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Mar 19, 2007 07:55 AM

Bottega Fiorentina, Zesto's Pizza, JP Seafood, JP Licks

It was a casual around-town weekend chow-wise.

Friday night before the movies, we stopped in to Bottega Fiorentina in Brookline Village - a plate of linguini with pesto sauce had brightly fresh basil pesto - a plate of butternut squash tortelloni in butter and sage sauce was very light and featured perfectly cooked pasta with well-flavored squash filling. Both sauces were spiced with a very light hand (I added salt to both per my tastes), but they were not absent of flavor. I love the causal homey atmosphere at this branch, especially effective with the snowflakes falling. Accompanied by a decent slice of Italian bread to soak up the little excess sauce. A great quick light dinner.

Saturday was an evening cooking at home, but we were ravenous and walked down to Oriental de Cuba for a sandwich - it was packed at 4:15 in the afternoon and it looked like it was going to take a looooong time to get food so we ducked into Zesto's pizza on Centre Street for a slice of cheese and a slice of pepperoni. Gross! We were just so hungry that all rational observational powers were dimmed - The crust was that nasty cheap pre-made thing with the hard little dough rim which normally I would have avoided - and the guy did not re-heat the slices in the oven, just straight from under the heat lamp. Again, the little voice inside my head was yelling to ask the guy to throw it into the oven for 30 seconds, but hunger overtook me. It was gross, old, greasy, and ugh.

What's up with cheap pizza joints in Boston!? Somerville has the same type of place - cheap pre-made pizza crusts that just suck bigtime.

(Also, on the same side of the street a little further down, we stopped in to grab a soda from this place with a grill on the back left - it had these awful moldy cloth booths and the place just reeked of moldy basement. I practically ran out. I can't believe the health department hasn't shut this place off. It was disgusting - can't remember the name.)

Anyway, a nice dinner at JP Seafood on Sunday evening - One DC got udon with a side of tempura, which we sampled and were quite pleased with the crispness of the batter. Sashimi platter and spicy tuna roll were nothing special but competently executed. It is a good neighborhood spot. Should have ordered the special St. Patty's Day roll with jalapeno tobiko that a nearby table raved about.

Finished at JP Licks with a scoop of Fresh Banana and a scoop of Cappucchino Crunch that were good complements. The fresh banana was excellent - creamy, reminiscent of banana creme pie.

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  1. I think the gross place you're referring to is the lovely Planet Pizza which even tho it's at the bottom of my street, I haven't bought more than a soda or newspaper there since I moved to JP 14 years ago. I had a decent grilled chicken sub at Zesto's but Ideal is my standby for pizza and subs. Greek pizzas tho.

    1. Try Same Old Place Pizza on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain!

      my blog

      4 Replies
      1. re: TheScribe

        I think SOP is better for slices than whole pies if my experience a couple weeks ago is any indication. That was one sloppy, floppy, messy pizza. The price was cheap at least.

        1. re: Joanie

          I had a slice from Same Old Place yesterday and while it wasn't amazing, it was pretty good. It's not greek style (which i really do not like) so right off the bat it scores points.
          I'll know now not to try Zestos or Planet for a slice....and probably not Ideal either if they are greek style. Anyone else know good places in JP for a slice (that don't serve Greek style?) Now that I've found SOP I'm sort of afraid to venture elsewhere without confirmation from a fellow hound.

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            as far as i can think of, SOP is it in JP for slices. pretty decent slices, if you ask me. for whole pies, i like bella luna and dogwood, but as far as i know, neither does slices.

            i don't know why, but in jp there's a concentrated hot-spot in hyde square--zon's, bella luna, el oriental, food wall, la pupusa guanaca, and then it all goes way scary downhill as you go down centre street until you hit 10 tables. go figure.

            p.s. i've never been into planet pizza, but each time i walk by i'm grossed out anew!

        2. re: TheScribe

          I am going to date myself but when I was a kid the "Special" at Same Old Place was 2 slices and a small pepsi for $1.50. I think the last time I wnet in there (years ago) it was $5!!!

        3. I'll occasionally grab a slice from Zesto's, and while I don't usually find it gross, I think you're better off walking up a bit to Ideal, or better still, as noted, to Same Old Place. However, I think the Zesto's wraps and sandwiches are pretty good, at least as lazy hangover grub...
          Have you tried the Brescia pizzeria in the Jackson Square plaza? Surprisingly good!