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best italian not italian-american in the Boston area?

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For me my favourites are Limoncello and La Morra which I only recently tried

I realize that alot of italian places have to have stuff like chicken parm or manicotti on the menu which I love but when I dont see it on the menu its like a breath of fresh air because its almost like wasting space on the menu to me

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  1. Phantom didnt give Limoncello a great review, which I was surprised to see.
    I rarely go out for REAL italian food; growing up in a Sicilian house I have grown sick of the real stuff.
    I love places like Tuscan Grill though....................

    4 Replies
    1. re: LovesFoieGras

      most italians would argue that sicilian food is quite different than "italian" food. and most native italians would not recognize the food in these red sauce joints.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        That is true, but we tend to cover everything in red sauce which is what most Americani's know as Italian. I never cared for red sauce (the food or the restaurant for that matter)I prefer my pasta made in a Northern italian style. You see a lot more Sicilian style dishes popping up more and more in "Italian" restaurants.

        1. re: LovesFoieGras

          That's because we're in the middle of the counter-reaction against the reaction (in the 1980s to mid-1990s) against "red sauce". A lot of people got sick and tired of the excesses of "northern" Italian cuisines as it rolled over precursor trends.

          1. re: Karl S

            Try growing up in a house covered in red sauce and not liking it!!!! My family would make fun of me when I was little because I like my pasta "naked"....butter and romano only :-).

    2. Some Italian (hold the -American) places I like include: Zafferano, Trattoria Toscana, Grotto, La Brace, and Via Matta.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I will second Trattoria Toscana. Be aware that this is a tiny place and Friday and Saturday nights are very busy. But weeknights and lunch time (including a Saturday lunch) are a good time to try this out.

      2. I like Sage, Prezza, Via Matta and Grotto.

        1. Mezzo Mare in Hull, Euno and Rabia's in the North End, and Camille's Roman Garden in Providence.

          6 Replies
          1. re: hiddenboston

            anyone ever try Treato? is it worth a trip?

            1. re: Dio di Romanese

              Do you mean Teatro? If so: it's infernally loud.

              1. re: Karl S

                Teatro's fine in a pinch when you need something in the area. Thay are used to moving in and out the theater crowd, their anitpasta is great and their spinach and mascarpone ravioli are fantastic. It is not, however, a destination.

                1. re: gini

                  The food is OK, but I will never subject myself or anyone I care about to the infernal level of sound in that hellhole.

                  1. re: Karl S

                    It's not *that* loud.

                    1. re: Alcachofa

                      The time I went, it was so loud that I could not hear several friends of mine talk well, and they are hardly meek speakers. Most of us had headaches from the noise. It was that bad, and others I know have gone there have had a similar experience. Maybe they've dampened the acoustics since then, but it was singularly memorable for how bad it was.

          2. I've eaten at a couple of well known restaurants on the Italian Coast that Mare sizes up with pretty well.

            1. We had a very good meal at Eclano, on Salem St. It's definitely NOT Italian-American. I don't think they had anything with "gravy" on the menu.

              1. Sorellina in copley Square

                1. My favorite Italian restaurants are Davides, prezza, strega,
                  Losteria,Lamorra in brookline and via matta"s.

                  enjoy these Great Italian restaurants!!
                  Frankie Imbergamo

                  1. I recently enjoyed a nice meal at Trattoria Pulcinella. I'm nothing close to an Italian food expert, but the food was decidedly anti-Italian-American. Lovely, cozy atmosphere to go along with the wonderful food.

                    1. I would also recommend Eclano on Salem St in the North End. Last weekend we had wild boar, duck, hangar beef and tuna during a 4 hour feast there. It was amazing. They also did a great job matching wines with the food. Highly recommend this place.

                      1. La Campania in Waltham was really good... not sure if you'd consider that in the Boston area.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sheitoon

                          I wish I had the money to go to La Campagnia often. It beats anything in the N. end. Good food done really well. Nice comfortable setting, good wine list. However, very expensive. Sigh!!

                        2. Very expensive, but worth it. Hard to get a reservation though.....

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LovesFoieGras

                            La Campagnia huh? What kind of food? Neapolitan?

                            1. re: Dio di Romanese

                              You'd think from the name that La Campania might serve just Campanian cuisine (of which Neapolitan is a subset), but the menu looks broader than that (beef, foie gras, lots of Tuscan-ish grilled meats, Sicilian arancini, etc.), and not as centered on shellfish and squid as you might expect. No scialatielli or pizza, either.

                              The menu seems a lot more creative and fusion-y than the last time I went a couple of years ago, more of a fine-dining experience, and pricier (entrees $26-36). Based on some recent raves here, I've been meaning to get back.

                          2. Via Matta, La Campagnia and Tuscan Grill

                            1. How about Vecchio Roma in Newton (Watertown Street)? Great food, cozy atmosphere. Very Authentic Roman food.

                              1. Limoncello is terrible!!! We went there once for a celebratory dinner and it was awful. We even had a mutual friend with the owner (not with us) and it was astonishingly badddd. I would never ever go back or recommend it to anyone. Big time fraud.

                                1. I'm sorry you had that problem. I've never had a bad meal at Artu or Limoncello. If I may ask, why was it so bad? Overcooked, undercooked, rancid, poor service?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: thegolferbitch

                                    Please note, I am Italian and come from a long line of great cooks. Both father and brother were cooks and were not the best cooks in the family. 1. Mussels w/ linguini had about three or four mussels and the pasta was over cooked. 2. service was terrible, waitress didn't know half the items on the menu. 3.bread was cold and pasty. 4. owner was rude 5. everything was either over cooker or under spiced. It was italian restaurant hell. I would never go back.

                                  2. Antico Forno is excellent!