summer. the sandwiches were 'specially good, and the wecome , warm.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I thought I knew all the places in the "Lake" but I guess not. Had lunch there today and the Meat Stew was fantastic. I have made these stewed/braised dishes several times. This one was very good. The tomato base was just the right consistency and all the small dice vegetables were cooked just right. The large pieces of potato and "crunchy" carrot were also great. They said the meat was Veal and Lamb. I got a few pieces of the lamb, they were delicious. The value ratio here is very high. I ordered the small plate of stew and pasta. They gave me an unbelievably large amount of food for $4.50. My 16oz San Pelligrino water was $1.50.