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new Italian Rest on cambridge st next to midwest

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  • salty Jan 3, 2008 09:59 AM
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so new they don't have a sign up but I understand that its an up-scale Italian place "Benatti"

anyone been yet?

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  1. Not yet, but: Application Benatti, Inc. d/b/a Benatti, Caterina Serfatti, Manager, for a Common Victualer’s license and for an All Alcoholic Beverages as a Restaurant license at 1128 Cambridge Street with a total occupancy of 25. The proposed hours of operation are from 4:00p.m. to 12:00a.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This license if approved is in Cap Area No. 7. This applicant has also applied for an Entertainment license to include: audio tape machine/CD only playing background music below ordinary conversation level.

    1. Is it definitely open now?

      6 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        I saw people dinning in there last night as I drove by.

        1. re: salty

          Interesting....there is NOTHING on the Internet about this place. No Web site, no Zagat "buzz," no address, no phone number, etc.

          1. re: hiddenboston

            I guess it's hidden, boston

            1. re: raddoc

              Heh, good one. Maybe I'll be the first to try it if I can pull myself away from the TV this weekend (many hours of football watching ahead).

            2. re: hiddenboston

              Benatti
              1128 Cambridge St
              Cambridge, MA 02139 Map
              (617)492-6300

              1. re: hiddenboston

                There is a review of this place in the latest improper bostonian if anyone is interested. Although the reviews here are probably more interesting.

          2. I live around the corner and walk by at least 3+ times a day. The menu finally went up yesterday. The entrees range from $22.00 - $37.00 with apps $11.00 - $18.00. Seems too high of a price point for Inman. I think they opened last night but no one was in there, so i'm not quite sure. I'll give it a try tonight, if I can figure out if they are open.

            18 Replies
            1. re: inmanchick

              Wow. That's awfully high for meatballs and spaghetti. Anything on there that would justify?

              1. re: inmanchick

                The chef/owner's name is Andrea Benatti. I think he is the same chef that was at Opera, one of the best restaurants in Key West. I also looked at the menu the other day, Thought it was pretty ballsy to attempt a chic looking place with premium prices in Inman, but have not been by there when they are open. Why can't the Inman area have a high end restaurant besides Oleana if the food, service and ambiance is worth the money. I would love to be able to walk somewhere close by to get a great meal and have a true upscale dining experience. I'm going Saturday night and can't wait.

                1. re: ouzomeze42

                  My wife and I had dinner last night so I'll try to give as detailed a report as I can based on my memory, as I did not have my reading glasses with me and had to ask my wife what was on the menu and wine list.
                  I also failed to keep the receipt, so some of the prices that I am quoting may be a little off the mark but when you are dropping that kind of money a couple of bucks in either direction won’t matter.
                  I was correct in what I wrote earlier, the Chef/Owner is Andrea Benatti formerly of Opera in Key West. There are 19 seats at tables and 3 at a small bar. The décor, furniture, toilet, table and glassware remind me of what you see in Arbitare, the Italian design magazine. Genuine Italian. Not the fauxtalian look and quality of many of the North End Fettucine palaces.
                  For starters I had pan seared sea scallops $15? and my wife had a half portion of Gnocchi with fresh pesto $14 (half of $22 plus a $3 split plate fee). There were 4 scallops, perfectly seared, then placed on cooked spinach and shaved fennel that tasted as though it had been simmered in a mild gastrique. The sauce was a fresh orange juice reduction that was emulsified to give it some body. The scallops were superb and the combination of flavors did them justice. The price seems steep for a dish like Gnocchi and pesto but I can only recall a couple of times in the past when I’ve experienced the true nature of what Gnocchi is supposed to be about. We were both saddened that we hadn’t ordered a full portion. We each had a glass of Verdicchio, $14, I think, that had the right acidity level and nutty undertone to match both our dishes. It was also served at the right temperature, not too cold. The bread is artisan and served with high end olive oil and balsamic.
                  For the main course I had Ossobuco $32 and my wife had Filet Mignon $36. The Ossobuco was falling off the bone tender and was braised in veal stock with tomatoes. The filet was seared then roasted a low temp so that it was a perfect medium rare from crust to crust. The filet came with Portobello mashed potatoes on a Portobello mushroom, and a Barolo reduction with cranberries and a slight truffle oil perfume. Both dishes were prepared with a combination of proper technique and first rate ingredients. We had a bottle of Nebbiolo $72 that really went down well. We finished our wine with a cheese course $10 that consisted of 3 one ounce portions, a washed rind sheep and goats milk from Corsica and 2 Italian cheese that we selected from the cheese board, all great cheeses at room temp, served on a piece of black slate with a few Marcona almonds, chestnut paste and more good bread. At this point we were wavering on dessert and thankful that we hadn’t consumed a full portion of Gnocchi after all. Fortunately they had a ten year old Grappa $10 that was the perfect digestive and cleared the way for a shared almond Semifreddo $11? That was light enough not to overwhelm us. My wife had a Frangelico $8 and I had another Grappa with dessert followed by Illy espresso.
                  The bill came to $291 and change. There are going to be some that will complain about the prices but I feel the quality justifies it. Everything from the food to the comfort of the chairs, the feel in your hands of the tableware made for one of the best dining experiences we have had in years. I would rather eat out less often than pay half this price for mediocrity, which is so often the case. The servers were young, enthusiastic and lacked the pomposity that can so often dim the dining experience at some other upscale restaurants. The Chef came to our table twice and made a point of visiting every table to check on customer satisfaction. I wish them luck and can’t wait to go back.

                  1. re: ouzomeze42

                    I'm sorry, but I just can't get over the fact that they slapped a $3 split plate fee on top of your bill. I can see it if that is your only course, but this diner went on to order a complete other course. This split course wasn't shared between two people, there was no additional work involved.
                    Can anyone justify this to me so I can get past that sentence and read the rest of the review!?

                    1. re: ouzomeze42

                      $300 for two people? And they added a $3 split plate fee on top of that? I don't know.....for that kind of money, I don't see why they need to nickel and dime diners with split plate fees, especially if, like Snowflake says, you ordered another course and the split course wasn't shared between two people.

                      $300 can get you some incredible meals in Boston, so this place had better be good...

                      1. re: hiddenboston

                        I was thinking the $3 fee was pretty chintzy too. I'm glad that ouzo enjoyed his meal but that's dropping a ton of money on dinner. Granted, I wouldn't have had the $72 bottle of wine or grappa but that's still pretty pricey.

                        1. re: hiddenboston

                          Not to venture too far into "not about food" but seriously...what is the basis for a split plate fee in the first place? If there is any inconvenience to the kitchen, it should just be chalked up to the cost of doing business, imho.

                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            I heard somewhere that is was just an old rule that stuck. It was supposed to be for people who would buy one entree and split it with another. That "other" person is taking up a seat and using the utensils.

                        2. re: ouzomeze42

                          Holy Cow -- $300? PLUS a $3 split charge? They've got to be kidding. It better be completely amazing for that kind of money, that's way up there on the far end of expensive... You're very fortunate to be able to dine that way without breaking a sweat.

                          1. re: Kbee

                            I can understand people freaking out about the split plate charge but it wasn't a surprise, it was listed on the menu. The rationale behind it is that when you only have 22 seats you can't afford to have a couple of pikers taking up real estate for a couple of hours on a split plate and tap water. I have worked in several high end restaurants that never split plates, no matter what. It is a ton of money for dinner but my last 2 dining experiences in the neighborhood, East Coast Grill and the Independent in Union square cost about $150 each with wine and drinks. The food at both was merely okay and the ambience at East Coast is upscale roadhouse. My server at the Independent brought the wrong wine twice before she got it right because she didn't know the wines by name only by the numbers like a bad Chinese joint. When I asked her if the American micro brew Pilser was like a German style she could only say that it was very drinkable. At East Coast I paid $24 dollars for a pork shank that costs $2.33 a pound. At Benatti I paid $32.00 for veal shank that goes for $14.95 per pound. Choice Angus tenderloin is running $15 per pound before trimming. Who is making more money on their product. The wholesale prices that I quoted are accurate, I checked with meat salesman while writing this post. My wife and I have decided to eat out less but go to much better places and spend more. It comes out the same in the long run except I'll be happier with my dinners. As far as not breaking a sweat about the price, I doubt that I make much more than most who post here. I chose not to have children or a car so that I can spend my extra cash on the things in life that give me the most pleasure and eating a great meal is pretty much at the top of the list.

                            1. re: ouzomeze42

                              Seems like my wife and I would have to drink quite a bit of wine with our meals (including apps) to get to $300 at either ECG or the Independent. We have eaten at both and have not been close to $300. Maybe $200 on a good night if we were celebrating with quite a few drinks.

                              1. re: TomH

                                I think, perhaps, that the "$150 each" in ouzomeze's last post actually means they spent $150 total (for the couple) at each of the two restaurants mentioned--ECG and the Independent. Is that right, ouzomeze42?

                                It sounds like you could get away for much less $$ at Benatti if you ordered less wine and/or a less expensive bottle, and had fewer courses. I know that's a no-brainer, but the point is that most people probably won't need to spend that much to enjoy a decent meal, if it is really as good as it sounds...

                                1. re: bella_sarda

                                  Ahh, that would make more sense to me as well, $300 at either ECG or the Independent for a couple seemed extremely high!

                          2. re: ouzomeze42

                            Thanks for a very detailed and useful review!

                            I will try not to hold it against them that this is the former location of a place I loved (Atasca).

                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              (O'Cantinho) perhaps?

                              1. re: Taralli

                                O'Cantinho, but after a couple of years they moved to serving a selection of the Atasca Broadway menu at night... No grilled sardines on a grill in the window, though.

                                1. re: Taralli

                                  Sorry, brain cramp, of course I meant O Cantinho. I sang its praises in The Phoenix as an awesome neighborhood restaurant in September, only to see it close weeks afterward. It was owned by the folks behind Atasca. Still meaning to get to Con Sol, which took over the original Atasca location, which I always much preferred to the sole current survivor of the group, the Atasca near One Kendall.

                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                  Speaking of old Atasca locations, anyone else been to Con Sol yet?

                          3. Does anyone know if they are opened on Mondays? I called, no answer

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: southie

                              tuesday-sunday 5:30-12ish

                              1. re: inmanchick

                                Thanks.....I drove by....it looks great! Perhaps tonight! I went to Atasca instead, which was okay.

                            2. My roommate and I went last night and had a great meal and a great time for $99.75 (plus tip). We ordered a $44 bottle of wine, and unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it, but we both enjoyed it, and it came highly recommended by our waitress. We placed our order and bread was brought to our table, along with a small dipping bowl of oil with balsamic in it. We started off with the grilled vegetables ($11). This included eggplant, zucchini, tomato, roasted red pepper, and fennel. They were wonderful. The grill/char flavor was noticeable but not overbearing. For our entrees, we each ordered a half order of different pastas and split them. So we had gnocchi with pesto ($14) and a tortelloni dish with some sort of brown cream sauce (can't remember what it was called), balsamic, and walnuts. This dish was amazing. It was both salty and sweet, and the walnuts added a slight crunch. The gnocchi was also very good, and they use a very creamy pesto. I've never had pesto like that, but I definitely enjoyed both the taste and texture. Now, the half orders did not look like amazing portions, but we felt we had eaten plenty once we were done. (I also think the couple at the table next to us had full orders, and it didn't look like they had much more food, so I think the half orders are a better value.) We couldn't leave without dessert, and so we split the carmelized banana with chocolate mousse and a cardamom-flavored sauce ($12). This was also delicious and well worth it. (There was a pear with gorgonzola gelato on the menu; I hope to be brave enough to try it next time!)

                              Benatti is a small restaurant, but that makes the atmosphere very nice. It never seemed to get too loud in there, even when all of the tables were filled. They play soft music. The service was excellent even though I only saw one waitress, one busgirl, and one chef the whole night. I definitely recommend going even if it's just for a special ocassion when you feel like splurging a little (I took my roommate out for her birthday).