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Dante in Cambridge or Italian in Boston?

viperlush Jun 4, 2010 05:12 AM

My parents are coming up for a visit at the end of the month. I have made dinner reservations at both Oleana and Dante. Now I am starting to second guess the Dante reservation (yelp reviews, disinterest in the menu, etc.).

I made it because my parents prefer one night of Italian when they come up. In the past I've taken them to Euno and Teatro and they enjoyed both (Euno more so). I don't want to take them back to the North End because I hate repeating neighborhoods when they have seen so little of the city/area. I was thinking Pescatore in Somerville or Sportello as possibly substitutes.

So basically, is Dante acceptable Italian or should I try to find a reservation somewhere else in (or out of) the city?

thanks!

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Teatro
177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

Pescatore
158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Sportello
348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

  1. ecwashere7 Jun 5, 2010 07:06 AM

    I emphatically second Erbaluce which is very close to the Public Gardens/Common. On a nice day, I'll park my car (I drive in from NH) in the Common parking garage (if I can't find on-street and I'll walk over to Erbaluce.

    Another GREAT option right in the same vicinity is Via Matta. Via and Erbaluce are my two favorite Italian options in Boston, because their food resembles the food I used to get in Florence/Northern Italy when I studied there.

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    Via Matta
    79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

    Erbaluce
    69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

    1. g
      Gabatta Jun 4, 2010 09:34 AM

      If you want to avoid the NE and stay on this side of the river. Try Rialto in Harvard Square. Undermentioned here IMO.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gabatta
        viperlush Jun 4, 2010 10:12 AM

        I thought of Rialto, but I think it is more than they want to spend this trip. But it is definitely on my list of restaurants to try.

        1. re: viperlush
          barleywino Jun 5, 2010 10:28 AM

          ditto Rialto. The osso buco is only a pale shadow of Mamma Maria's, but the softshell crab is worth getting just for the pork belly nuggets that come with it, and the cipollini custard makes a great summer appetizer.

      2. t
        teezeetoo Jun 4, 2010 09:23 AM

        dante's is quite good and the patio is charming this time of year. gran gusto is a great family choice: the patio is open and there is a park across the street though the neighborhood isn't "tourist" charming like the North End. Both of these have the advantage of parking. Basta Pasta has no charm but the food is extremely good: you could get take out and picnic with it on Mem Drive. If you wanted "different" Erbaluce is wonderful northern Italian, more or less, and Il Casale in Belmont is in the center of town and has a nice patio (very noisy though imo).

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        Erbaluce
        69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1 Reply
        1. re: teezeetoo
          viperlush Jun 4, 2010 10:22 AM

          I ended up switching to Gran Gusto, I like that it seems low key. Neighborhood might not have the "tourist" charm of the North End, but I find it more relaxing to stroll around the residential streets of Cambridge (not to mention the easy parking).

          Basta is my go to "I'm too tired to cook, let's get take out" restaurant.

          Erbaluce looks good. Love these suggestions for their next visit.

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

          Erbaluce
          69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

        2. t
          Taralli Jun 4, 2010 06:10 AM

          You might want to check out Gran Gusto in Cambridge: http://grangustocambridge.com/
          You could even eat outdoors, weather permiting.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Taralli
            viperlush Jun 4, 2010 06:19 AM

            Yes. Thank you, I knew there was another Italian restaurant in Cambridge that I wanted to check out but i couldn't remember the name. I'll suggest Gran Gusto to my mom.

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            Gran Gusto
            90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

          2. Joanie Jun 4, 2010 06:00 AM

            I just reported on the bar bites at Dante which were good for the most part. The pastas sounded amazing but we didn't order any. Plus I thought the entrees sounded decent but maybe you weren't thrilled with them. The point in their favor is the river view and patio.

            Other places besides the North End and Lucca BB could be Scampo, Via Matta, Stella, Rocca.

            -----
            Lucca Restaurant
            226 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

            Scampo
            215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

            Via Matta
            79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

            1. b
              blink617 Jun 4, 2010 05:49 AM

              Maybe repeating neighborhoods isn't so bad - the North End has a lot going on, and is a really great, lively place to walk around in the evening. Given the choice between an evening in Ball Square (where Pescatore is) and an evening in the North End, I'd take guests to the North End every time. Dante is also in a neighborhood where there's not much to see, but you can take a walk along the river.

              If you really don't want to go to the North End, Lucca just opened a Back Bay location. There are some Italian options around Central Square, but I'm drawing a blank on names.

              If you want a really different Italian dining experience, try Vinny's at Night (at the back of Vinny's convenience store) in East Somerville. The food is good, and you can walk up Broadway for ice cream at Louie's afterward.

              1 Reply
              1. re: blink617
                viperlush Jun 4, 2010 06:03 AM

                Your are right about the North End, except it is starting to be that time of year where the tourists are out in force. I find it annoying to navigate through the mass outside Mike's and all the lines on Salem and Hanover. And honestly, I find it exhausting thinking about all the restaurants in the North End and choosing one.

                I'll take a look at the BB Lucca. I live in Central and the only Italian that I can think of is Basta Pasta (which actually might be a good option since I don't know what we are doing/where we are going Sat and they do take out).

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                Lucca Restaurant
                226 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

              2. r
                rknrll Jun 4, 2010 05:22 AM

                http://www.coupme.com/ has $15 for $30 worth of food/drinks at Pescatore right now.

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                Pescatore
                158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

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