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Jan 16, 2010 02:53 AM

We enjoyed Stregga

I was given a gift card to Stregga. When I checked Stregga out on Chowhound the comments were very negative. However our dinner there last night was excellent. We told our waitier that we would be sharing 3 courses. We shared an appetizer (mussels), a primi (pasta with ground tenderloin), and a segundi (chicken served with eggplant, dried tomatoes, red pepper, asparagus, mushroom, artichoke, and mashed potato).
We enjoyed each dish more than the previous. The service was attentive and we were served half portions of each dish. This was a nice touch. I suggest going there early to avoid the noise that builds as the evening progesses (by 7:45 when we left the noise was begiinnig to dominate the room. Also my guess is that by going in the winter, one avoids the feeling of being in a tourist trap.

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  1. I've had some really nice meals at Strega. They do an especially good job with their veal chop and grilled meats. The thing that bothers me about Strega is their practice of serving bottled water, without asking, and than slapping a $6 charge on your bill. On the other hand anytime I've been there they have also served a complimentary strega at the end of the meal. I don't understand the logic and so it doesn't end up on my regular rotation.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Pegmeister

      Just out of curiosity, is it $6 per bottle or $6 for as much bottled water as the table consumes?

      1. re: CambridgeFoodie

        Good question, I'm not sure. I don't drink water with my meals so they filled the glass and left the bottle on the table. Either way, I don't agree with charges on my bill for something I didn't ask for and that also went to waste.

        1. re: Pegmeister

          Regardless of whether the customer drinks it, serving and charging for bottled water they didn't order is thieving, plain and simple. It's a contemptible practice, especially when it's obvious that it's a management practice perpetrated on every customer, not just the work of one bad-apple server.

    2. That clip-joint tactic of serving unordered bottled water at Strega doesn't surprise me. $43 for that veal chop does.

      But the real question: was it "da bes' Italian food in da city"? Because I've seen the TV commercials, and apparently "some people" say it is.

      6 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        No it wasn't the best, not by a long shot, but that chop was nice. Prezza would be my first choice when in the North End, unfortunately though, it's not open for lunch. I just don't get the whole water thing. Same thing at Il Panino, but they at least are up front about it and just refuse to serve tap water.

        1. re: Pegmeister

          I've tried to get some clarity on the legality of refusing to serve tap water from the local restaurant community, but the responses have been very uncertain: either folks don't really know or they don't want to rat out their colleagues who are getting away with something.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Slim, this is a great question, as a professional perhaps you might have a contact at City Hall who might be able to answer this?

            1. re: bluesjack

              I'd welcome suggestions as to where to ask; neither my day job nor my food writing have ever put me close to anyone in Government Center.


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                At Strega, I just deducted $6 from his tip because when I asked about the charge, the waiter was evasive and somewhat arrogant. My thought was if it hits them in the pocketbook then maybe the policy will change.

                1. re: Pegmeister

                  That kind of thievery always makes me never want to return to a place.