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Jul 6, 2006 12:54 PM

Suggestions for dinner in Somerville/Arlington/Cambridge/etc.

I am looking for a restaurant for dinner this Sunday. I was hoping to go to Vinny's at Night, but they are closed on Sundays. I am somewhat familiar with the restaurants in this area, but I eat more Thai, Indian, and small cheap places. I'm looking for something a little nicer and probably only Italian or standard American food.

We'll have a car, so I am wondering if we might find something in Arlington, Belmont, etc? I'm not really familiar with places that aren't T accessible. I remember hearing about a good pizza place in Belmont. Would that be a good place? Otherwise I was thinking about possibly Lil Vinny's, Marino's, or maybe Christopher's if I can't think of anything else (though I've found their food to be very hit-or-miss).

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. I know it's less fun coming up with ideas for picky eaters. :)

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  1. For good pizza in East Arlington, go to Za. It's right on Mass Ave and the pizzas and salads are great. The designer pizzas are quite nice, and you can take the standard tomato sauce and cheese and pick your own toppings from among a jazzed up assortment (including the likes of bread and butter jalepenos, chorizo, homemade sausage, roasted garlic, and pickled peppers) which works great when picky eaters are in tow.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jennywoj

      I heartily agree to try Za. I love the gourmet pizzas. Or the margherita pizza is recommended (with extra sauce). When I go I usually have their creme brulee, which is fabulous.
      Za's website:

      If you are interested in a restaurant in Cambridge by Concord Ave, I would recommend Aspasia ( -- it is a cute cozy place with good food. They have a prix fixe menu, 3 courses for $28 (check to see if they are serving the prix fixe menu when you make your reservation).

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Marino's isn't bad, but it wouldn't be my top choice. A few good Italian places in the area include Lil Vinny's in Magoun Square, Somerville (owned by same family as Vinny's at Night), Il Faro in Medford Square (Northern and Southern Italian in a nice environment), and Lucia in Winchester (good pastas).

        For American, I really like Christopher's, though not everyone agrees with me on that. Cambridge Common between Porter and Harvard has good food, but it is more of a pub. Frank's Steak House in North Cambridge is a decent, old-school place for red meat.

        For pizza, ZA is pretty good, but there are better options. Emma's in Kendall Square is excellent if you like pizza that leans toward gourmet. And Boccelli's in South Medford has very good pizza (and you can feel like you're in Brooklyn or Little Italy if you sit downstairs, which is about as old-school as it gets).

        1. What about Bistro 5 in Medford? I've dined there once, but thought it was pretty great overall. Not far outside of the area, really just a few minutes drive from Powderhouse Square IIRC.

          There's those great thin crust pizzas at Cambridge 1 on Church St. in Harvard Square, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MB fka MB

            Bistro5 is currenly open Tuesday-Saturday only (and I think they might be on vacation this week, as it looked closed Saturday at 9pm when we were thinking of dropping in). Trattoria Pulcinella is one of my favorates, but the prices are definately a bit higher than Vinny's... probably along the same lines as La Campania which is a bit more of a hike, but worth it if it were open Sundays.

          2. I don't know if it counts as "standard American food," but I am a huge fan of the East Coast Grill in Inman Square, Cambridge.


            3 Replies
            1. re: mhoffman

              Heh, yeah, I'm not totally sure what I meant by that. :) But I had been keeping ECG in the back of my head, since it's somewhere I've been wanting to try.

              1. re: mhoffman

                I disagree with East Coast grill in Cambridge........ Have been several times and was always disappointed. I think the food is OK - but not worth what they charge for it. Somerville: Dali is EXCELLENT, pricy - but worth it. I agree with EVOO, really good as well. I've also heard good things about Emma's Pizza - am anxious to go myself...

                1. re: momscookin

                  One of the secrets at ECG is to order several appetizers rather than a main course. The former tend to be spectacular while the latter are usually excellent and sometimes just ok. The salads are fabulous too.