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Aug 23, 2007 09:06 AM

Alia Ristorante in Winthrop

I hate always going into the city so I was so happy to find this place! I just tried Alia Ristorante in Winthrop last night and it was awesome! It is not your typical italian restaurant because it also has lots of funky specials that are mediterannean and moroccan. I didn't even know it was there until my brother raved to me about this little place a friend took him to last week. I guess Alia has been open for only a few weeks but I think they'll have a line out the door soon because everyone we talked to in the restaurant was also raving about how good they thought everything was. I had the veal parm, my friend had lamb w/ cous cous and we had an "italian pu pu platter" to start -- everything was amazing. In addition to making excellent food, the owner obviously enjoys spending time talking to his customers. Alia is candlelit and very nicely decorated (no fake grape vines hanging from the ceilings!) -- it looks like it belongs in the South End or Newbury Street but it has a very casual atmosphere and is super inexpensive! And the best part is that it is a BYOB and the owner told us he is going to add breakfast/brunch on Sundays -- we're going back for sure.

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  1. Glad to see that there is already a post on this place. I was so impressed I told the owner last night that I was going to check CH to see if there was any reviews yet.

    I tried Alia Ristorante last night with my wife and we both loved it!

    The owner, Said is friendly, full of energy, gracious and charming. He is Morrocan and his wife (expecting their first child so I don't know how much time she spends at the restaurant) Italian. He mentioned to us that he lives within walking distance so this is truly his second home.

    This combination explains the Italian/Morroccan split which was perfect as my wife was in the mood for a scampi and I wanted something else.

    Although the Shrimp Scampi she desired was not on the menu Said told her he would make anything she would like if he had it on hand. So basically he took pieces of other menu items and made her dinner.

    I had the Veal Ossobucco and really liked it. The lamb was roasted to the point where if fell from the bone and served with a mixture of grilled vegetables.

    As mentioned above, the decor is simple and middle eastern inspired but not over done. An Algerian singer was on the sound system but Said offered to put on Frank Sinatra if it was more to our liking (it was not...sorry Frank).

    Definitely worth a visit. He wants to expand the menu soon and start offering more Middle Eastern dishes including kabobs.

    It is BYO so I went around the corner to the liquor store after ordering and bought a bottle of wine.

    Winthrop is T accessible. If you get off the Blue line at Orient Heights and take the stairs to the OUTBOUND side the Winthrop buses (white and blue) are outside the gate. You need one going towards Point Shirley and get off at the corner of Washington and Shirley Streets. The address is 495 Shirley Street.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Skippy978

      Glad to hear that Said is doing so well. Before he left Piccola Vennezia to open his restaurant he had given me directions and I still haven't made it. That veal ossobucco sounds good, do you know if he's open for lunch?

      1. re: Pegmeister

        Glad to hear a good review on Alia, all you hear about is D'Parma's and how great it is, IMO just OK.

        1. re: treb

          He is not open yet for lunch but told me that he plans to be soon.

          His intention is to expand the menu into areas that can be eaten/served more quickly with kabobs, etc. He also mentioned Sunday Brunch.

          I agree with you Treb on D'Parmas which is actually how we ended up trying Alia...looking for something different in town.

          BTW, has any tried Winthrop's other Moroccan spot...Casbah? I know there are other posts regarding it so I don't want to get way off base but it is amazing how a postage stamp size town with mostly pizza places has 2 very good Moroccan places (and almost no middle eastern population that i am aware of).

      2. re: Skippy978

        FYI, these are the 712 & 713 Paul Revere buses that loop around.

      3. Finally, got to Alia Ristorante over the weekend. I too was impressed, although I admit to being a little biased since I think Said is such a great guy. Went with the veal orvieto with mushrooms, artichokes and sundried tomatos in a wine butter sauce. This dish is incredible and came to the table, piping hot. My DC had the tortellini fedalla served with seared chicken breased in a creamy pesto sauce. Now, I'm not generally a fan of tortellini, but these were so tender and not too starchy. The sauce was so good, I kept reaching over and dipping my bread in it. This is the type of place you really want to support. Nice people, gracious service and quality food with personal attention. The BYO is also kind of fun.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pegmeister

          Pegmeister, glad to hear you made it there, Said and his wife are very friendly and thankful for the business, and the $3. corking fee, I mean can you say free! Almost made it there last week but, friends SO came down with the flu, bummer. Everytime I go I always dip the bread until my plate is just about dry. YUMMIE!

          1. re: treb

            Where is this place? I may take a freind for her b-day tmr night!

            1. re: Diski

              From rte 1A going towards Logan, get on rte 145, follow 145 to Shirley St. and take a left it's on the right.

        2. After reading about this restaurant here my dh and I got takeout on Friday night. I had the tortellini fedalla which was amazing. My dh had the Ravioli Greca which had feta, spinach and toasted walnuts in a creamy sauce over nice ravioli. We dipped bread into the sauces and swooned. We split a piece of the tiramisu as well.

          This is a great restaurant and a welcome addition to the area. We will be dining here again soon.