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May 24, 2006 12:36 PM

Antonia's on Revere Beach--anyone been?

  • l

I've seen the menu for this basic Italian place, which has lovely selections. I've heard that the room is pretty, with a long bar open to the kitchen and Revere Beach just outside for ambience.

Thinking of visiting tonight. Anyone have input?


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  1. Food is good. Their fish dishes are, in my opinion, some of the best items on the menu. Service, on the other hand, is from hunger and has been every time we've been there (about a half-dozen times). It's worth a try. Perhaps your experience will be different.

    1. We first tried it right after they opened and I think I posted. Food is good and prices reasonable. have had various swordfish dishes which have all been well executed, particularly puttanesca, though the puttanesca sauce is actually a tomato sauce with some caperberries and olives as garnish. Others have also pretty much stuck with fish. Casear salad is passable,but small. Can't recall what else has been tried.

      Have been several times, and while we enjoy the food, the service has ranged from less than mediocre to atrocious. Other friends who have eaten there claim not to have had that problem. Drinks are very hit or miss - last time, 3 of us asked for vodka gimlets made with fresh lime juice. Came in soda glasses with a ton of ice - could barely discern the vodka and we all thoguht they were merely garnished with some fresh lime juice on top of Rose's lime juice. Wanted to send them back, but didn't see the waiter again (even after asking the busboy to get him) for ages.

      Having said all that, I would try them again just because of the lack of choices for decent fish dishes in the local Italian places.

      1. We actually went last night and probably wouldn't go back, considering all the fine choices for Italian food in the East Boston/Revere/Winthrop area (we live in Swampscott). I ordered the house salad, a pile of limp, slightly brown iceberg lettuce insulted with a mealy tomato and mozzarella "garnish." The bread served had been stale for a while. Service was over-the-top: "Of course you can have another pinot grigio, madam, we are here to make you happy." However, when my salad went untouched and I shared my disappointment with it, it remained on the tab at the end of our meal.

        On the other hand, my husband's Caesar salad was fine, the eggplant rolatini app was excellent, veal parmigiana was very nice (good red sauce here), and my linguini with clams (my personal litmus test for a solid Italian joint) was one of the best I've ever had.

        Two glasses of wine each, one app, two salads and two entrees cost $110. The place tries to be fine dining but falls short, so is not a good value. The room, however, is lovely, needing only the art that is clearly visible out the generous windows--Revere Beach and the sea.


        4 Replies
        1. re: lorarose

          I guess the service runs the gamut from virtually non-existent (our experience) to your extreme. Neither makes for a pleasant dinner.

          I am curious as to all the fine choices for Italian food in the area you mentioned. I live in the same area as you and while I have found there to be a plethora of Italian restaurants, they generally range from merely decent to really bad. The only fine choice that comes immediately to mind is Zafferano.

          1. re: JRL

            Yup, Zafferano's is great. Rino's on Saratoga Street in East Boston, D'Parma on Shirley Street in Winthrop, and Cafe Paradiso and Caffe Paolina in Swampscott are all good as well.


            1. re: lorarose

              Been to all and can't get excited about any of them.

              The only one I think is better than good enough is Rino's. D'Parma's is on my list of really bad - the last time I was there (and it shall remain the very last time), I ordered linguine or spaghetti with pesto; what I got was pasta drowned in lousy oil with about a spice jar's worth of dried basil stirred in - utterly inedible.

              1. re: JRL

                Whoa, sorry about the D'Parma experience. I must admit I've been only once after many, many positive testimonials. The only thing I found strange was the lighting; it's cave-like, dark beyond romantic. I needed to activate my cell phone and use it to light my way through the menu. I asked for a candle but was denied one. I'm not elderly at 48, and don't require glasses, but I could not read the menu.

                We found the food--and the price--inviting.


        2. I would never go back there, based on my experience of being towed from in front of the restaurant. They claim they go around warning people before 10 PM that the police start towing, but no one came around to warn us.

          My favorite Italian restaurant in that area is Cafe Italia in Central Square in East Boston (not the one in Orient Heights, which has a slightly different menu). Amazing food -- everything cooked to order -- drinks, and desserts. I have never had a bad meal there.

          1. Unless things have changed the place is run by a couple of guys from Columbia (one young, one older) and there is at least one other silent partner who I think owns the building it is in.

            The two who mainly run it are both extremely friendly, but make some interesting money and mangement choices which kind of ruin the whole experience. A couple of my friends worked there for a while and for weeks in a row many of the staff members' checks would bounce unless you were a "preferred" worker and the owners told you exactly what day you should cash it before the account would be empty the next day.

            This was all just before they remodeled from the original so-not-Revere shiek look to the newer quasi-sports bar look they have now. The staff has a couple strong folks who are consistent, but numerous Columbian and Brazillian illegals come and go as wait/host staff pretty often so I'm not shocked to see a lot of service complaints since they're friends of the owners and don't take the job too seriously. Those particular rotating staff members also seem to get preferential treatment over the locals, thus creating an annoyed staff who are not working up to their ability due to failing attitudes.

            It truly is a shame. It could be a GREAT place with a great location especially if they can survive long enough to see the new condo complexes completed. If the management had more experience and took things more serious I think they'd be a huge success.

            Yes, parking can be tough. If you didn't know it though there is a large parking lot behind the building if you go down the steep driveway on the left-hand side of the building. Just don't block the doors of the building and you can usually always find parking.