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Feb 4, 2007 06:20 PM

Sagra is open

Sagra, the new restaurant incarnation at 400 Highland St, Somerville, opened today. We started with the medley of fritture - some calamari, arancini, olives, croquettes, and mezzalune potatoes. Everything was fried to perfection - wonderfully crisp on the outside and luciously creamy on the inside. Then I had the grilled chicken, pounded thin, grilled perfectly (cooked through but still tender and moist), with intense rosemary. My DC had the Italian version of fish and chips: baccala alla Romana, fried salted cod with those wonderful mezzalune potatoes. For dessert, we shared the Torta al vino (wonderfully moist and flavorful, not too sweet). The prices are affordable (most entrees under $20) with a good selection of wines. Eating at Sagra is like eating at fine neighborhood restaurants in Italy. Much of the cuisine is from Le Marche (near Umbria), but it reminded me of restaurants I've been to in Milan - simple, but superbly executed preparations, with intense fresh flavors. I'm happy to have it my neighborhood.

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  1. Thanks for the post penny, and for venturing to Sagra!

    1. Does anyone know where Sagra's ownership team comes from? Is the same folks behind the two recent failures in this space, 400 Highland and Sauce?

      7 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I heard that it was three Somerville police officers. No connection to the old spots I believe.

        1. re: DoubleMan

          That's good to hear. While I loved the food and drinks before, they obviously lacked something in the management area. I'm looking forward to giving the new place a try.

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          Here's a blurb from S-online naming the chef & I now see there's a lounge.

          1. re: Taralli

            So is it Sabra or Sagra? The article is rather steadfast in its belief of the former...

            1. re: finlero

              It's Sagra. The Journal has it wrong.

            2. re: Taralli

              One of the owners stopped by our table to see how we liked the meal. He said that the chef, Robert DeSimone, is his brither and that they had been trying to convince him to open his own restaurant for a while. DeSimone worked in one of Marisa Iocco's restaurants and she was there last night.

              BTW their website is up (although not complete):

              1. re: penny

                I think I had read that DeSimone used to be at Bricco, and that Marissa is consulting at this new restaurant. Sounds great - looking forward to checking it out.

          2. Do they have a bar where you can eat?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Taralli

              there is a bar indeed, and there was a couple who were dining there last night.

              i was there and had the rigatoni della casa. absolutely perfect!! spicy, tender sausage, and thankfully perfectly executed. pasta is so easy to get right, but so often done wrong. the flavors, texture, and appearance of the dish were worth twice the price.

              also had the fried calamari to start with. that too was perhaps as good as any i have ever had, without exageration. i have not tried it yet, but the pizza i did see looked like those i've only seen in naples.

              i saw one of the owners as well. name george, or josh. nice to go to a restaurant where the owners care enough to show their faces. i will go back, and soon. from what i've heard elsewhere, it's owned by three cambridge cops, and they have no relation to the prior establishments at all. the question i want answered is who exactly is the guy doing the cooking. where is he coming from, what's his background? i want to know more.

            2. Is there a good cocktail list? Or is it more of a wine place?

              1 Reply
              1. re: pamalamb

                I went for drinks with a friend tonight, and I thought I'd answer my own question here in case anyone is interested.

                They do not have a cocktail list yet, but there is a full bar. The bartender said it is something they are working on. We shared the sagra pizza (cheese, garlic, rosemary, proscuitto, maybe onions?) which was excellent. The crust was super thin and very reminiscent of being in Italy. Can't wait to go back to try some more dishes.

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