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best lasagna?

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.

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  1. Rumor has it that Carlos Cucina in Allston has homemade Lasagna on Sunday nights. The owner comes in that one day and makes it himself. Im not a big lasagna fan so I havent tried it, but since the rest of Carlo's is so fantastic it might be worth checking out?

    1 Reply
    1. re: fmcoxe6188

      I'm a fan of both Carlo's and lasagna, so when I was in there one night and it was on the specials menu I had to order it. Alas, very disappointing - light, almost meatless, and boringly bland. Oh well, back to their veal parm...

    2. It's in the burbs but I recommend Comella's in Wellesley. Yum. The lasagna is good and the family messes are even better

      1 Reply
      1. re: CoryKatherine

        They just opened in Brookline on Harvard St, across from Wulf's. And there is one in West Roxbury- had a mess for dinner from there last Saturday!

      2. 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.

        1. Vinny's in Sommerville.

          1. I agree about Pagliuca's. They are probably in my top 3, if not number 1.

            1. I think Scollay Square is pretty unremarkable usually but I really enjoy their acorn and butternut squash lasagna. The highlights of this dish include the sage cream and their toasted pine nuts which give it a nice texture.

              1. I like the lasagna at Dave's Fresh Pasta. :) Best lasagna I've ever had.

                1. To make a long review short, I wouldn't recommend Pagliuca's (too heavy, with too much cheese, esp. parmesan, and slightly sour tomato sauce). I would recommend L'Osteria, which also has great meatballs.

                  1. I tried another lasagna this week at Limoncello. Their version was a bit unconventional, but very delicious. Instead of the usual red gravy, it had a very light cream and tomato sauce. Cream, if not done right, can weigh down a dish, but here it was perfect. The lasagna was made with peas and ground beef, and the peas subtly brighten the dish. The cheese was nice and restrained. I highly recommend Limoncello's lasagna, if you want to try a slightly off-the-beaten-path version of a classic dish. I'll order it again soon.

                    One note about the service: though the restaurant was half-empty and we arrived early, close to 5, we were at first seated at the very back next to the kitchen entrance and a loud, steaming espresso machine. Not a good first impression. Fortunately, I asked for a different table and was given one.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Guilty Glutton

                      I really like Limoncello. They have a great past dish...rosetta, thick past with a light sauce. Haven't tried the lasagna. Ms 9 gets the pasta and I get a veal/proscuiito dish. The octopus app is a winner too.

                      For service, ask for Mario as your waiter..old school and vey friendly and professional.