I am just curious, no one ever suggests or even mentions Pinelli/Marra restaurants, Twist, etc... are they considered good or just average? I think they are just okay but I have run into people who like them.
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Went to Twist yesterday, after the wait was too long at Laiterie. Mmm.... nothing to write home about. We split a pizza and had a thai salad. The salad was high concept/low taste. The menu said it was served with chilcken satay, which wasn't really the case. Grilled chicken on a stick does not a satay make. We also had the "fresh baked" chocolate chip cookies, which were surprisingly untasty. Really cakey, and buttery to a fault (almost greasy). They were undercooked as well, which make the centers particularly gooey, in a bad way. We ended up not eating them (and who passes up hot cookies!) Wouldn't return.
These are not "foodie" locations. They serve generous portions of mediocre to fairly decent food. I can say that, at least the Post Office Café caters to those with Celiac disease and I can give them a thumbs up on that point. All in all, Pinelli/Marra places are loved and frequented by the locals, but all are on the lower end of the scale with regards to “quality” food and service.
This is a good characterization. While not "foodie" destinations, they're serious, solid, and quality enough to make for enjoyably mainstream, adult dining. When I have visitors to town, it's not where I'm taking them, but when meeting a friend of mine for dinner or drinks, it does beautifully. Great neighborhood spot, not a destination.
I live two blocks from the Twist in Wayland Square, and we enjoy it. It's actually quite inventive inside and I always marvel how the customers range from college hipsters to yuppie professionals to bar-and-clubbers to blue haired seniors all in the same dining room and somehow the place feels appropriate for all. No one feels embarrassed, no one feels out of place, everyone feels like it's "for them." That's pretty rare. Twist is also a great value.
Also, I think all of the Pinelli restaurants have Celiac menus...
We used to frequent the Pinelli's at night cafe in Warwick and the North end cafe in No Providence. Always had a good meal. Like the Warwick location due to bringing of our own wine, but their tortolini florentine has changed. No longer is the pasta fresh...it's the frozen variety now and the sauces got watery. But all in all everything else was good.