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Favorite Italian in the South End

p
pasta Oct 12, 2006 09:15 PM

Looking for a cozy place for Sunday evening, prefer walking distance from Symphony Hall. Thanks in advance for your help.

  1. g
    Gabatta Oct 14, 2006 03:17 AM

    The food is fairly basic, but if the emphasis is on cozy, Anchovies definitely fits the bill.

    1. j
      jenga Oct 13, 2006 10:26 PM

      i've never tried Anchovies, but i love giacomo's. it's one of the few places my husband will actually leave cambridge for. one of us usually gets the frutti di mare with the house sauce, and the other tries something new off the menu. the place itself is cute. i've never been on a sunday, but it can get pretty loud when it's full.

      1. kittychow Oct 13, 2006 05:59 PM

        Sorriso on South St. is great. Nice atmosphere and the kind of menu that I love. Was there recently and had the pasta with jumbo lump crabmeat, corn, and vinegar peppers - AMAZING.
        Their pizzas are always terrific as well.

        1. a
          adams_jo Oct 13, 2006 04:04 PM

          If you're up for a walk in another direction, try Trattoria Toscana in Fenway on Jersey St. Phenomenal pasta, liver crostini, and very cozy.

          1. MC Slim JB Oct 12, 2006 09:18 PM

            I'd suggest Anchovies, which is one of the closer South End Italians to Symphony. The food is Italian-American, nothing special, but it's friendly, cozy, very casual, and very affordable. I much prefer it to its now-sister restaurant Giacomo's.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB
              Jambon_It Oct 14, 2006 03:30 PM

              Hey Slim,

              I was going to finally check out Giacomo's next week.
              If you don't mind, will you fill me in on why you aren't loving it there any more.
              I'm curious because I completely concur on your opinion of Anchovs.
              And I guess I've always just heard that G. was better than A.

              1. re: Jambon_It
                MC Slim JB Oct 15, 2006 09:26 PM

                Well, we haven't done our annual pilgrimage yet (we try to patronize every South End restaurant once a year whether they deserve it or not, trying to be supportive neighbors and always hopeful that bad ones will improve), so I haven't been in a while. But on my last couple of visits, it struck me as very, I don't know, pedestrian, suburban: trying to compensate for lack of inspiration with ridiculously large portions. And yet I know people who trek a long way from out of town to dine there; one friend dreams about its chicken piccata. Maybe I'm ordering the wrong things, but we have a hard time getting excited about it. Maybe we've just become picky about Italian, with so many lowest-common-denominator-oriented places in town. Trattoria Toscana, Grotto, Vinny's at Night, Carlo's, Antico Forno, and other of our budget-friendly favorites aren't that far away. And Anchovies right next door has never disappointed us. We're keeping a watchful eye on Anchovies' quality and prices since Giacomo's bought it: so far, so good.

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