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Picco

So, I've read about Picco plenty, and am debating going there this weekend... was surprised to find out that it is often referenced in threads but never got its own fleshed out discussion. sooo

1. recs if i do end up going?

2. on a sat afternoon (say 2pm) how packed is it? someone coming in from out of town, wondering if, at that time, we could lounge and catch up after lunch, or if its a mob scene. if so... are there places nearby (and grab coffee, etc.) where one could lounge a bit?

Thanks!

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  1. Picco is a solid upscale South End pizza and pasta place, but don't know that I'd consider it a destination spot. It does get busy in the evening, but on a Saturday early-mid afternoon you should have no problem getting a table right away.

    I like their Ravioli there (home made, filling changes regularly) as well as their Broccoli Rabe, Sausage & Olive pizza and their Alsatian Pizza (which they say is their version of a tarte flambé). They also have great ice cream sundaes for dessert.

    3 Replies
    1. re: keith

      cool thanks. yea- i'm more looking for a spot that i have not yet tried and that would be less packed. family is more of a fuel-for-food (and into staples like pizzas, burgers) so less concerned with taking them to a destination spot. but that's good to know!

      i did consider doing say, area four instead, since that is on the red line (he's coming to/leaving from south station), if you have any thoughts as between the two (for either food or chilling).

      1. re: valcfield

        I like Area Four too, but to me the interior is a bit more industrial and "cold." If you're looking for more of a convivial place to hang, I think Picco is a better bet.

      2. re: keith

        I think it is a Boston destination - it's the best Pizza in the City

      3. I'll disagree with keith, because in my opinion Picco is absolutely a destination for Boston pizza hounds. Very few places in this town really make a great pie, and Picco is one of that few.

        Their crust is incredible -- long, flavorful ferment (with a bit of sourdough tang, to my taste), cooked hot enough to develop good crust and char without drying out. Their topping combinations are quite good as well, but for me it's all about the crust at Picco. If you're up for a less traditional pie, I'll echo their Alsatian as a menu highlight. I also appreciate that they always have an interesting and extensive craft beer list. It's really one of my favorite places in Boston.

        As to the question of how full it's likely to be on Saturday afternoon... it's hard for me to imagine it will be packed that late in the day, but then again I'm often surprised by how busy Picco is on weeknights. It's definitely a popular spot.

        5 Replies
        1. re: celeriac

          Interesting. Maybe I take Picco for granted because I live 2 blocks away, but I like the pizza more at Posto, Coppa, Otto, and sometimes (for something different) Santarpios or the original Regina.

          I agree though that Boston is not the pizza mecca I wish it were. In fact, I'm not sure that even one place serves what could be considered "una vera pizza napoletana."

          That being said, I do like Picco a lot...just in a "neighborhood spot" kind of way.

          1. re: keith

            I mean, those are several of the other top options and beyond that it's a matter of personal taste. I think Posto is great pie, probably equal to Picco. Coppa is totally delicious but, to me, far more topping-oriented and not quite strong enough on the crust. Otto is solid, but far from my favorite. And Regina is a bit thick for me, but an indisputable classic.

            1. re: keith

              Grab Gusto in Cambridge certainly serves pizza napoletana and Pasta Beach on Atlantic Avenue also does, as does Guido's Charcoal Kitchen in Waltham.

              Any of those 3 is miles and miles more authentic than Picco, especially Gran Gusto if that is the style you are looking for.

              Italians here in Boston pretty much go to Gran Gusto almost always and Pasta Beach after that. Guido's is new and is the next closest on the list.

              The pizza I and the rest of my Italian crew had at Picco's was quite disappointing but people here are probably looking for different things.

              1. re: retrofabulousity

                Yeah, I forgot about Gran Gusto. Its pizza is pretty awesome, but for some reason I never find myself in that area. I think the chef there used to work at Luzzo's, one of the last coal oven pizzerias in Manhattan which I used to frequent when I lived there.

                Haven't tried Pasta Beach (as the name really bothered me), but sounds like maybe I should....

                1. re: retrofabulousity

                  Agreed about Gran Gusto being both very delicious and miles more authentically Italian. My personal tastes tend to favor a crustier crust than "authentic" Neapolitan, but certainly Gran Gusto is unimpeachable. Pasta Beach is news to me and a place that I will definitely look into. Thanks!

            2. You shouldn't have any problem getting a table and hanging out for a bit on Saturday afternoon at Picco.

              I stick with the basic pizza there and it's great.

              1. 1. Do 1/2 and 1/2 (Alsatian and maybe whatever the special is, Pork Belly?)

                2. If it's just a few of you, 2pm should be fine. Francesca's, Berkeley Perk are both right near there as well.

                2 Replies
                1. re: meeps2002

                  so they'll let you do half/half on specialty pizzas? i'd have thought that would be too hard given seemingly different sauce bases? but awesome if true.

                  1. re: valcfield

                    definitely - they will do anything in 1/2s - we always do the goat cheese arugula and alsatian

                2. Oh heavens.... there is none better than Picco. The addiction is their Alsatian Pizza. But I just recently discovered a tie for first place in their pizzas. If you go get and Alsatian and definitely get the Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad Pizza. It is absolutely mouthwatering. And no need to head anywhere else for coffee... their homemade icecream and their guiness and ice cream frappe is just amazing. Hub and I often go about 2-3pm on Saturdays and its a great time. We are bar rats and love the interaction of sitting at the bar. The bonus is one day we got hot brownies out of the oven that they just baked off for their brownie sundaes. I just can't say enough about this place. Its not fancy schmancy inside .... but the pizza and ice cream are addictive. Pizza crust is the best in the business.