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Feb 11, 2009 06:15 PM

Best "Red Sauce" Italian in the city?

What do you think is the best Italian-American "red sauce" restaurant place in the city of Boston? Don't care about ambiance as much as I care about the food.

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  1. The North End is a good place for this in Boston proper. Some worthy options there would include Pagliuca's, Antico Forno, Saraceno, Rabia, La Summa, and Massimino's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bachslunch

      the original il panino on parmenter st. too.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Am very reluctant to recommend Trattorio Il Panino because they always pull the trick of refusing to serve patrons tap water. Then, if the customer refuses to buy a beverage, they pester the patron to buy something to drink. I don't like such shenanigans when I dine out.

        If they've changed their tactics, that's a different story -- I for one won't return there or recommend them until they do. There are so many places in the North End that play fair with their customers, so I see no reason to patronize the ca. 10% who don't.

    2. I'd consider any of these:

      Rino's, East Boston
      Al Dente, Massimino's, Pagliuca's, L'Osteria (all in the North End)

      2 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        I second both Rino's in East Boston and Pagliuca's in the North End SUCH good sauce! (And I'm Sicilian so you know I'm not messing around...)

        1. re: hiddenboston

          I opened this thread to specifically suggest Rino's in Eastie. i'd take it any day of the week and twice on sunday over the north end.....

        2. I can't comment on "the best," but when I'm in the mood for red sauce, I love Antonio's on Cambridge Street across from MGH.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Blumie

            I agree. Antonio's is great. Family run, great food, generous portions, reasonable.

            1. re: Blumie

              I am not a real red sauce person, but I DREAM about Antonio's veal special (which you can get with chicken). It's scrumptious. Their other dishes are good, as well.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                Maybe I order wrong there but Ive never been very impressed with their offerings. LAst time I went we got the anti pasto plate and it was abysmal. It all seemed old, flavorless, and just poor quality...

            2. For great Italian, I love Giacomo's. You can get there pastas with four different types of red sauces. The restaurant is small, and the waiters know how to get you in and out, but if you are not looking for a fancy sit-down meal, its a great place.

              6 Replies
              1. re: marn209

                I enjoy Cantina Italiana on Hanover St. for old school atmosphere and red sauce.

                1. re: pemma

                  lol, like so old-school looking it's almost a cartoon.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    LOL is right.
                    And you can almost bet your sweet patootie that their Chef de Cuisine refers to it as GRAVY! That being said, I've gotta go with marn209's rec of Giacomo's four ways.


                    1. re: Harp00n

                      "chef de cuisine"? lol, again.

                      let's all warn the op about the very long wait potential at giacomo's. outside.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Yes, I meant to comment on those lines as well :-(


              2. I've always had good meals at Mother Anna's at the beginning of Hanover St.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BackBayGirl

                  You know, I rarely go there, but when I do, Mother Anna's is always a very good, tasty, red-saucey, comfortable experience. Really pleasant and friendly service, too. (And it's close to Pete's/Durty Nelly's.)