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Nov 30, 2007 06:56 PM

Da Vinci: the silence is deafening

Does anyone have anything to report yet about this newcomer on Columbus Ave. near Park Square?

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  1. Seriously... What is going on here? Nothing?

    1. Chirp.....chirp.....chirp.....chirp.....

      There is still NOTHING on this restaurant on the Internet. Even Yelp doesn't have any reviews on it yet.

      I want to get there, but probably won't have a chance until after the holidays. If and when I get there, I'll report back.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Read this blurb from a recent Globe article about Gaslight:

            "In some ways Gaslight feels derivative, one more American brasserie modeled after some ideal of the Parisian brasserie: convivial, with a bit of burnished flash. (The Aquitaine Group, which owns Gaslight, has practice emulating France.) The restaurant bears, for example, an eerie resemblance to Balthazar in New York; the two have extremely similar menus, down to the fonts."

            1. re: hiddenboston

              Chowhound Tasi noted the menu similarity back in July. Many Hounds have cited the simillarity in the look of the room (though ESK can equally be accused of ripping off Balthazar). But the website cloning seems especially bald.

              1. re: hiddenboston

                There are actually quite a few posts on Da Vinci on Zagats which seem suspiciously amorous....

                1. re: pamplemouse

                  I wonder how many people read Zagat and cannot spot obvious shill posts like this: "If you are looking for an amazing restaurant-This is it!... My husband and I can not wait to go back to DaVinci for another unforgettable experience!" That's some pretty transparent self-pimping right there. Another reason that well-moderated boards like Chowhound are so much more valuable.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    very reminicent of that comercial for 33 restuarant and unforgetable dining experience in Boston's stylish back bay... HA!

            2. re: Bob Dobalina

              Wow what a perfect website not a word wasted

              1. re: sbs401

                Being the geek that I am, I took a look at the source code for Da Vinci's site (the Da Vinci code, if you will), and I found this:

                <MAP NAME="Bjorklund Contractors: Asphalt, Paving, Construction, Stamped Concrete, Snow Plowing">

                Weird, huh?

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  LOL - Let's hope their menu is more original than their web designer's re-use.


            3. I guess I'll chime in which I was reluctant to do since they have been open such a very short time and I think I was there the week they opened. I like the setup of the bar area. It's got some cozy couches. The menu seemed really small like maybe four in each category of apps, pastas and mains. There was a special that night that the bartender said was gnocchi with a meat (can't remember what kind) that "chef" had been braising all day that was fork tender. It ended up being a shell type pasta not gnocchi with a very dry meat. I didn't sample anything else on the menu since a) I didn't like what I had already eaten and b) there wasn't anything jumping out from the menu. All that said, this place is around the corner from me so I really want it to be good. I may go back and give it one more shot. Either way, it's a nice spot for a glass of wine.

              9 Replies
              1. re: lissy

                The owner was the chef at campania since it opened. I am curious to try it out.

                1. re: F.F.C.

                  My understanding is that Da Vinci's chef was a sous at La Campania, not *the* chef, and that La Campania's executive chef remains its co-owner, John Maione.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    As I understand, John Maione is the 'chef-owner', but the DaVinci chef was the long-time 'real' chef at Campania ... apparently J Delpha (opening chef of Sorrellina) too the position after A Halberg turned it down in favor of leaving town.

                    1. re: baudolino

                      Yes, this is true, baudolino. Pepino was in fact the operating chef at La Camapania and John was more of the 'executive chef." While I haven't had a chance to try DaVinci, I always enjoyed Pepino's food at La Campania and will look forward to trying the new place.

                      1. re: BillieJean

                        Well, if people don't try it soon, it's bound not to be around too much longer.

                        1. re: Blumie

                          Okay, I admit it...I went weeks ago. I have been waiting for other reviews as well. Honestly I went on a Friday night after a few drinks and found the menu limited but the pasta quite fresh and tasty. I don't feel that I can fully comment until another visit.

                    2. re: MC Slim JB

                      John Maione has not been at Campania for years--maybe 5 or 6 years. It is still owned by his brother David, and Peppino had been the head chef there since John left. Before that, he worked under John. The new chef is John from Sorrellina. He has not done much with the Campania menu, and he is decidedly cold to guests, not even interested in meeting the regular customers. I don't see him as a long-time chef there.

                      I went to Da Vinci in November because I enjoyed his food at Campania regularly. The menu is not extensive, but features about 4 pasta dishes -- he makes all his own pasta -- 4 or 5 meat entrees, and 4 or 5 appetizers, plus whatever specials for that night. I had a shrimp scampi appetizer that was very fresh and generous and a pan seared blackfish that was sweet and moist. Peppino was especially good at fresh fish dishes at Campania. One of my friends had the duck and raved about it. His wife had the chicken and loved it. My wife had a vegetarian pasta dish that he prepared just for her -- it was not on the menu. Desserts were good, but skimpy. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, though a bit noiser than I'd prefer. We went on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which I would have expected to be dead, but the place was nearly full by 8 pm.

                      1. re: Marbar

                        John Delpha never really had that 'dining-room chef' personality while at Sorrelina ... but the food was pretty solid. Does he really have to make freinds with everybody first? Can't chefs just cook these days?

                        1. re: Spatterish

                          When you are charging $30 to $40 for entrees, you have a large repeat-business clientele, and you position yourself in the dining room between the cooking crew and the diners, then yes, I do believe the chef should be expected to be cordial and interested in the experience of his customers. I don't expect to become John Delpha's "friend," but if he is going to be in the dining room, I expect to see more than his back as he barks orders to the cooking staff. This kind of attention should not take a great deal of time, but should convey the message that the chef cares about your dining experience and your appreciation of his creations. That kind of attention is what complements the exceptional food at top restaurants like Radius, Icarus, Savinos, etc. and sets them above places that simply provide food that is "pretty solid."

                2. Looking to try Da Vinci Friday night, anymore recent reviews? Heard that Chef Peppino was the actual "brains" behind the food at La Campania.