Francesca's Kitchen - Arlington
This is just a fantastic little neighborhood place in Arlington that serves up really, really good Italian food. There are different specials every day and yesterday I had the eggplant parmesan with cheese ravioli. Huge, huge lunch easily split with someone else and only $8.95. The eggplant was prepared perfectly and was the best eggplant parm I can remember having in a very long time. The marinara was so good and even the very basic cheese ravioli was delicious. I also tried the arancini, which is a rice ball stuffed with meat and cheese. Equally delicious, however, be sure to ask them not to microwave it.
This is just a real no fuss, not fancy place to get great Italian food at really reasonable prices.
162 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474
Noticed that Comella's is opening a branch two blocks away at the corner of Lake and Main (next to the Quebrada and Capitol Theater).
On principle, I won't eat the Mess because of the name "Mess" - skeeves me out..., but for you fans of Francesca's, this is going to put some pressure on them I fear.
re: Bob Dobalina
if you think the Name "mess" or the concept of chucking together a bunch of pasta shapes (all over-cooked) skeeves you out, wait till you try their tomato sauce.
When Comella's first opened an additional location or two I though okay...good for them even if I'm not a fan. But now they seem to be out to take over the world.
Another +1 for the eggplant parm. My wife is out of town and I needed dinner that was easy and close to my E. Arlington spot. I (stupidly) ordered both a bowl of Pasta Fagioli and the Eggplant Parm dinner with Ziti. Could you imagine if I got ravioli?
The soup was very very good, I've been on a kick lately and this hit the spot on this cooling-down evening. The eggplant was rich, sweet, and really well-assembled. At first I was afraid it wasn't salty enough, but as it cooled the flavors really gelled and everything was fantastic. I actually ate it all. And the soup. I feel like I'm going to die, but man am I pleased!
Absolutely the best eggplant parm around, and I agree that it's easily enough for two. I usually get it with the homemade cavatelli which are delicious. They do run out of the eggplant parm sometimes because he makes it fresh everyday and will not keep it overnight so we usually call ahead if we're going for dinner and he will hold a couple of orders. Also really like the arancini and his homemade onion rings if he has them (doesn't always and the ones he serves when out of the homemade are not good). Will have to check out the ravioli. I tried the chicken pot pie once though and have to say I didn't like it at all, so you have been warned -- but really, no reason at all to get anything other than the eggplant parm.