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Sagra (June 2009), Davis Square

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Sugar04 Jun 23, 2009 05:42 PM

A dining companion and I checked out Sagra last Thursday night for dinner. Sagra got some early board attention when it opened 2-3? years ago (esp. for the Neapolitan pizzas and selection of antipasti) when it opened, but seemed to re-invent itself a couple of times, never arriving on exactly what it wanted to be. Simple, fresh Italian? Boston sports bar? Davis Square lounge?

In the end, the menu and the concept seems directly re-tooled for June 2009 recessionary dining times and my DC and I found everything straightforward, fresh and very reasonably priced.

Although the website has pizzas listed, they don't seem to be on the dinner menu anymore and the secondi piatti are more New American/meat and fish centric than Italian, but all was well executed.

We split:
Croquettes: ($6.00)--Triangular, fried fritters enriched with egg, cheese and tiny bits of pepperoncini. These were actualyl a bit bland and rich, a bit like a tender, bready mozzrella stick and I would have preferred more discernable pepperoncini for a bit of bite. However, for the price, the were clearly freshly fried and the advertized filling if caciocavallo cheese was tender and very milky-fresh
Steak Tips: ($14.00)--These were very well done, cooked medium exactly as requested and surprisingly showing off tangy, deep red wine marinade. Served with simple, chunky, slightly garlicky mashed potato and just barely wilted baby argula
Rigatoni w/ Sausage ($13.00)--Perfectly al dente extra thick rigatoni in a light sauce of garlic and olive oil. The combo of fresh tomato, roasted red peppers, rapini and sweet sausage was almost a "salsa" over the dish which added to flavor and surprising lightness.

So, a very easy, simple, fresh weeknite meal. I would def. go back for the pastas and the reaasonable prices are made more so by the fact that they currently accept Restaurant.com certificates.

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    pollystyrene RE: Sugar04 Jun 23, 2009 11:43 PM

    Thanks for the review, Sugar. I've been curious about Sagra ever since it opened, but because of the identity crisis you cited, and the lackluster reviews, I've kept it low on my list. Now I look forward to trying it. The prices are a draw. Thanks for the warning about the absence of pizza on the actual menu.

    1. b
      bear RE: Sugar04 Jun 24, 2009 03:17 AM

      Nice to hear an update. Sugar, how is the sizing on the pasta? Is it an app portiion or more of an entree?

      Sounds like a decent option, especially in the nice weather.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bear
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        Sugar04 RE: bear Jun 24, 2009 06:43 AM

        Pasta portions were definitely entree-size. My DC and and I split everything down the middle + 1 glass of wine each and we were quite satisfied.

        I'm curious if they still do the pizzas as the late-night menu, but I forgot to ask.

        1. re: Sugar04
          b
          bear RE: Sugar04 Jun 24, 2009 07:13 AM

          Thanks. We'll check it out within the next few weeks during our weekly Monday night cheap eats date night.

          1. re: Sugar04
            yumyum RE: Sugar04 Jun 24, 2009 07:57 AM

            Pizza is on the bar menu. Or it was last time I was there -- Jan/Feb 09

        2. n
          newhound RE: Sugar04 Jun 24, 2009 03:57 PM

          Does anyone know if the various changes have been ownership changes, or just re-inventions?? My favorite Sagra was the first one--great food, really poorly managed front of the house that eventually got straightened out. As I recall, it was a small group of Somerville police officers who started it up-- still the same guys?

          1 Reply
          1. re: newhound
            yumyum RE: newhound Jun 25, 2009 07:39 AM

            The reason it was good in the beginning is they hired Marisa Iocco as consultant. She taught them about using best quality ingredients and preparing food simply. She left and the quality went downhill, IMO. No idea about the owners, former or current.

          2. l
            laura jean RE: Sugar04 Jun 29, 2009 01:59 PM

            I agree completely with this review. I recently had dinner at Sagra and found it to be a nice, simple, affordable meal.

            DC and I started with the eggplant involtini - nicely done. We also split the lobster ravioli (a special) - a much larger portion than I expected, easily shared by 2 as an app. We also split the gnocchi with duck ragu - very nice, but too heavy on the orange zest.

            I would definitely consider this a good neighborhood option - too bad it's just not *my* neighborhood.

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