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Mar 4, 2008 04:27 AM

New Balt: Grano in Hampden

In the old Maria's space on the avenue in Hampden, there appears to be a new place call Grano Pasta Bar. I've driven past a few times, but haven't been able to stop yet. Has anyone been, or even know any more about it?

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  1. The Examiner wrote up a review of Grano and they loved it. Entrees from $7-$10 and you can purchase sauces to-go. There is only seating for 11, but they say it's well worth the wait.

    1 Reply
      1. I attempted to go to Grano's with husband and sister on March 22 about 6;30pm. We walked in, sniffed the incredible garlic aroma, saw there was not one single free seat in the house, were not greeted by any staff (only stood there for about 60 seconds) and turned around and left.
        Looks like the food could be great, but how are you going to eat it?
        Seating for 11 is an overstatement- it might be less... I wonder if they can make it work.

        1 Reply
        1. re: maddogg280

          Restaurants are wonderfully democratic that way. If it's good enough we'll stand in line:)

          I've been happy with my two visits (most recently bowties with gorgonzola walnut cream sauce and pasta bolognese with a side of garlic bread). We ate our first meal at the counter and the second at a small table. Tough for larger parties.

          1. Went there on Sat for lunch. Sat at the bar which is annoying because the bar stools are too short, causing you to struggle to reach your food. Nothing like having your food at shoulder/neck level. Food was good, nothing remarkable, but solid. I had the penne with vodka sauce and my dining partner had the fusilli with gorgonzola walnut sauce. Hers was better than mine. Meatballs were tasty (moist and garlicky) but again, unremarkable. Staff was nice and checked on us frequently.
            This might be a better place for take out than dining in. Several parties picked up orders while we were there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rudmansjmu

              The owner is very kind and seems genuinely interested in your experience at Grano. I have to agree with rudmansjmu that the bar stools are beyond ridiculous. I'm 5'4" and I basically had to stand in order to eat the food off the bar. It was awkward to say the least!

              1. re: ktracy

                Been to Grano's a couple of times, tasted 5 of the pastas. I love the simple concept, and being able to see what's going on from start to finish. The pasta is not overcooked, the sauces vary from OK to very good. Carbonara was best, with smoky pancetta, then gorgonzola with walnut. The two tomato based sauces, while far fresher than Little Italy, were nothing to write home about.
                Apart from the cute atmosphere, it's the non-entrees that make me want to come back: a lemony marscapone cake (a special), Italian orange soda, good garlic bread, yummy caesar salad, and a very creamy cannoli-- not traditional, but IMO better than Vaccaro's!
                We'll be back.