Anyone been to La Spina in Davis Sq.?
After a decent review in the Herald my wife and I decided to give it a try. The place was nearly empty on a beautiful friday night which was not a good sign. We were in no rush but the server was a little too attentive since he had no other tables. Our bread arrived after our appetizer was nearly finished. The antipasto was good but after that it was all downhill. I got the special Tilapia that came with potatoes and zucchini, fish was ok but the dish arrived without the zucchini. When I asked about my zucchini the server walked back to the kitchen and came back and told me that they ran out, but never offered to replace it with another vegetable or a discount. $9 mini glass of wine and $7 drinks. Overpriced and poor service. That site may be cursed. I would be suprised to see it last.
Made to this place last Friday night. Pretty disappointing even with very low expectations. It was somewhat busy...8-10 parties seated. No waiting line. 2 college age male servers and the owner/cook on hand. The servers had no clue what they were doing...they made servers at some other local restaurants look like No. 9 staff. There were several noticeable mistake stories that I can describe but I don't pile. We just wanted to eat and had a lot of time to spare. The food was better than we thought and the portions were large. We stuck with the more traditional plates. The sticker shock involved the wine prices...not cheap. I hope this place improves enough to make in Davis Sq. over the long term but I don't think it will due to the competition.
As a rule, I'm wary of any restaurant with the word "authentic" right on the sign; all too often, it's indicative of either marketing cynicism or a prima donna in the kitchen. From the above posts on this "authentic Neapolitan" restaurant, as well as my own recent visit there, this would appear to be a case of the latter. Having said that, I still had a positive overall experience.
We sat at a table in the bar area, and as is often the case, the bartender was a pretty competent server, so no complaints there. We were barraged with a recitation of at least a half dozen specials, and were also informed multiple times that the "chef is from Napoli" and anything we ordered was going to be authentic and delicious.
I was only able to try a few different salads and their chicken marsala, but they were certainly up-to-scratch. Good quality ingredients, very well prepared (including perfect al dente penne, an underrated virtue), and ironically homey and unpretentious considering the preceding fanfare.
Adequate selection of Italian and American wines in the $15 - $30 range, as well as a not-particularly-well-priced reserve list in the $60 - $115 range.
Throw a rock in Boston and you'll hit a solid neighborhood Italian place; while La Spina isn't the best in town (even if that town is Somerville), it would be a truly noteworthy destination is most areas outside the Northeast. In Davis Square, I'm not to optimistic on its chances.
We went a couple of weeks ago and I was meaning to post a review but never got around to it.
The short of it is that the food is ok but nothing special, prices decent, and service very very poor.
I think, but I'm not sure, that our server had never waited tables before. The other server seemed decent from afar (we learned about the specials by overhearing him). Ours was sweet and chatty but clearly had no clue. My order of pasta with Marinara came out with Bolognese instead. I wasn't sure if I'd mis-ordered so I felt a little sheepish sending it back, but in fact I hadn't. Server's explanation: "Oh, sorry, we're out of [what's on the menu], this is a special (which I didn't tell you about)". Ended up with eggplant Parm which, as I said, was fine but came out long after my DC's. Also, the server made a big deal about apologizing for our chipped plates. Seriously, if you're worried about chipped plates, don't apologize, just replate the food! Those were the biggies, but there were lots of other little problems too.
On a Thursday night, the place was a ghost town. If you haven't been in there, it's way bigger than it looks; maybe 25-30 tables and a big bar. There were a total of 9 diners at four tables while we were there, and no one came in to replace those who left. The owners of the Rosebud are apparently co-owners here and since they're the landlords, La Spina may stick around for a while, but at the current rate, I don't imagine it will be too long.
we went the other night for the first time after being told that there would be an hour and a half wait at Sagra (which was essentially empty and the hostess was holding all of the tables for reservations...terrible idea, but that's for another post). La Spina was good. a little sad and empty, but I like to try new places that are trying to get off the ground. server was really friendly, attentive, laid back, gave good recommendations. i had the chicken and eggplant parm combo and my boyfriend had the seafood medley. i'd say it was nothing out of this world, but definitely decent. i'd go there over the north end just for convenience (unless, of course, i was craving Giacomo's). i think it was reasonably priced, and the atmosphere is pleasant. i'd go there over Sagra any day.
I'll never go back to La Spina. The food was mediocre at best. I ordered a Del Monico steak that was full of gristle and overcooked (I wanted medium rare). When I sent in back as inedible, the waitress (who I felt sorry for) came back with the same steak and a message that the chef said it was medium rare and that the steak was fine. I told her I still didn't want it - it was inedible. Then they charged me for it anyway, saying I'd ordered it and it was cooked correctly. So much for service. Not only will I never go back, neither will my two companions. The above might explain why during peak dinner tijme on a Saturday night there were only three tables of patrons. Empty restaurants are usually empty for a reason.
I have eaten here about half a dozen times and have nothing but good things to say about this restaurant. They offer a vibrant selection of Neopolitan fare that rivals any North End haunt and a wonderful reserve wine list. The best part is that you don't break budget after a nice meal there. I highly recommend the antipasti and bistecca pizziola.
and as a side mention, there is no affiliation with the Rosebud.
I stopped in when they first opened to see the menu and chat. The woman who was at the front said that they were very excited to open, and that she loves that the chef uses "very little salt" in the food. She said, "it tastes like it has no salt!"
I haven't tried it yet (and will at some point,) but that didn't bode too well for me.