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Looking for Casual North End Italian That I Haven't Tried Yet

hiddenboston Apr 6, 2007 12:03 PM

I've been to:

Al Dente
Antico Forno
Piccolo Venezia
Il Panino
Cantina Italiana
Mother Anna's
La Summa

Have I run out of casual, reasonably priced Italian restaurants in the North End, or are there any I still haven't hit yet? If there are still a few, are they any good? Thanks!

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    Pegmeister RE: hiddenboston Apr 6, 2007 12:23 PM

    I don't see LaGalleria 33 on that list. Give them a try, the owners try so hard and are very welcoming, the food is good, and the tables are nicley spaced. I believe they have a website now. Prices range from $15 to around $36.

    1. MC Slim JB RE: hiddenboston Apr 6, 2007 12:24 PM

      You've hit most of the places I might suggest (I've been to Massimino, Pagliuca, Mother Anna, and Rabia recently for lunch, with Massimino the clear favorite -- the eggplant, garlic and oil antipasto was stunning).

      Not extraordinary but decent, and new to me, was Emedio's, at the far end of Hanover St. Mangia Mangia is just a counter-service lunch spot, but quite worthwhile for its soups and Parmigiana subs (veal, chicken, eggplant).

      One entry on my list of places that my native North End buddy recommends for casual Italian-American is Ricardo's on North Street. I haven't been yet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MC Slim JB
        Maribel98 RE: MC Slim JB Apr 6, 2007 12:36 PM

        Carmen and Jeff of carmen's just opened a casual eatery (in the former space of Dimio's on North Street) called Hot Tomatoes. They offer a wide variety of pizzas, calzones, sandwiches and pastas. They also have beer & wine!

      2. Bob Dobalina RE: hiddenboston Apr 6, 2007 01:28 PM

        Artu is not on your list.

        1. g
          Grita RE: hiddenboston Apr 6, 2007 01:36 PM

          Euno (not that casual)
          Daily Catch

          1. n
            North Ender RE: hiddenboston Apr 6, 2007 03:13 PM

            Lo Conte's on Salem Street; try the chicken, broccoli and ziti.

            Maribel98, Hot Tomatoes is so expensive (especially considering that the space is so small that business will have to be mostly takeout) that it'll be verrry interesting to see whether they can make a go of it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: North Ender
              Northender RE: North Ender Apr 9, 2007 07:22 AM

              Must be our similar posting names but I agree with you about Hot Tomatoes. I live nearby and stopped by to try it out but when I saw their prices I smiled and left. With Artu and Volle Nolle and other s in the neighborhood, i don't see the point.

            2. Dr.Jimbob RE: hiddenboston Apr 6, 2007 05:19 PM

              I'm a big fan of Pomodoro on Hanover Street (esp anything that has their wonderful fried risotto cakes as a side!) and Daily Catch next door (only to be tried if your idea of calamari is perfectly fried and killed off by being smothered in garlic). I used to be a really big fan of Artu on Charles Street, but they've changed owners and chefs quite a few times and I don't think either place is at the level they had reached a decade ago.

              Now to turn the tables, hiddenboston -- are any of those casual places you listed places that you'd keep going back to over and over again?

              1. limster RE: hiddenboston Apr 7, 2007 09:35 PM

                Has anyone been to Il Piccolo Nido lately? Was good a few years ago, haven't been since.

                I second the Daily Catch, it's a great place.

                What about sandwiches at Tutto Italiano on Fleet street? I remmeber liking them a lot, but haven't been in a while.

                1 Reply
                1. re: limster
                  bachslunch RE: limster Apr 8, 2007 12:40 PM

                  Went to Piccolo Nido last year. Food was OK if nothing special.

                  What irritated me about them most is that their opening times are very erratic; if you call them, they say they open for dinner at 4 PM, but they never have as far as I know. 5:30-ish to 6-ish seems to be the norm, depending on their whim. Dom's was the same way if not quite as bad.

                2. b
                  bachslunch RE: hiddenboston Apr 8, 2007 12:37 PM

                  No one has mentioned Maurizio's or Saraceno's, so I will. I very much liked both for lunch when I went for pasta. Also not on your list are 5 North Square, Limoncello, and Villa Francesca, which were varying degrees of OK, but secondary choices -- probably about the level of L'Osteria.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bachslunch
                    hotoynoodle RE: bachslunch Apr 8, 2007 01:09 PM

                    i've been twice to limoncello and really thought it was awful.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      catspercapita RE: hotoynoodle Apr 8, 2007 01:34 PM

                      I agree. Limoncello is terrible.

                      1. re: catspercapita
                        bachslunch RE: catspercapita Apr 8, 2007 02:49 PM

                        The one lunch I had at Limoncello was perfectly fine, if middle of the road for the North End -- got a pasta dish of long, medium wide noodles spun in little bird's nest shapes in a limoncello sauce, which is apparently a signature item of theirs. Haven't had anything else there, though, so I can't claim to broad expertise at the place. It's certainly better than such places as Bella Vista, Dolce Vita, Piccolo Venezia, Ida's, Famiglia Giorgio, Famiglia Spagnuolo, and Joe Tecce's, which are for my taste the bottom of the North End's barrel. And there are a few North End places that get a lot of love on this board where I've had poor experiences, notably Cibo and Mother Anna's.

                        Maybe it depends on what you get there. It does at some places.

                  2. hotoynoodle RE: hiddenboston Apr 8, 2007 01:08 PM

                    not true italian, but i don't see neptune oyster on your list, nor taranta. 2 of my faves down there.

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                      ShelT54 RE: hiddenboston Apr 8, 2007 02:07 PM

                      Euno on Salem St. is very nice.

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                        rachelfromatlanta RE: hiddenboston Apr 8, 2007 02:26 PM

                        What about Dino's - YUM!!! (and cheap)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: rachelfromatlanta
                          bachslunch RE: rachelfromatlanta Apr 8, 2007 02:36 PM

                          If you go to Dino's, be prepared to eat like a trencherman or share with someone. Their subs are good, but beyond huge. And they're pricier than your standard sub shop, though probably not out of line with the neighborhood and the size of the sandwich.

                          1. re: bachslunch
                            abbij RE: bachslunch Apr 9, 2007 02:09 PM

                            What about Ida's?

                            1. re: abbij
                              bachslunch RE: abbij Apr 9, 2007 02:18 PM

                              Ida's has extremely short hours (Thursday through Saturday evenings only), and I was not impressed the time I went not long ago: crummy iceberg lettuce salad, overcooked pasta, and veal roast that was like really fatty prime rib but a little gamy. Nice cozy home-style feel and friendly casual service, but just didn't like the food.

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