- Guilty Glutton Jun 9, 2009 10:32 AM
I'm searching for the best lasagna in the Boston area. The search is still ongoing, but I recently tried two contenders: Pagliuca's and L'Osteria.
The lasagna at Pagliuca's came out looking great, sizzling straight from the oven, bubbling and hot. It was very heavy, though. Each bite of beef and layer of pasta was saturated with salty parmesan, and the entire piece of lasagna was covered in a thick layer of oven browned mozzarella. It was a bit too overwhelming and sat densely in the stomach -- and I say this as someone who loves lasagna and grew up on it in New Jersey. The meatballs I ordered on the side were fine, but didn't have any standout flavor -- no fresh herbs or really succulent meat. The tomato sauce was slightly sour.
I went for lunch during the week. I couldn't order alcohol, since I was going back to work, so I asked for a coke. It came in a small glass, and Pagliuca's charged three bucks for each refill, jacking up the price of the meal by 50 percent, from $20 to $30. I can understand charging for refills of bottled sparkling water, but this was a cheap fountain soda, and it seemed irritating and ungenerous to be charged for refills on a tiny glass.
L'Osteria's lasagna was much lighter, with less cheese. The taste of the ground beef was clearer and not obscured by too much parmesan. The tomato sauce tasted very fresh and not sour or bitter at all. I actually ordered two helpings -- one to eat at the restaurant and another to take home for dinner. The meatballs were made with parsley and a touch of red-wine. They were nice and light, and very craveable. Overall, the meal seemed home-made, in the sense of being comforting, familiar, and simple.
We've enjoyed the lasagna at the Venetian at Jackson Sq., Weymouth. Not expensive and delicious. We usually get one order for a party of 4, and have as a first course. It's as close to homemade I've had, and I'm a fussy Italian food hound. I grew up in a family of spectacular cooks. You know, the one's that make sauce, not gravy.