Seriously, CHers... Antico Forno?
I generally avoid the North End (have had few positive experiences) but had a friend in town who wanted to go. I'm always up for trying a new places and searched this board for a few threads and saw Antico Forno on Salem Street recommended a number of times so I figured I would try it out.
Horrendous service... we showed up a bit before our 7:30 reservation but were not seated until 8:05. Until we were seated, we contended with a surly bartender who took over 5 minutes to fulfill an order of a glass of prosecco from an open bottle that was right in front of her. Finally seated at a rickety table for three in the middle of the dining area next to screaming children. My husband was consistently bumped from behind from the one waiter serving the entire dining room.
We all had pasta, which despite each dish having delectable sounding menu descriptions, tasted exactly the same. My rigatoni with peas, Italian ham, mushrooms, sweet onions and mascarpone had no trace of mascarpone and tasted like nothing other than regular marinara... which is exactly what my husband's meal tasted like.
Curious why this place is recommended... it was an absolute zoo and it wasn't cheap, either.
93 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113
I haven't been back since it expanded, and have noted several negative reports here since that expansion, but have long observed that: a) they have always treated reservations cavalierly, essentially honoring them only if it's convenient, b) I think the best items come from their wood oven, like a few baked pastas and their pizzas, and c) it's a family-friendly place. I have enjoyed it over the years for certain scenarios (typically big groups with kids), but it hardly gets universal acclaim here.
re: MC Slim JB
I "use" it for lunch.
Great Chicken Parm from the wood oven. Never really think of it for a dinner destination and haven't ordered anything else for years.
I know through firends that they're not great about honoring reservations. They used to take a cell phone an send yout to Bacco,
BTW,those rickety tables were a gift from a nearby marina that Ms 9 managed. The marina now has nice, non rickety tables..:)
107 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02119
You should go there in August on a hot muggy summer night, no ac, they open the windows which doesn't help because you're wall-to-wall flesh. Oh yah, like MC Slim JB says, only order stuff from the wood oven, but don't set your expectations too high. Actually, when you factor in parking it's really not worth going in to the NE. I'd recommend taking a short trek over to Somerville and go to Vinny's.
I like it for a late lunch, the service is much more relaxed and friendly when dining around 2:30 or 3:00. They have absolutely never been good about reservations. That said, I absolutely love their chicken parm and they are very good about making dishes that are not on a menu. They have always accomodated when I've asked for mussels fra diavolo. I do have to admit I haven't been back as often since my favorite waiter left. He just always knew the proper pace and never rushed us. He has since moved on to Artu and Mare so it's back to Artu for the shrimp scampi pizzal.