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Something new in the old O Cantinho space.

andytee Feb 27, 2008 04:38 PM

I was driving past the sorely missed O Cantinho today, and noticed what looked like a new restaurant in the space. Anyone know more, like what they are or if they are open yet?

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  1. finlero RE: andytee Feb 27, 2008 04:40 PM

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/475768
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/477952

    6 Replies
    1. re: finlero
      hiddenboston RE: finlero Feb 27, 2008 07:38 PM

      I didn't think Benatti would do very well, based on fact that their prices are rather high (especially considering the other, more reasonable options in that neighborhood), but my prediction was about as correct as my picking the Pats over the Giants 21-10 in the Super Bowl. Someone I know in the city council told me that they are doing an insane business there. They definitely are doing something right!

      1. re: hiddenboston
        MC Slim JB RE: hiddenboston Feb 27, 2008 07:55 PM

        I really miss O Cantinho, so I hope its successor in this space is somehow great. What I've heard about this place, specifically the chef/owner's and crew's rather personal involvement in it, makes me hopeful. Certainly very high on my to-try list.

      2. re: finlero
        andytee RE: finlero Feb 28, 2008 06:57 AM

        Ah, thanks.. Their signage is a little hard to read, could not tell what it said from the car, and a search for O Cantinho only yielded old posts.

        Newbury Street prices in Inman, huh? I'm interested but my budget is such that I will be waiting to hear more from the peanut gallery on this one.

        I really miss O Cantinho too.

        1. re: andytee
          n
          newhound RE: andytee Feb 28, 2008 04:05 PM

          We went to Benatti a couple weeks ago and are going back in a couple more. Our group of 4 thought it was excellent, and I'd like to rebut what people are saying about the prices. The menu is pasta-heavy, and these dishes are all 18-22 bucks. Portions are smallish, but all the pasta is homemade and excellent. There are some fish dishes in the mid twenties, and a few meat dishes into the thirties. So, while the posters saying that it's very expensive aren't technically wrong, it's easy to get out of there for much less, as a few have pointed out.

          When we went last, they kind of blew our reservation and we had to wait a little too long, but a comped bottle of Chianti took care of our grumblings. The scallops, as others have noted, are superb and the pesto gnocchi, balsamic tortellini, and the veal/pork/beef tortelloni were intensely flavored and wonderful. Tiramisu was a great version of a usually-tired dessert, roasted apple ravioli were fine but not noteworthy, and the almond semi-freddo was swoon-worthy.

          Service was very good, mostly by the hostess, who made up for the initial delay all night with warm, friendly and helpful conversation about everything. The whole "too expensive for the neighborhood" argument doesn't really hold any water for me (I'm a former Inman resident) because it's a destination area for food anyway. Benatti is definitely worth a visit for a nice dinner out-- excellent execution, great attention to detail, and many "perfect bites" in your meal.

          1. re: newhound
            a
            autopi RE: newhound Feb 28, 2008 08:27 PM

            i dunno, $18-22 for a "smallish" portion of pasta doesn't just sound "expensive for the neighborhood," it sounds expensive period...

            for reference, you can get an entire 3 course meal at some very fine restaurants (grotto, 10 tables, la morra come to mind) for a meat dish in the thirties.

            i'm not saying this place isn't worth it; i've never been, or even seen it. just saying yr post makes it sound even more expensive than i thought it would be.

            1. re: newhound
              Bob Dobalina RE: newhound Feb 29, 2008 12:47 PM

              I like to think of Inman as a destination dining area, but I live 5 minutes away. Unfortunately, for my friends who live on the other side of the river or, worse, the burbs, Inman may as well be Outer Mongolia.

              Can Inman / Cambridge support a restaurant priced in this range? There are a number of them around - Craigie Street and Rialto come to mind, but they are anchored by Harvard and are exceptional.

              An Italian place in this range, I fear, is just not going to cut it. I see hidden's rumor of doing insane business, but once the buzz is gone...?
              No virtuoso touches, no website, "smallish" portions...these are not good signs...I guess only time will tell. Foo on me if the place is still around by the end of the year.

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