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Little-Known, Out-of-the-Way Red-Sauce Italian Places in MA or RI?

Hey, all. Looking to find a good under-the-radar casual red-sauce Italian restaurant outside of the big cities in MA or RI (and definitely outside of Route 495 in the Boston area). Any come to mind? Bonus points for places that have outdoor dining and/or are in scenic locations. Thanks!

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  1. Linguini's Italian Eatery in Marlborough, MA. No outdoors, and not particularly scenic, but the food is incredible old-Italian-grandma style.


    4 Replies
    1. re: anthony.izzo

      There must be more than 50 items on that menu! Has anyone ever eaten there who could post? Looks like a "Kitchen Nightmare" situation with that menu....... ;)

      1. re: Science Chick

        I've eaten there a number of times with friends, and we've ordered a wide variety of their menu items, all come out really great every time.

        1. re: Science Chick

          I've eaten lunch at Linguine's many times. Their pizza is excellent. I like their meatball lasagne (and it runs out quickly when offered as a lunch special). They offer a number of pastas in the "pink sauce" which is basically alfredo with a touch of tomato and is delicious. When they offer homade ravioli its usually good...particularly the butternut squash.

      2. I just had dinner at Paisano's Deli in Wrentham, MA. It's on 1A, off 495. Everything we had was delicious. I particularly loved the stuffed pepper. It was stuffed with seafood risotto. They have a little outdoor patio, it abuts the parking lot. The indoors is small, but I found it charming.

        1. We like Frankie's in Lenox. MA

          1. Reali's in Johnston, RI. Not scenic or outdoors. In fact the decor is dated and kitschy. Very good food and colorful characters though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Frobisher

              We have been to Reali's twice in two years, using Restaurant.com. Last time(July): not so good. Gristly veal, unevenly cooked. No wine list; just selling individual bottles off a shelf. Someone's getting tired, methinks.

            2. Guiseppe's Grill in Northborough, off Rt 290. It has an outdoor deck in the back that overlooks Solomon Pond. The food is solid red sauce Italian, but not breaking any culinary ground. They always have a good crowd on the patio in summer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kat

                I'll have to check this place out, too!

              2. Thanks for all the responses, everyone! A couple more questions--any recs for old-school Italian in Cranston and/or out-of-the-way Italian spots in Providence (not on the main drag in Federal Hill)?

                6 Replies
                1. re: hiddenboston

                  ☞ ** Antonio’s $$, 7 days. http://antoniotrattoria.com/
                  is an old-time fixture. 1710 Cranston St
                  Cranston, RI 02920
                  (401) 943-1932
                  Second-best Italian we have had in Rhode Island.

                      1. re: trail 6

                        I used to go there all the time growing up. In fact, I had my first communion party in the upstairs room! Love this place, I they've reworked their menu since I was there last - no Kobe beef meatballs at my first communion, that's for sure.

                      2. re: hiddenboston

                        Cranston Not really Mikes Kitchen people think its old world food just because it looks like some cellar restaurant.

                      3. Surprised no one's mentioned Mike's at the VFW in Cranston which is a board fave here. Although no outside seating, and no one certainly goes there for the ambiance. TBH, I wasn't all that impressed although it may have been the case of a novice not ordering properly. I certainly saw some inviting looking food on the tables that surrounded us. Made the mistake of ordering the special clams casino, which were like little stuffies, and the stuffed shrimp with some pasta, like little stuffies on shrimp. All the same flavor and texture notes on both dishes. The veal parm was okay but nothing special. Should have tried the smelts and antipasto for apps instead. Live and learn. Not sure I would rush back though.

                        1. I haven't been for a few years because I haven't needed to go down there for work, but I use to frequent Ma Ravas in New Bedford. Very casual good red sauce type place. I always got a qt of sauce to go after having lunch there. Good stuff.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: catsmeow

                            Boy, never thought much of Ma Raffa's. I worked the area for over 10 years in the 90s. It was the only option for red sauce in the area so I put up with it. But any place who serves up a breaded veal patty and dares to call it veal parmagiana can't be taken seriously. Maybe it's gotten better since but I have my doubts. Of course, Angelo's Civita Farnese isn't all that either, but at least it's cheap in a sea of overpriced mediocrity which is Federal Hill.

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                              I havn't been for a few years and usually got the chicken parm. A friend use to get the veal parm and it was real veal, not a patty.

                              1. re: catsmeow

                                Their on-line menu indicates they use a patty on their "traditional veal parm" sandwich and dinner. There's is a "special" veal parm dish where they use real veal sauteed in a garlic sauce, covered in 2 cheeses and sauce and baked in the oven. Sounds dreadful.

                          2. Just misses your demarcation line, but this might hit the spot: http://www.mangia.info/

                            1. Short of rt 495 by about 5 miles, the Columbus Club in Framingham serves lunches that taste like Nonna made. They also do occasional dinners.

                              1. Riccardi's or The Pasta House (both in Fairhaven) might fit your bill.