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Jan 9, 2009 09:05 AM

Federal Hill Dilemma

OK, I posted a couple days ago and received some good responses about pastry shops in the area. Now, we are having some disagreement about mom's birthday lunch. Mom, who is ITAM, just wants to go for old school Italian somewhere on Federal Hill as she has never been there. Someone mentioned Andino's and Cassarino's to me, but the reviews here and elsewhere online seem mixed. Someone else mentioned the Old Canteen as being very old school and better than the other two options. Mom loved Monty's (RIP) and Il Camino in Leominster, a very casual ITAM place with escarole soup, gnocchi and homemade pasta. Can someone recommend anywhere similar? It should be family friendly as we'll have our six year old with us, but still a little special because it is her b'day. Thanks!

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  1. HI Kat,

    I personally think that Casa Christine's is the best restaurant on the hill. Christine can have a very short temper and be downright rude. She doesn't take reservations and closes her doors early. The food there is awesome, one of the best. It's BYOB so you can save some money on that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gildomilo

      ok lets try this again. Casa Christins had closed about 1 year ago. do your self a favor try Siena. That rude Christine got her just desserts Out of Business.

      1. re: interesting

        ....except that Siena (wonderful tho I agree it is) is neither old-school nor family-friendly.

        Birthday lunch, old school, family-friendly (and I presume it doesn't have to be fancy), has Angelo's Civita Farnese written all over it. Casserino's is just a bit of a step up in atmosphere, and will do a fine job w/the old-school Italian you're after. The reviews I think are based on people who are comparing it to more cutting edge places like Siena.

    2. Cafe Dolce Vita is good. Great food, Italian atmosphere. Lunch at Venda Ravioli really is good though. I know it is also a market but the food is yummy! Maybe Camilles?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alica

        Kat, I would typically not respond to a federal hill thread as i live here, but i appreciate your desire to please your family. if your mom has her heart set on the hill, joe marzilli's old canteen is definetly a memorable old shool italian experience. they are definitely family friendly. though i'm not familiar with the north shore restaurants you refferenced, i can remember a few irish/italian weddings of my youth which could very well have been staged in any of these places! one other option you might want to explore is just outside providence, but is a great value and accomodates families well is twin oaks. hope you enjoy your time in providence! let me know how it works out!

      2. I really appreciate the responses and help! We ended up at the Old Canteen and it was just OK to me, but Mom loved it and on her birthday, that's all that counts. It was a late lunch and nearly empty, which is good when you have a small child with you. Husband ordered the squid salad, which he really enjoyed. I had the beef bracioli, which was swimming in a pool of sauce but I still enjoyed it because it has been years since I've had my grandmother's bracioli. Best part of the day was walking around the hill and shopping at Venda, where we loaded up on goodies. Also hit Scioli (sp?) bakery, and tried a few bags of cookies, the date ones were my favorite. We would like to return (without mom and child!) for a weekend of eating in Providence; I have learned of so many interesting places while researching this lunch; it seems that the city has blossomed in the last few years. Can't wait!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kat

          glad to hear you had a nice meal,venda is a real treasure to have too.providence,and all of rhode island really has tons of great restaurants,bars,markets etc.all within an hours drive .theres tons to explore,and this board,and chowhound in general is a great source for researching .whenever we travel,i always do a little research on where im going,we always get the lowdown on whats hot wherever...

        2. I love Andino's the food is great the service is friendly have eaten there several times never had a bad experience. Give it a try....your six year old would do fine and I got their brocoli rhabi was to die for.....(spelling on rhabi)....