HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Spiga...Needham St

Went to Spiga last night with three friends. The space is tucked behind a couple of buildings off needham street. You really need to know where to look for it or you will never find it.

We were very excited to eat at Spiga because there are not that many restaurants to go to on the Needham/Newton line. We were also excited because one of our favorite chefs, Marisa from Bricco was the consulting chef.

The menu is simple italian food, NOT the americanized italian food you always see everywhere, in otherwords no chicken parm in site. Too start, I had a simple green salad with a shallot vinaigrette, my friends both had ceaser salads. They were dressed well and the portions were good. For entrees we had the wild mushroom parapadelle, the filet mignon with artichokes and gorgonzola and the orechette with brococali raab & pork sausage. What a let down. The cook had obviously not tasted and seasoned our food because everything was bland. There were no salt shakers on the table and I felt bad about asking for one. The filet was ordered medium and came out well done and was missing the gorgonzola cheese. The mushroom pasta was also missing the truffle oil. For dessert we had the regular tiramisu and the strawberry tiramisu, they were good and very homey. For wine we ordered a bottle of the quattro Mani montepulciano d'abruzzo, really tasty, so much so, that we ordered a second bottle.

Overall, this restaurant has the potential to be really good, but still struggling with kitchen timing and execution of the overall food; we waited for about an hour for our entrees because of a kitchen mix up The service was warm, intelligent and helpful. The restaurant has a great feel of being a family run place, I believe many of the family were working in the restaurant alongside the servers. I do feel that for the prices they are charging they need to work out the kinks with the food quickly & I was a little surprised they did not attempt to offer a dessert or comp any item on our bill because of the wait. For three people our tab was....

3 salads, 2 pasta, 1 filet, 3 tiramisu, 2 bottles of wine.......$230 including the tip.

Eventhough, we had issues, when I left I decided I would return and am deep down rooting for them to succeed. Spiga is worth the visit if in the neihborhood.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Better directions & address please. Wine list comments. Bar?. Thanx.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Doug Mc.

      Spiga is behind Kennedy Carpets near D'Angelo's off Highland Ave towards the Newton line. Just off 128 as you head to Needham St..

      They really dont have much of a bar, five seats and there is a open kitchen, cafe style dessert showcase and a cashier station. Sort of a unique strange set up. They only have a beer and wine lisence. The wine list is almost 100% italian and moderately priced. Probably about 40 bottles on the list, about 6 by the glass. Our bottle of wine was $25.

      I actually found this thread that has some more info...

    2. Here's a link:

      Spiga Trattoria Italiana
      18 Highland Cir, Needham, MA 02494

      1 Reply
      1. Marisa is also one of my favorite chefs. Do you know where she has landed? Was she there that night? Her food is far above most of Boston's offerings!

        2 Replies
        1. re: southie

          She helped open the restaurant and From what the manager said "tweaked" the menus. She is not there anymore, we were hoping she was...i MISS Brico when she was there SOOOO much...lol. It sounds like she is doing consulting work for now.

          1. re: admiralackbar

            Thanks for the info. We should post if anyone finds out about her next project!

        2. We ate there last night. This is my fourth visit. We were there during the winter and since then, prices have gone up considerably. Please be sure to ask about the specials prices. Waitstaff did not include this and we were surprised when the bill came that veal chop was $38. Other entrees on menu were $25- $28 range. Our error for not asking the price before ordering. Service is still slow. Did not care for wait person...could have done away with all the honey, sweetie, darling salutations from her, but maybe some don't mind that.
          Food is good but I think it has gotten too pricey for what you get. If you are going to go here,try this place for lunch rather than dinner.

          1. We visited Spiga last night for the first time. Walked in around 6:20 without a reservation and were able to easily get a table for two; by 7 the place was pretty much filled. Friendly and talkative waitstaff - none of the issues with waiting for food as others noted 6 months and more ago. Wine list is still quite good - we settled on wines by the glass and our waiter was kind enough to bring out samples to help us choose.

            Dinner was excellent - my wife had the Caprese (sliced tomatoes, basil and homemade mozzarella) and I had the spinach salad (spinach, hazelnuts, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese) - both were outstanding and my only complaint is that the portions were huge. For dinner my wife had the pan seared veal medallions and I had a duck breast special. Both were served on a bed of roasted white beans and baby carrots with a deep fried mashed potato patty (the size, but not the consistency, of a hockey puck). Both dishes were well-executed and the only part neither of us liked much was the potato - it had a green herb in it (parsley?) that gave it a harsh flavor that was a little jarring. We did not have dessert as we had to make a theater time.

            Overall, the food was great, the service was professional and timely and the price was reasonable (two salads, two entrees and four drinks for just over $100). We will go back.

            1 Reply
            1. re: L84Dinner

              They have apparently, according to the website, "re-opened," but my wife and daughter ate there for lunch today and hated it so much they were still angry when they got home. Missing ingredients from dishes. People who didn't return with answers when asked but instead avoided them. Ordered soda water and got half a glass of bubbly water which she was then told was the small San Pelligrino she'd ordered.

              I don't have a menu in front of me but they brought home a pizza that had maybe a tablespoon of sauce on it and no cheese at all. I lived in Italy and that's not pizza.

            2. I'm a big fan of Marisa Iocco, hope to check this place out soon. Does it have a patio?


              4 Replies
              1. re: bakerboyz

                I love Fuji sushi restaurant on Highland Ave. I try to go at least once every two weeks. The owner, Dennis is very nice. I love sitting at the sushi bar. If you like sushi, try their Fuji Awase appetizer. It's a nice salmon appetizer.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Went to Spiga last night for the firt time. Yes, they have a patio. When we left at about 8 pm there was a table for 14 set out on the patio.
                  Since Marisa is the new chef there, we were interested. However, I doubt she tastes the food coming out of that kitchen. We began with a ceasar salad (split). A nice generous serving of crispy romaine, thily sliced fennel and white anchovies but absolutely no taste in the dressing- no garlic, no cheese, no anchovy taste- DH thought it tasted like plain mayo.
                  DH had the pasta with bolognese- the only dish that had any taste. OK but not very meaty. I had the sesame crusted trout. Tasted like a tourt brushed with oil and placed under the broiler for 5 minutes. It was fresh, but again absolutely no taste of anything- no sesame, and completely bland - no salt. It was served with a small mound of baby beets and kiwi- ok if you like kiwi but a rather odd combination. The only saving grace was the bread pudding with caramel sauce- delicious, although it could have used a more generous serving of sauce. The service was fine but somewhat obsequious. Too many wait staff, bowing and greeting too many times.
                  Too bad- it seems the ingredients are nice and fresh but the execution of almost everything was bland.

                  1. re: emilief

                    That's too bad, I was hoping that with the new Executive Head Chef that this place would improve. I was thinking of trying it again but have also been waiting for some legitimate posts regarding the change. I had gone 2x when they first opened and it was pretty bad and I was hoping for improvement.

                    1. re: emilief

                      did you send the food back ?? I'm sure they would have given you something else if you didn't like it . When you told your server did they try to make it up to you?? I'm suprised a new business did no do anything it could to make you happy?

                  2. I recently attended an opening party at Spiga and my friends and I were impressed with the food, especially a meat lasagna. We thought everything we ate was fresh and flavorful. I will be having dinner at Spiga this week and will report back again.

                    1. We went again tonight for dinner with friends. The food was excellent and well executed. Our two nine year olds loved the potato gnocchi, two of us had the tuna entree special while one had the salmon and another had the costata of veal. The caesar salad was better than past salads we had (and more flavorful than described in a prior post), not so much overkill on ingredients. One antipasti - the two flavors roasted sausage skewers with roasted red peppers and onion salad - was spectacular. Marisa Iocco came out mid-meal to check on how our meal was. Our only quibble was with service speed - the kitchen was a little slow getting our entrees out as the place was full. It wasn't overwhelming though. Total for that plus 4 glasses of wine and soft drinks was $310 including tip (6 of us). I am not sure what qualifies as a "legitimate post" but we again enjoyed our meal except that the service could still be a little faster. As for the chef tasting what comes out of the kitchen: we sat near the kitchen and she was evident the whole time (except when she circulated in the room) supervising the sous chefs. Yes, there is a patio outside - it was not in use tonight as it was raining.

                      1. I have been to Spiga 3 times-for lunch, for dinner and for an event. Each time the food was excellent. Marissa Iocco uses top quality ingredients. The "Flan of parmigiano reggiano with celery chutney and peperoncino scented olive oil", for example, was very memorable. It was a small fried souffle that was incredibly light with the bite of Parmesan. The celery chutney was sweet and tart-balancing the cheese. We inhaled this. I also enjoyed a salad of cold octopus with homemade potato and celery sticks, assorted olives and lemon sea salt. The management is also very intent on making sure people have a good experience-so I would definitely speak up if it doesn't meet your expectations.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foodymom

                          Went last night for the first time - thought the pastas were good. The lobster agnolotti were, as warned by the waiter, a little salty, but the free form scallop lasagna was excellent. I agree on that parmesan "flan," it made me appreciate the cheese's flavor in a totally different texture, and I must reverse-engineer it! If anyone has any ideas let me know, it wasn't really a flan, more of a dense, custardy gougere.

                        2. Returned for the 1st time since they re-opened with new Executive Chef. Was there at lunch time and ordered a Wild Mushroom Pizza. Pizza was disapointing, flavor ok, but I judge my pizza by the crust and this crust was pretty ordinary, not thin enough, not crispy enough and rather blah.