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Any recent reviews on Brunello Bistro?

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owen_meany Jan 13, 2011 07:30 AM

They are the daily deal for one of those group buying sites. Your thoughts?

Sara

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  1. hiddenboston RE: owen_meany Jan 13, 2011 07:39 AM

    I haven't been in awhile, but several months back I had some of the best crab cakes I've had from anywhere there.
    It's in such an "invisible" spot with little foot traffic around there. I hope they are doing all right, but I do wonder sometimes....

    2 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston
      Bob Dobalina RE: hiddenboston Jan 13, 2011 07:43 AM

      I drove by the other day and said that I have to stop in. Thanks for the reminder.

      1. re: Bob Dobalina
        enhF94 RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 13, 2011 07:51 AM

        yeah, I've been meaning to go for a year or so. Perhaps we have a hypothesis.

    2. l
      laura jean RE: owen_meany Jan 13, 2011 07:58 AM

      I live down the street and have been a couple times. I like the space and want to love the place, but I have not been impressed with most of the food.

      The baked gouda wrapped in phyllo dough over greens with berries was insanely sweet, even if it had been a dessert instead of an app. I don't remember specifics about the stuffed eggplant appetizer except that it was very heavy. My DC liked the seafood risotto, which had lots of seafood, but I found it bland. I was also unimpressed with the carbonara. I actively disliked the lobster gnocchi - I probably should not have ordered such a tricky dish, I realize. I did really like the rigatoni bolognese - I'll go back for that. And I still want to try the ravioli and osso bucco. I do wish they offered half-size portions of the pastas - the portions are too large for me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: laura jean
        nsenada RE: laura jean Jan 13, 2011 09:49 AM

        Interesting on the baked gouda - that sounds exactly like the one they offer at Sweet Basil in Needham. Did it have truffle oil in it?

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        Sweet Basil
        942 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492

      2. Small Plates RE: owen_meany Jan 13, 2011 08:32 AM

        We live a few blocks away and were very skeptical about the place that took over in the Bickford's space - couldn't imagine WHAT it would be like. So we tried it with a Groupon and were sooo pleasantly surprised. We shared a Caesar salad, which they split for us in the kitchen. It was not overly dressed (my biggest pet peeve with Caesar's) and the croutons were light and crispy. I ordered the Lobster Gnocchi, and it was SPECTACULAR!! There was an abundance of tail meat and the risotto was cooked perfectly. It was not laden with an overly rich lobster stock heaviness that many lobster risottos suffer from. Instead it was satisfying and just the right amount of richness. It was savory and delicious, and I am craving it now as I write of it. My husband had a veal dish, and I can't remember which it was. I love veal dishes; and usually, we share with each other. But I was so besotted with my lobster dish, I could not take my attention from it long enough to bother with his veal - it looked great, however; and he loved it! Get the deal - you will enjoy it. The only thing I disliked was the overly loud dance/house music that was playing the entire time we were there. It was a little off-putting.

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          owen_meany RE: owen_meany Jan 14, 2011 09:34 AM

          Thanks for the feedback, all. I went for it...will report back! Sara

          1. enhF94 RE: owen_meany Jan 24, 2011 05:10 PM

            Went tonight - very happy that I sat at the bar near the hot air vent.

            Started with bread and an olive-oil-herb dip. The bread reminded me of a savory batter bread, and I liked it - salty, oily, moderately fine moist crumb and a hairline crust. After a couple bites I savored the bread and ignored the dip.

            Ordered the veal marsala, as i'm not a shellfish guy. The pasta was close to al dente (maybe a hair overdone, but certainly not, uh, Amer'can Style). The veal was tough and didn't seem to have any sear. The sauce was watery (and given the soupiness, surely it was intended that way, but I'd have reduced it heavily) and, I'm sorry to say, dreadfully underseasoned. I got salt, but didn't have the heart to ask the one guy in the kitchen for more marsala, pepper, and lemon to finish the job. It could have been very tasty, but no. They say all the pastas are house made so I asked for the fusilli, and they said yes, but apparently forgot. So Linguini it was, but that wasn't a big deal to me; only that I find fusilli easier to eat while reading a book.

            Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing for dessert (odd southern US classic in a Euro-aimed joint), which had a whopping four layers and was huge for $10, but seemed delivered.

            The menu seemed written by someone who'd never been to Italy, or perhaps figures we don't know better: the pasta primavera is topped with "Aziago Parmesan," so I asked what that was (seeing as how Asiago is in the Veneto and Parm is from Parma, in Emilia-Romagna), and he said "It's Parmesan." I didn't push it.

            I'm also unclear on how Chicken Broccoli Ziti is a "version of the Roman classic," although I learned that ziti is indeed from Lazio, I think. Anyone hear of CBZ in Italy, ever? I thought it was part of the Spaghetti & Meatballs, Alfredo Sauce, Shrimp Scampi group of Italian Classics Never Seen In Italy.

            After getting home, I saw that the sea bass special's mashed potatoes were made with Silk, not milk, and I'd like to try that. It's thoughtful that they respected the non-dairy crowd.

            I'm suspicious of the "special Prime cut" of NY strip; I'd be surprised for $29 if it were prime beef, and if not, are they trying to get one over on me?

            I guess for me, I had two complaints: underseasoning (very fixable) and a floridly hyperbolic menu writer (jerky). But excellent bread and decent pasta.

            2 Replies
            1. re: enhF94
              o
              owen_meany RE: enhF94 Jan 25, 2011 06:37 AM

              Thanks for the detailed review. I will definitely bear your comments in mind when I go.

              Sara

              1. re: owen_meany
                enhF94 RE: owen_meany Jan 26, 2011 06:33 PM

                re-reading my own Brunello post a day later, it seems a little harsh in tone, though it describes my experience accurately.

            2. l
              luvsummer RE: owen_meany Jan 27, 2011 08:14 AM

              We tried it a few weeks ago on a coupon, and decided we probably wouldn't go back. The food was OK, nothing spectacular, but overpriced. The service was good, the ambiance was attractive, they have parking, but it seemed like red sauce restaurant food at very high prices.

              1. s
                somervilleoldtimer RE: owen_meany Feb 9, 2011 03:52 PM

                I went recently with friends. We shared the very acceptable Caesar salad. I had the seafood risotto, which I really thought was delicious! All the seafood was very fresh -- mussels, shrimp, scallops -- the flavors were savory and rich, and the texture of the rice was quite good. I was pleased, although the price would keep me from going back without a coupon, I must say -- the risotto was $28, I think, which is beyond what I can ordinarily do.

                1 Reply
                1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                  enhF94 RE: somervilleoldtimer Feb 9, 2011 06:00 PM

                  Wow, yes. For $28 I hope they did the risotto to order instead of par-cook it. Glad your experience was different than mine.

                2. y
                  yanz RE: owen_meany Feb 9, 2011 05:00 PM

                  I fell for the original deal they had last year and was sorely disappointed. I'm pretty sure I ranted about it already, but I was expecting good Italian (I live in Back Bay and frequent places like Via Matta, Davio's, Davinci, Coppa, etc), and the hike out there was definitely beyond not worth it.

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                  Davio's
                  75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116

                  Via Matta
                  79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

                  Coppa
                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

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