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Jul 6, 2009 04:32 PM

Anyone been to Sportello?

Any thoughts on Sportello?

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  1. Sure, msgcook, lots of us have been--search the board for many opinions.

    Quick summary: I really like it. Unique modern-esque diner format. Pastas are very good if not excellent.

    My favorites are the strozzapretti with braised rabbit and papardelle with ragu bolognese. My DC also likes the potato gnocchi with cream, peas, and pancetta. I agree it is good, but it is rather heavy, particularly for lunch (when I tend to go). Appetizers are generally good, too. I like the burrata, which is currently served with a chestnut honey, and the tomato soup, which comes with a delicious rye and caraway-seeded grilled cheese.

    The diner format is ideal for solo or duo visits, although you can get away with a party of 3 or 4 if you sit on a corner. The corner seats are also great for two, if you can snag them. They've recently added tables and chairs, but I think that misses the concept, so I'd stick to the counter.

    Items from the bakery are very good. From what I've heard, they are housemade on site.

    Wines by the glass are good and well-paired, but expensive.

    Which leads to my only big negative: The place isn't cheap. Even a lunch of 1 app, 2 pastas, and a couple glasses of wine is going to set you back well over $60 before tip. In my opinion Sportello is worth it, but that is a hard number to juggle for lunch, particularly on more than just the occasional visit. In general the Lynch empire is good, but painfully-priced.

    If you do go and its after 4pm, check out Drink, located directly underneath Sportello, if you imbibe cocktails. A top craft cocktail bar in a city of such resurgence.

    348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

    2 Replies
    1. re: rlove

      Thanks, rlove. I did a search and I just wanted a direct answer to see if the general consensus was still good food, but overpriced. I've eaten there once, really early on, but haven't been back. I was hoping to get a good feel before applying to a position there. Who knows, if I get it maybe I can do something about those prices....


      1. re: rlove

        Not sure if it is still the case but when I went you could get 1/2 size portions of the pasta dishes for about 1/2 the price.

      2. Food is very good. Price is accordingly high. Setting is not at all that of a high end restaurant, more like a retro-modern cafeteria (moloxo velocet?). Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I probably won't be in the mood for it too often myself. It's not an issue of geography: I've been to Drink like 20 times more often than Sportello... my liver thanks me.

        1. Nice updated diner feel. Decent but not outstanding fare that smacks of preciousness. Decent service with a hint of attitude. Overpriced for what it is.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nasilemak

            Sounds like that is just about what one would expect for a Lynch joint price, quality and attitude wise. Haven't been and not rushing down.