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Red Sauce in Suburbia

When you crave a garlicky mountain of red sauce and spaghetti in the suburbs, where do you go? The Swanks usually frequent Luigi's in Bedford, but we're happy to branch out.

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  1. Maybe I should give Luigi's another chance. I was there about five or six years ago and not excited. What do you like to get there?


    2 Replies
    1. re: hungrytommy

      It's reliable, cheerful, and cheap. Nothing fancy (think: loud dining room and sticky tablecloths), but it's very satisfying. I often get the mussels marinara. It's a large portion of excellent red sauce, fresh mussels, slivers of garlic. Mr. Swank likes their chicken verdicchio, which is sauteed chicken with wine, mushrooms, black olives, sundried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts, with pasta. I think a glass of wine is something like $.4.95. We usually get in-n-out, with leftovers, at well under $40.

      1. re: hungrytommy

        Went about a month ago, thought it was just passable.

      2. I say, "go to Hull!". Mezzo Mare is a great home-style red sauce spot. Great seafood, cheap good wine, and real good basic Italian dishes. Always has good specials. They're in our rotation every 4-6 weeks.
        Really Enjoy,

        1. I love Mario's in Lexington Center. Classic old school italian and probably THE best chicken parm in the greater Boston area. Plus BYOB which is awesome ;)

          1. Kittys in North Reading. 1972 decor and nice eggplant parm and bracciole. H and I are both "good eaters", but either split an entree or know we'll have enough for another meal.

              1. re: mkfisher

                Agreed. Fiorella's veal parm is very good, their red sauce is really nice, and they give you those garlic flatbread strips on the table that are delicious.

                1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                  My husband loves Fiorella's red sauce, especially with the garlic cheese strips. I really like it, too, and I'm usually not a fan of a pronounced oregano flavor in a sauce. It's also nice to get a free entree the month of your birthday if you sign up.

                  Fiorella's Express in Belmont is a little less expensive than Newton (not that Newton is expensive) and you can avoid the lines of the Newton restaurant. It's a little too bright even after the renovation and you order at the counter and they bring your food to you, but the atmosphere is pleasant and they use real dishes and silverware as opposed to paper. The people who work there are really friendly as well. (You can also bring your own, which seems to be okay in Belmont as several restaurants are open about it.)

                  The food, along with the red sauce, seems to be close or identical to the Newton restaurant. The bread strips aren't complimentary, though, but are available as a side. It's a good, casual and affordable option for families with young kids.

                1. re: Locutus

                  I like Sabatinos as well. The lasagne and meatballs is surprisingly good.

                2. I would suggest Feliccia's in Stoneham. Typical Italian American food but with many pretty good dishes. I love their Zuppa di Vongole with the marinara sauce, the Eggplant Rollatini, the Pork Chops and Vinegar Peppers and some of their standard pasta offerings. They usually also have 4 or 5 daily specials which can be good too. The portions tend to be very large, the prices are reasonable and they pour a very generous portion of whatever you order to drink.

                    1. http://gregs-restaurant.com/

                      Old school red sauce. Kind of a dive but always packed.

                      1. How about the Chateau chain many locations great scali bread to start off the meal and reasonably priced,


                        7 Replies
                        1. re: lc02139

                          For a second, i thought you meant the "Chat" or Dudley Cheateau in Cochituate, which, while a hoot, is not at all a "red sauce" joint.

                          My bad.

                          1. re: lc02139

                            I;ve been dragged to the Chateau in Waltham a few times for work related lunches, and yes, the bread is the best thing I've had there. Sauce was like it was just crushed tomatoes with no seasoning.

                            1. re: LStaff

                              Yea Chateau is horrible. I have fond memories of many bday parties at the waltham location when i was a kid but as an adult i now realize the food is pretty bad.

                              1. re: hargau

                                Well I thought that was what swank wanted when she said she was looking for a red sauce place.

                                1. re: lc02139

                                  I didn't see where swank said she wanted horrible food! And I agree with hargau that Chateau is pretty miserable quality. Old school red sauce Italian ≠ bad food!

                                  1. re: Science Chick

                                    well she is a big fan of the "luscious" food at subway, so who knows she may love it!

                                    1. re: hargau

                                      Very funny, Hargau!! I can't help it; I do love me a nice fresh Subway sandwich (depending on location).

                          2. Luigi's in Bedford has the best Fruitte de Mare (I get fra diavlo style)
                            Mario's in Lexington best chicken, eggplant and lasagna is huge
                            Bacci's in Stoneham
                            Ravi's in Malden

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: MeffaBabe

                              When I'm looking for a big plate of red sauce comfort food - the veal parm at Mario's is my goto. Even had it for my birthday dinner a couple years ago.

                              1. re: MeffaBabe

                                How is Boccelli's in So Medford these days?

                                1. re: phonelady

                                  Love some Boccelli's. I go with the whole italian crew once a month. It's exactly what you'd expect. Get the lasagna.

                              2. Linguini's in marlborough is really good but can be very loud. Some like Il Forno in Acton, i am not a big fan.

                                1. Victors Italian Kitchen in Saugus

                                    1. Agostino's in downtown Natick, and The Villa in Wayland. Both solid, dependable places.



                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: NE_Wombat

                                        Is The Villa still open? I remember going there as a kid. Might be time for a nostalgic road trip with the family.....

                                        1. re: Kat

                                          Yep - still open. A neighborhood favorite.

                                          1. re: Kat

                                            Still open and still really good. I love their lasagna, but you can't go wrong with any of their red sauce items. The prime rib is also really good

                                          2. re: NE_Wombat

                                            Do they still do the $8.99 chicken parm on Tuesdays?

                                          3. If you'd like to come to the South Shore, the Venetian in East Weymouth is a real good red sauce joint. Very good meatballs and sausages. Several different flavors of red sauce (marinara, mushroom, garlic and meat). They also have very good thin crust pizza, porkchops with vinegar peppers and combination parm dishes. Very reasonable prices. Cheap wine and cold beer.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: CocoDan

                                              I second the Venetian, I was going to suggest it as well. Very old school atmosphere and menu, and very tasty for that genre.

                                            2. Bacci's in Stoneham (but also more than just red sauce)
                                              Bocceli's in Medford.