Carlo's Restaurant Excellent Italian in Allston
Had to recommend this place:
Hadn't been in a couple of years, but have been 3X in the last 2 months.
They have really excellent homey Italian food. Better then 95% of the places in the North End.
It is near the corner of Harvard and Brighton ave in Allston.
Right across from the Sunset Grill.
Last time I was there I had lobster ravioli sauteed in a creamy lemon caper butter sauce with chunks of salmon and peas. It was flawlessly executed, the ravioli were indeed full of nice lobster!
I also had a veal dish there a month ago that brought tears to my eyes. On that occasion I brought three of my buddies who are not hounds. It was very difficult dragging them away from the Sunset (I mean literally "you guys have to try the food here, the beer and wings can wait for dessert.")
To end the story my three lunkhead buddies loved the food and said that from now on we could always go to Carlos for dinner and have beers at the Sunset after.
Did I mention that the food is really affordable! On Friday and Saturday there can be a 20 minute wait.
Carlo's Cucina Italiana
131 Brighton Avenue, Allston MA
617 254 9759
Anybody else been to Carlo's. If you check it out, please post and let me know what you think.
I heartily agree with striperguy. Carlos is everything that a neighborhood Italian place should be and if only all neighborhoods were so blessed. The food is simply made with good fresh ingredients. It is exemplary of trattorias in Italy. There is such a tendency here to mask inferior food with so much salt and garlic that flavors are indistinct. Vinny Testas has patented this process though I fear that even higher end Italian restaurants infringe on this patent. Not so with Carlos. We have enjoyed their portobello appetizer, pastas and simple green salad. Pastas are either appropriately hearty or elegant but never both simultaneously.
This stretch of Brighton Ave is really a Chowhound's friend with Rangoli (though it appears empty these days) and Pho Pasteur just doors away. I confess to the occasional guilty pleasure of a single beef rib from Rednecks across the street (really more guilt than pleasure though). I haven't tried Olive Oyl's on the same block but it seems like a place that tries too hard to appear cool in a twenty-something kind of way. I am hopeful for the Super 88 food court down the street as such courts do well in my hometown Toronto and I await reports from you all on it.
Last Friday, I went to Carlo's for the first time, and was quite pleased. For appetizer, I had the eggplant stuffed with ricotta. The marinara sauce the accompanied it tasted quite fresh, and the eggplant was really good.
Then I had the veal with prosciutto & fontina, topped with a sage cream sauce. The veal was tender, and the amount of sage was just right. Even the side of penne was good - lots of garlic in the tomato sauce.
A wonderful meal - and so reasonably priced! I look forward to going back.