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Pizzeria Posto

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Went to Posto in Davis Square tonight for opening night, as we have been anxiously awaiting its opening. It lived up to our expectations for the most part, especially given that it was opening night.
We opted to order 2 appetizers and 1 pizza, despite the waitress's advice that pizzas are personal sized. I had fava and green bean salad with pea tendrils and feta, which was quite tasty, and my husband had calamari, which he loved. We shared the Bianca pizza. Pizza was great, crust was perfect, chewy and crispy at the same time, and nicely charred from the wood oven. It was definitely personal pizza sized, with 4 slices, though with our own appetizers, we had more than enough food. Owner sent out an order of the veal agnolotti, maybe because it was opening night and they were sending things out to everyone, but I think because they recognized us and knew we've been rooting for them through this whole process. Husband thought it was great. Only problem is I'm a vegetarian, so no pasta for me.
My only complaint is that as a vegetarian, menu was a teeny bit limited (though that's partly because I don't like mushrooms and one of the veggie pizzas was mushrooms). All of the pastas had meat.
There is an extensive wine list, with many wines by the glass. Cheapest was a house red for $5/glass, and most expensive was a Brunello for $20/glass. My husband's Super Tuscan was tasty.
In any case, we are excited to go back next week, and we are hoping for a frequently changing menu so that we can go often without getting bored!

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  1. Thanks for the review. I'm excited to try this.

    1. photos of the menu are up on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blacktab...

      i'm a bit taken aback at the prices; they seem a bit high, and certainly not in line with what i was anticipating/hoping (price & atmosphere more like cambridge one than gran gusto.

      )

      look forward to trying it out, but at these prices it looks like it's unfortunately going to be a once-in-a-while splurge.

      1. was there 2nd night open. left very happy. Atmosphere reminds me of Zuni cafe in San fran. with exposed brick and funky windows. very attentive and friendly service a little frazzled at times but very impressive considering they had just opened the night before. had the eggplant and white sardine app. could have used more sardines and was a bit underseasoned/undercooked but still tasty and the whipped ricotta it comes with was really creamy and delicious. Everything was up from there. Split the pizza margherita: crisp and smoky on the outside chewy on the inside crust and with 00 flour, san marzano tomatoes & fior di latte it was everything I hoped for. The house-made chili oli was a delicious addition which we also added to the tagliatelle with braised rabbit, peas, and favas. I am almost always disappointed when ordering pasta out, I always feel I could do a better job for 1/8 of the price but this dish was a standout, and I certainly don't braise rabbits, or shell fresh peas/favas everyday so it felt special. Savory and delcious, rich but still felt right for an april evening. solid wine list, good beers on tap. excited to return!

        1. Went to Posto tonight with a group of 5. Very busy on a Thursday night, they seem to be drawing a crowd. Nice to see given how dead that spot has been for the past several years, although we'll see if they can sustain the crowds.

          I started with a drink at the bar while waiting for the rest of my party to arrive: a Mistaken Negroni from their cocktail menu (prosecco, campari, sweet vermouth, orange slice, served on the rocks). It was pretty good, although the selection at the bar was pretty minimal and the staff seemed like they might be a bit hard-pressed to put together anything complicated off-menu. The wine list is good looking and reasonably extensive (including ~25 by the glass), and they've got a small but good selection of beers on tap. I could see Posto being a good place to meet for drinks and appetizers after work, especially for wine.

          To eat, we shared four appetizers and five pizzas (which was more food than we needed). The appetizers were all extremely good, especially the tuna and chickpea salad (several slices of barely-seared tuna served over chickpeas with a lemon-garlic dressing) and the calamari (fried, with hot peppers). Several other appetizers looked appealing, including a crudo misto (with tuna and fluke) and crisp heritage pork "arancini".

          The pizzas were also quite good, although one of them was a bit too charred and tasted a bit burnt. The crust had a great texture though, and the rest of the pizzas came out lightly charred but not burnt tasting. A bit more experience with their oven will hopefully solve these minor inconsistencies. The roast pork pizza and the white anchovy pizza were particular favorites of mine, but everything was tasty.

          Certainly a place that I'm very glad to have in the neighborhood, and I think a worthy place to keep in mind as an Italian/pizza option in the Cambridge/Somerville area.

          7 Replies
          1. re: greenzebra

            Between that place and the Pulse Cafe, that stretch might finally see a little chow goodness and consistency...

            1. re: greenzebra

              Have you been to Gran Gusto and can you compare to their pizza? I adore GG but am pretty excited to have more good pizza locally, esp with a great wine selection.

              -----
              Gran Gusto
              90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

              1. re: yumyum

                I have not been to Gran Gusto yet -- it is on my list but I haven't had a chance to make it over there yet.

                -----
                Gran Gusto
                90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                1. re: yumyum

                  I recently went to Gran Gusto for the first time (and have been to Posto 3 or 4 times since they opened). The pizzas are pretty similar, although I prefer Posto's crust. Also, Posto has been changing toppings pretty regularly as different things come into season (for example, a ramp pizza was recently on the menu - which was excellent). I don't have a sense as to how often Gran Gusto's menu changes.

                  The atmosphere of the two places is quite different though. Posto has a bit more of a 'nightlife' atmosphere (ocassionally too loud music, crowd at the bar, more modern, designer space), whereas Gran Gusto is has a more traditional Italian in feel.

                  -----
                  Gran Gusto
                  90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                  Pizzeria Posto
                  187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                  1. re: msackton

                    Thanks for the comparison. I'm looking forward to trying Posto's crust, if it's superior to Gran Gusto.

                    Two other notes: I've never seen the menu change at GG, although they have seasonal specials. And the atmosphere at GG is the only thing I dislike about the place ... the mural is cheesy, the piped in music is bad. But I put up with it for the pie.

                    -----
                    Gran Gusto
                    90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                    1. re: yumyum

                      i *like* the atmosphere at gran gusto. it's wonky cheesiness appeals to me. there's something charming about it.

                      but then, atmosphere is way, way, way far down the list of what i care about at a restaurant. it competes with "how much can i make the waitstaff lick my primly entitled feet" for dead last. (for those following the current box of complaints about craigie street.)

                      1. re: autopi

                        More posts should include the term "wonky cheesiness". Just sayin.

              2. Went last night and really enjoyed it. The decor is modern and industrial, yet warm (the bricks and candles). It was full, but not mobbed (this was late on a Sunday evening), and found the noise levels ok (we could carry on a conversation without any problems).
                Agree with dsackton about the wine list; it's extensive and there are good wines at different price ranges. We had a lovely Primitivo that was fruity and full-bodied.
                We started with the crispy pigs' ears (wonderfully crisp and salty), braised lamb with polenta (the lamb just melted in your mouth), and the arugula/endive salad (wonderfully fresh, bitter arugula).
                We ordered two pizzas: the Margherita and the white anchovy. The dough was thin and chewy, very authentic Neapolitan. The ingredients were fresh and delicious. The pies are smaller than Gran Gusto. I think Posto's pies are a little more balanced; Gran Gusto sometimes really piles on the ingredients. But you can't go wrong with either.
                For dessert we had strawberries with a blend of marscapone and ricotta, topped with balsamic. I also had one of their specialty cocktails, the Gin Gin Mule (Sapphire, homemade ginger beer, simple syrup, and mint). Refreshing and not sweet (the ginger beer could have been a little more gingery).
                Very excited to have this in Davis Square.

                -----
                Gran Gusto
                90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                1. Ate here last night. Overall, a good experience but I do have a few comments about things that need improvement. I love what they've done with the space, and the service was excellent throughout- no complaints whatsoever there.

                  We started with a special app of one soft shell crab for $12. It was very good, but not as succulent and juicy as soft shells can sometimes be. It also lacked salt. This was a recurring theme with everything except dessert-- underseasoning. We also had the calamari app for $11. I think the oil might have been a little on the cool side because it was a little greasy and the batter was quite pale, not browned at all. Then, we shared the Margherita pizza. The crust was really good, excellent flavor and texture and the cheese was delicious. However, the sauce was kind of watery and severely underseasoned. For dessert we tried the affumogato, which was very good.

                  I thought the pizza tasted much better after a sprinkle of salt, and would likely eat there again, but I felt the prices overall were high. The pizzas are personal-sized, although we shared one with 2 apps and dessert as a light meal. One hungry person could definitely eat one alone, though. Some of the pizzas with more toppings go as high as $17 which seems a little pricey for a one-serving pizza. Some of the cocktails (which I did not see one person drinking- a sign?) are as high as $14. I'm just not sure that's the right price point for that location, or really for any pizza place, as authentic as their wood-fired oven might be. In addition, there will soon be the competition from the flatbread company opening in Sacco's Bowl Haven. Although it's a different atmosphere, I'm not sure people will want to pay double for Posto's pizza vs other options. I really like this concept for this space and want something to succeed there (finally) so I hope they can make some tweaks to pricing and seasoning and keep their business strong.

                  1. First visit, and I like the decor - low light seems to have solved the cavern problem.

                    Loved the texture of the pizza crust, but was surprised to find both pizza and salad underseasoned. (Salt in the crust; salt/pepper/acid on the salad). They got the certification from the Pizza Margherita Trade War Protectorate or whatever, so maybe this is how it's "supposed to be," but Margherita ain't made from Tuscan bread either ;)

                    1. Have been wanting to try this place for a while and finally made it there. Got there @ 6 tonight, just before the place finally filled up. At 7, there was a definite line.

                      We ordered heavily on apps, so that we only split one pizza. Servers were very busy, but mostly attentive, and the manager stepped in as needed. Here's what we had:

                      - Marinated olives - a nice mix, well-priced at $3, nicely garnished w/ rosemary
                      - Rosemary & sea salt bread - I don't think they provide free bread for anything, but this was nice, served piping hot, good crust
                      - Caesar salad - we had the anchovies on the side. a basic caesar- lettuce not wilting, so we were happy
                      - Arancini w/ lemon - not very lemony, but 4 arancini, good basic tomato sauce
                      - Mushroom pizza w/ arugula - a bit oily, but delicious! Crust was great.

                      We had beer and wince for beverages - decided not to venture into the cocktail menu.

                      Overall, a good, tasty dinner - a bit on the pricey side, but we want to return and try a few more things! Has anyone been to Sagra lately? I was there when it had just opened, but not back for more than a year - just wondering what will happen when Posto has more overflow - will folks head to Sagra?

                      -----
                      Sagra
                      400 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144

                      1. Does anyone know if they do pies to go? I'm in the mood for good pizza, not so much in the mood to dine out.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: LeoLioness

                          I am pretty sure they do -- I have seen a big stack of to-go pizza boxes in the restaurant (unless those are just for people taking home leftovers), and Yelp also indicates that they do takeout.

                          1. re: greenzebra

                            Late to the party here - finally got around to trying Posto - got a porchetta pizza take-out - It's expensive based on the size - $15 + tax and barely serves two (with a large salad at home from the CSA). But I have to say that it was really, really good - the spicy pork, herbed peaches, cheese and arugula really all blend well, and I preferred the firmer, chewier crust over GG.

                        2. We tried Posto one sleepy Sunday afternoon. Sat at the bar to get us some World Cup action. To start, we had the excellent olives. Pizza was good (we had the Bianca with fior di latte, ricotta, pecorino, parmesan, and oregano), but we felt that it was missing a little salt in the dough and we would've liked it a smidge thicker (it was cracker thin, but still retained chewiness..I like a bit more char on the underside). We've only been to Gran Gusto once - the pizza WAS excellent, but we just couldn't get past the cheesy atmosphere. Posto, while pricey, is our new choice for pizza. Atmosphere on busy nights, I imagine, would be lots of fun, especially with a good pal or date night at the bar or with a group.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: digga

                            We gave it a try tonight after catching a movie - the food was good but the service lagged. Even after snagging some seats at the bar it took the only bartender more than 5 minutes to get to us. I asked what was on tap, she flipped over the menus to show me the list, and didn't come back again for several minutes. Beer selection is small but nice. Pricey for a 12oz glass though. We shared a salad, spaghetti and pizza which was more than enough for two. Salad was arugala with gorzonzola. Light lemony dressing and really good cheese. Spaghetti was carbanara with pancetta. Could have used a little salt and pepper and slightly bigger pieces of pancetta but a nice flavor overall. Pizza had ham, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and black and green olives. A nice combo and the crust was perfect. Overall, as others have indicated, it was a lot to spend for pizza and salad. Glad we went but it will probably not be a regular place for us because of both the price point and the slow service.

                            1. re: Boston Penguin

                              I was also there last night and I agree that the service -- particularly behind the bar -- seemed to be having trouble keeping up. I will also say, though, that most of the folks seemed very well-meaning and trying hard. I think they just seemed a bit short staffed--again, at the bar in particular.

                              The pizzas I tried - Margherita and Sausage/Raab - were both excellent. I care a lot about pizza, and I actually though that this place stands up favorably to some of the recent NYC wood-fired neo-neapolitan spots. Nicely crisp-chewy, well charred, and flavorful ingredients. The prices weren't cheap, but didn't seem out of line for the quality and size of the pizzas. In fact my one complaint in this regard was the fact that the pizzas are a bit too large for single-serving and a bit too small for two. An awkward size, though leftover pizza is certainly not the end of the world.

                              1. re: celeriac

                                We were there Saturday evening at the bar too! I really hope that they were just one bartender short. We actually almost walked out after not having any attention paid to us for ten minutes (and we're pretty laid-back when it comes to service), although the bartender did offer an apology when she got to us. No complaints about the food (although I agree completely with celeriac about the size of the pizzas).

                                1. re: dfan

                                  Isn't it obvious what the problem was? YOU were ALL there!

                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                    I was there too! LOL. WE were the problem, not the staffing.

                                    I really enjoyed the pizza ... and shared a few pies with some friends so we didn't mind the portion sizes. Made it easier for us to try a few different things. The bianca was my favorite: Fior di latte, ricotta, pecorino, parmesan, oregano.

                                    The crust is very good -- agree with Celeriac -- crispy-chewy.

                                2. re: celeriac

                                  Damn people - stay home the end of July. I want to get it when I come for a visit! Is the bar more appealing than regular seating? Some places, the bar is more entertaining, but not others.

                                  1. re: itryalot

                                    Both times we've been there we sat at the bar just because there were seats available there and there was a wait for a table.

                                    I don't think Posto is one of those places where there's any particular reason to eat at the bar.

                            2. I've been to Posto twice, and both times, had excellent service and excellent food. The first time I went, my DC got their Cotto pizza (prosciutto, gorgonzola, and port-wine reduction); the owner stopped by to tell him that it was his favorite pizza, and I can see why; it's fantastic. But now it's only available off-menu due to lack of demand. I suggest demanding one if you go.

                              1. I had high hopes for this place...I truly did. But in the end, after having some amazing, real Neapolitan pizza in the U.S., this place just seemed to encapsulate my biggest qualm with eating out in Boston....you simply don't get what you pay for. A rather large menu is fine, and I appreciate any place that takes the time to make their own fior di latte. But try asking them where their "farm fresh egg" comes from....which farm exactly? And you can get the same style pizza in far more expensive cities, for less money. All in all, while the food wasn't bad, the whole experience was nothing worth running back for.

                                -----
                                Pizzeria Posto
                                187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Foodcamel

                                  What WAS their response when you asked them where their farm fresh egg came from?

                                2. Ate there last night for the first time. I thought the pizzas and pastas we had were quite good, but what I want to comment on is the cocktail I had. While the cocktail list had the look of one from an ambitious bar, the whiskey sour I had was a disappointment. While it was supposed to have contained Michter's bourbon, it was so watery, who could tell? The run-of-the-mill day-glo cherry, of course, was the immediate tip off that Posto is not nearly as serious about its booze as it is about its "certified'' Neapolitan pizza.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: katzzz

                                    I believe Posto is in between bartenders or something; I'm really not sure. When they first opened, their cocktails were superb -- I fell in love with their Aviation and their Sidecar. But in the past few months, they've renovated their cocktail list, and have a lot of trouble making any drinks that aren't on the printed menu. When I asked for their Aviation, they said "we lost the recipe"; I offered to look up the standard recipe and they refused. A friend of mine ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and they refused to make that, too. Another friend asked for a gimlet -- a gimlet! -- and he had to describe what was in it, and they still got it wrong.

                                    Some of the cocktails on their menu are still quite nice, and they take their wine very seriously, but yes, their bartending is currently awful. It's their only weak point.

                                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                                      Lost the recipe - seriously? Had a personal "meh" experience there recently and seen others here - Is this place on the death watch list? Hope not.

                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                        i don't think they are on the death watch. i've been twice, and they've been packed to the gills each time.

                                        last time, i had a really nicely done cocktail special; i don't remember exactly what was in it other than i believe ginger beer (maybe?) and ... whiskey? don't quite recall, but i enjoyed it. but you know, hard to generalize from my one experience

                                        i do think the cooking is superb. the 2 or 3 pizzas i've tried have been very nicely done; i recall the tomato sauce they use as being a standout, which is not something i usually pay much attention to. i've had 2 pastas -- a carbonara and a crab ravioli in an english pea brodo -- both of which were absolutely first rate.

                                        i need, however, to get myself invited to one of their pig roasts...

                                        1. re: autopi

                                          Went after 9:30 last night and they were hopping. I think I had the cocktail that you were talking about, the Ria-demption. Made with Redemption bourbon, lemon juice, ginger beer, and bitters. A delicious gingery whiskey sour.

                                        2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                          No way --- the food is still really decent, the pizzas I've had are great, and there's some really special apps on the menu (try the liver pate). My friends and I had a massive pig roast there last month that was one of the most memorably meals I've had in Boston -- they really did a fantastic job. I just wish they'd get a new bartender.

                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                            Definitely not on the death watch list - every time I go in it seems pretty packed, and I still think the food is superb. But there cocktails have always been hit-or-miss, and have gotten significantly worse. I don't even bother ordering cocktails at Posto anymore -- the wine list is quite good and they have a few well-chosen beers, so I never feel like taking a gamble on mediocre to poor bartending.

                                      2. I was excited to go to this place because of wonderful reviews I had heard. I have to say, my experience was just "meh." Perhaps they were having an off night. I might go back another time to find out. Anyhow, we were seated. Shortly after, our drink orders, app orders were taken. I hate when this happens, but our app orders came out well before our drinks. They had also failed to give us plates to eat the apps on so we had to flag down the server to ask about the drinks and if we could get plates for the apps. Our drinks came about 5 minutes later, but the plates came sooner, thankfully. We ordered the calamari which was excellent and we ordered the olives which were excellent as well. My friends and I ordered a glass each of the Lambrusco and it was wonderful. Onto dinner... I ordered the mushroom pizza, my friend ordered one w/ prosciutto and my other friend ordered the sausage pizza. My mushroom pizza was just "ok." It wasn't very flavorful. I've had better. My friend who had the pizza w/ prosciutto wasn't impressed...her pizza or actually the prosciutto on the pizza was charred in many places. By charred, I mean black to the point of inedible. Must have left it under the fire too long. My other friend said her sausage pizza was just ok too, but that the cheese on it was excellent. While our server was very nice, we barely saw her and actually had to flag her down or flag someone down to help us. Again, perhaps it was just an off night. I wouldn't write this place off as of yet, but I'm not in a rush to return either.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: BackBayGirl

                                          I wonder how charred is too charred for you, BackBayGIrl? I know that different people have very different expectations in this regard, and I'm the sort of person that likes his pies to have some real color. For reference, check out these pictures from Slice:

                                          http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                          Did you pie look more burnt than these? If not... I hope you saved your leftovers for me!

                                          1. re: celeriac

                                            I too like charred as well, but no, the pies you show are not what this pie was. It was charred as in black as in if you picked up the prosciutto and bit into it it was practically ash. No exaggeration either.

                                        2. I ate there last night with a friend at the bar. We ordered the caesar salad and the spring ramp pizza. The caesar salad was bright and lemony and ample for two to share. The lettuce is chopped, which is ok with me. The ramp pizza was disappointing because of two critical things: the bacon on it was limp, cold and basically raw and the egg in the center of the pizza was cold, almost uncooked. Do you know when when the white part, the albumen, is clear and water liquidy? That was the egg. I realize that these components must be added towards the end of the cooking process, otherwise the egg would be hardboiled and the bacon charred. But this was way undertimed. The pizza part itself, however, was quite good. Now that I'm thinking about this, what is the point of the egg? It is not integral to the dish, like egg in a pasta carbonnara. We would have overlooked it completely had it not been for the leaking albumen.

                                          There were timing issues for our food as well. We had to wait a very long time for the pizza, and asked the bartender twice about it. I think he was preoccupied with dealing with the bar. OK.

                                          I would go back there and try them again, because everybody deserves a second chance, but I'm going to be wary.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Runningmom

                                            I've had their pizzas with egg added before, and it's usually a nicely cooked soft-boiled egg. Sounds like your pizza was woefully undercooked... very icky and not something I've seen there.

                                            1. re: Runningmom

                                              If I get an undercooked egg and undercooked/cold bacon, I send it back. Did you not say anything?

                                              1. re: bella_sarda

                                                I too would probably send back a bad item, but as Runningmom states, they were already waiting a long time for their meal and sometimes, it's not worth it to have to wait even longer for it to be corrected. In my friend's case w/ her charred pizza, we had no time to wait around after we'd waited forever for our food and trying to even flag down a manager was moot because the staff was not being all that attentive...it would've made us late to try to do that. I guess the other option is to go back the next day or call and say something about it, but who knows. I have been in that position before though where sending something back wasn't feasible at the time.

                                                1. re: BackBayGirl

                                                  BackBayGirl couldn't have said it better. Sometimes it's just not worth it to send something back under certain conditions, and frankly, I didn't care enough about this particular restaurant to bother. If this had happened in a restaurant that I felt invested in--which is a combination of the vibe, the service, and the food--I would have said something as a constructive heads up to management. In other words, if you show you care about me as a customer, then I'll show you that I care by returning, by spreading the word, and by politely calling to your attention any issues that I know you'd want to know about. End of sermon.

                                            2. Finally tried Posto last night for the first time. I was extremely disappointed. The crust, while nicely charred, was absolutely flabby. It did not appear to be undercooked, it just lacked any crispness at all. It was chewy, yes, but way too soft for a true Neapolitan pizza. We ordered the plain Margherita, so it's not as if it was loaded down with toppings. I will admit that the quality of toppings (especially the tomato sauce) was quite good, but the crust just killed it for me.

                                              Did anyone else have the same experience? I notice people here saying the crust was "crisp", so maybe they just don't achieve crispness consistently? To me, there seemed to be something inherent about this dough that did not seem designed to achieve crispness; like they're going for a breadier style deliberately.

                                              I was also irked by the waiter. When we ordered, we said we did not have huge appetites, and that between the two of us would share one arugula salad and one pizza. He said he didn't think that would be enough food, but we stuck to our guns and it was just right for us that particular night. I'm glad we didn't allow him to pressure us to order more than we wanted, but he seemed annoyed with us for the rest of the evening.

                                              Anyone else find the pizza wholly underwhelming?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: bella_sarda

                                                Yes I agree with you. I feel like the crust was much better a couple of years ago. Maybe the recipe changed? It still tastes good but it's a strange consistancy for pizza crust. It reminded me in both smell and taste of freshly baked "sahara" or pita bread, like the kind you can get at the Armeian bakeries in Watertown.

                                                1. re: nachovegas

                                                  Posto hasn't been open a couple of years.

                                                  1. re: Gabatta

                                                    If I recall correctly, their sign out front says "since 2009" but that was definitely wishful thinking on their part because they missed the launch by enough months that the calendar had turned over to 2010. A small bit of deception.