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Apr 16, 2010 08:21 AM

Pazzo for dinner

I went to Pazzo on Newbury St. last night for dinner. I'd never been before. It was around 8pm Thursday and the place was relatively dead. My friends and I ordered a bottle of cabernet & shared an antipasto platter. It was very tasty. For the main course I got the braciola. I thought it was ok, but nothing to write home about. I did get a side of pasta as well and wasn't that impressed by the sauce or the pasta. It was decent, but again, nothing to write home about. We shared the tiramisu for dessert and that was quite good. I would not dismiss this place at all, but it isn't really at the top of my list of places to go in the future. I'd be interested to hear about other diners' experiences and favorite dishes if any they serve. Thanks!

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  1. Sigh. My husband and I checked out Pazzo late last year with high hopes. But we were similarly underwhelmed. It's a shame, because we loved that chef's work back at Rustic Kitchen years ago. I'll stop in for a glass of wine and an appetizer if I'm in the neighborhood, but for dinner, high end Italian, we'd much rather go to Via Matta, Gran Gusto, or Scampo.

    Gran Gusto
    90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

    215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

    Via Matta
    79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

    5 Replies
    1. re: ginafly

      Right...I feel similarly...fine for a glass of wine or appetizer but I'll go elsewhere for a meal.

      1. re: BackBayGirl

        It's strange because I think Pazzo gets a lot of rave reviews but I'm with you, I thought everything was just alright but not great. I'd rather go elsewhere for a nice Italian meal.

        1. re: CreativeFoodie42

          Where has it gotten raves? Maybe I read some good review that led to my high hopes but Rest Week there was one of the more disappointing meals I've had in the last few years. I didn't want to heap onto the "meh" pile but that's what it was at best. That space hasn't really succeeded since Davio's left.

          75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116

          1. re: Joanie

            I think I've read a lot of good blog reviews and people are always suggesting it as a place to go on Newbury. Not quite the "meh" pile for me but definitely not a hit either.

            1. re: CreativeFoodie42

              We had an EXCELLENT meal there a couple of months after it first opened. Everything (especially the pastas) was so delicious and I was so excited to finally have a decent spot on Newbury Street...and the patio was a bonus. However, months later I started hearing mixed reviews --here, from friends, other spots....checked out the menu a few times as well and it wasn't nearly as extensive (or inspiring) as it had been when I was first there. Needless to say, I haven't been that motivated to head back.
              If it's true that Bradley has indeed left, that would make perfect sense. It was good when he was there, not-so-good now that he's left.

    2. I've had some solid if not transporting experiences at Pazzo: Bradley knows his way around a bowl of pasta. The big, narrow, upstairs/downstairs space is problematic, though: even with a decent crowd it can feel empty. I wouldn't mind giving it another try on that patio some night, and it's still one of the best of a lame bunch of options on Newbury.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Is Bradley still running the kitchen? I heard he left. Can anyone confirm?

      2. I've tried Pazzo twice now, and while it wasn't terrible, I don't think I'll bother to return.

        First visit was dinner at the bar with 1 DC, to use the groupon (or whichever). Service was good and the food was good but not amazing. We tried the beef carpaccio, crab cakes, and the gnocchi which I asked to have topped with the boar and pancetta ragu. The carpaccio was fine, my DCs first time trying it but I wasn't impressed. Crab cakes were surprisingly delicious. Gnocchi (very large and somehow loose) did NOT work with the ragu (which I seem to recall was bland), guess I should have trusted the menu.

        Second time was for drinks and apps on the patio with 3 DCs. The first bottle of wine we ordered was out, but they suggested a decent (same priced) alternative. We split the arancini, grilled artichoke, tuna tartar and maybe one other thing. Artichoke was great - I could have eaten several. Pet peeve of mine, but maybe I'm being too demanding - there were 4 of us, only 1 of 2 tables on the patio at 4pm on a Saturday, so obviously not a busy time. We were given 3 arancini - I KNOW that's the portion size, but I am very pleased when a waiter takes initiative to have the kitchen provide 4 pieces for 4 people. Anyways, they were only okay, after all that.

        Overall, I guess an okay place for a drink and an app, but I'd only return for the $5 app "happy hour" at the bar.