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Apr 7, 2008 09:12 AM

Benatti - Don't do it.

I don't usually have to make negative recommendations, but let me mention that Benatti, which took over from that atasca spin-off on Cambridge St, Cambridge, should be avoided. If you are in the neighborhood, go to Moqueca or All-Star or Wisteria House or S&S or ... well, almost anything. You'll pay less money and get much better food. And the portions will be larger, in general.

There really isn't an excuse for Benatti. Of the dozen of us there who basically bought out the place, not one was pleased with the food. Bets are on the chef being a smoker, because everything was over salted. Many things were overcooked. The open kitchen was a little showy, but not in a terribly entertaining way. The service was competent at best, but a bit clumsy and clearly not up to handling tables for more than 2 or 4.

With much better Italian all over town and much better food in the immediate neighborhood, most of it cheaper (yes, even East Coast is probably less expensive) there is no reason to bother. =/

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    1. I ate their Friday night and left with mixed feelings. The space as a whole was rather charming and intimate. The staff, while unpolished, was quite friendly and incredibly attentive. I would expect a bit more polish, considering they've run other restaurants, but nothing was offensive.

      My meal was decent. We had the diver sea scallops with spinach in an orange sauce reduction. The flavor was light and refreshing, but the scallops were just a tad overcooked.

      My SO had a tortellini in a balsamic and walnut sauce that was absolutely delicious. I had the rack of lamb special - couldn't tell what was in the sauce, but it was flavorful and cooked just right. Admittedly, the meat was slightly salty.

      The place was empty when I went there, and I hope they make it.

    2. wow that is harsh..and not consistent with the 2 experiences we have had ..admittedly the pasta portions are small but everything else we have had there has been quite good . Service has its moments but I really don't think it deserves the dead vote you gave it.. I too hope it improves and flourishes