Family Restaurant in the North End
I am looking for a reasonably-priced restaurant in the North End that has the feeling of a family-run restaurant with Southern Italian food. In other words, we don't want anything fancy...just straight up good pasta dishes and a low-key atmosphere. Ideas?
Sounds like you should head to Cantina Italiania on Hanover St...otherwise known as The Cantina. It doesn't get high marks here but it's a place that's not phony and sometimes exceeds it's critics. I've had some decent meals here over the years when folks from out of town want to meet and "catch up."
Does it need to be in the North End? It's a lot easier to park at Antonio's, on Cambridge Street near Mass General. Very good Southern Italian at reasonable prices in a family-friendly setting.
Antico Forno seems to fit your request. It does get mixed reviews here, but I still really like it there.
When I lived in the North End my two favorite restaurants that meet your description were L'Osteria on Salem St. and Massimino's on Endicott. Have eaten at Mother Anna's several times, but never liked it as well as the other two.
It's not on their online menu, but if they're still serving it I recommend the veal agrodolce at L'Osteria and they also do a great antipasto - I love their salad dressing.
Would also second the recco for Antico Forno. I've never eaten at Cantina Italiana, but the fact that the place has been there for 40+ years says a lot.