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best restaurant for pasta?

hi all. happy 4th. have a request from a friend to go to a place with great pasta. i've been to giacomo's 2x's this month, so would like to try somewhere else...north end, south end, back bay, financial dis't, all fine. where do you love the pasta? thanks!

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  1. Teatro has a great bolognese and some other great pastas which can be ordered app size with a shared caeser salad. I also love a couple of pasta's at Grotto, but it has been awhile. Scampo had a fantastic clam sauce pasta.

    faves at southend giacomo's are picatta over linguini, parmesians, seafood fra diavlo and shrimp scampi

    1. Places I recently visited and had great pasta: Erbaluce, Sage, Marco, Pazzo, Sportello, Da Vinci, Rocca, Taranta, Trattoria Toscana.


      4 Replies
        1. re: nasilemak

          Me too - I just got back from Erbaluce - the spaghetti alla chittara with summer herb pesto was outstanding. His pasta has just the right chewiness and the pesto was subtle enough so that the flavor of the noodles still came through.

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          Da Vinci is good? I somehow assumed it wasn't great because I haven't heard much about it since it opened... Hmm...maybe I should check it out! What's good for pasta there?

          1. re: hsquare2southend

            I love Da Vinci. The first time, you should definitely go for their Pasta Sampler... three home made pastas.

        3. Haven't been since last summer but the macheronchelli with kobe meatballs is one of my favorite pasta dishes of all time...Another favorite is the veal piccatelli at L'Osteria in the N. End...also, not on your list of locales but I have had several wonderful pasta dishes at dante in Cambridge...

          2 Replies
          1. re: saridt

            macheronchelli (?) is at Sorellina right? And I strongly second MCSJB rec for Erbaluce

          2. Thanks guys - going to try Erbaluce. Will report back!

            1 Reply
            1. re: gramercyfoodie

              So we weren't a fan of Erbulance. Thought presentation and service were lovely, but did not find food tasty. I think it was us though, don't think there was anything wrong just not for us per say.

            2. I am just thrilled to hear good things about Erbaluce. I will definately give it a try, as I love the space and always felt bad the others have failed to make it there. Never understood as it seems like a lovely corner across from chainland

              1. Some of my favorite places for pasta include:

                Pasta Market, Malden
                Vecchia Roma, Newton
                Al Dente, North End
                Monica's, North End
                Abbondanza, Everett
                Rino's, East Boston

                1. fresh corn agnolotti w/ whipped parmesan butter at Scampo...

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: barleywino

                    Second Scampo. You can't go wrong with pretty much any of the pastas there; in fact, I think that's what they do best. An absolutely amazingly delicious bolognese.

                    1. re: twentyoystahs

                      their tagliolini au gratin w/ rock shrimp (supposedly based on a dish from Da Fiore in Venice) has white wine in the sauce which seems more reminiscent of French than Italian

                      1. re: barleywino

                        But the Veneto region of Italy produces some wonderful white wines, so perhaps it is authentically Venetian? Venice has a rather unique type of local seafood from their lagoon, which includes some unusual types of shrimp, large sardines, cuttlefish, etc.

                    2. Definitely Erbaluce for something fresh and authentic. No one else has its recipes. Wine bar and restaurant are great.

                      1. Most of my faves were mentioned, but I will repeat as an additional vote! Macheroncelli with Kobe meatballs at Sorellina, gnocchi with mushrooms at Sportello (pretty much any pasta at Sportello- dreamy!), Erbaluce, Grotto. I still need to get to Trattoria Toscana!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: hsquare2southend

                          agree with the above, especially Erbaluce, but would add Bina Osteria and Da Vinci

                            1. re: teezeetoo

                              Have you been to Bina since the chef changeover? The new menu under Azita looks rather simpler -- no foams, for instance -- and definitely less expensive.


                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                went for appetizers and drinks about a week after the changeover. it was a disaster. We had tickets for Pink Martini and told the head waiter. Our drinks came but the food never arrived, so I can't say whether it was good or not. I liked the menu and would try it again though in my heart I'm thinking its high point may have passed like a flash. still, it deserves a second look.

                            2. re: hsquare2southend

                              After a lot of research on CH and Yelp I decided to take co-workers to Trattoria Toscana. We were in from LA and only had a few meals in Boston. What a great decision that was. I was in NYC for the previous 5 days and ate at some of the city's best Italian places like Scarpetta, Convivio, Elio's and Il Bagatto. I'll tell you that Trattoria Toscana help their own to NYC heavyweights. The service was impeccable. Their wine list was much more manageable than most restaurants. We were able to find a nice Amarone and Barbara both for under $80.

                              Onto the food. We ordered a few antipasta to start off with - 3 different types of cheese, 3 different types of salami, olives and great toasty bread drizzled with olive oil. I know this isn't the most exciting appetizer but when done right simple food like this is great. The parmesan was fantastic. We also ordered a plate of gnocchi and plate of penne to share amongst the 6 people at the table for appetizers. The gnocchi was outstanding. Quite possibly the best pesto I've ever had. The gnocchi were lovely pillows that stuck to the sauce in a great way. The penne with pancetta in red sauce was a revelation. It was actually so good my boss ordered another plate to share when we got our main dishes. I ordered the garganelli with ragu. Excellently cooked pasta with a nice slow roasted ragu. The depth of flavors was outstanding. Lick your plate kind of good. 3 people at the table ordered the flank steak with aragula and parmesan. Damn was that steak good. Cooked perfectly, perfectly seasoned and a great Tuscan celebration when combined with the arugala and parmesan.

                            3. For a rich, peasant-inspired bolognese, definitely make your way to Prezza -- it's out of this world. While Prezza doesn't boast the North End's most traditional Italian environment, it's perfectly prepared dishes (ranging from the Tagliatelle a la Bolognese and their potato-mushroom ravioli, to their roasted striped bass and bone in beef tenderloin with asiago-potato gratin) and extensive wine list make it an excellent choice for an upscale dining experience. Truly, the best bolognese I've had.

                              1. I will add another spot that has not been mentioned yet --that I feel should definitely be at the top of the 'best pasta' list --Pazzo. This is the new place on Newbury Street that Bill Bradley heads up. I had a delicious, flavorful gnocchi dish --gnocchi pillowy and light as a feather. I tend to be pretty careful about where I order gnocchi --if not done correctly (and it often isn't), it can be leaden and overly filling. This was done right --Really enjoyed it.

                                1. The Maccheroncelli at Sorellina is unbelievable. American kobe beef meatballs, barolo sauce and Parmigiano

                                  1. My favorites: (keep in mind I have a bias towards fresh, handmade pastas)
                                    Monica's (North End)
                                    Prezza (North End)
                                    Upstairs on the Square, Monday Club (Harvard Square) makes surprisingly innovative and really tasty pasta dishes -and they make their own pasta too!
                                    Gran Gusto (North Cambridge)


                                    1. Neither of these places are not particularly glamorous, but the food is fresh and delicious and very cheap -- $10 or less for a huge serving of pasta. They are small and you order at the counter. Mostly takeout, but the pasta is fresh and so are the sauces. they usually sell about 10 some of which rotate on a daily basis. Some meat dishes, too, but this not why to go. Also don't order the lasagna in all of them it is made in advance and warmed up.

                                      My favorite: The Village Kitchen, Cambridge

                                      or since this is not particularly accessible by public transport

                                      The bottega fiorentina restraunts. There is one on newbury and another in brookline