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Feb 10, 2014 05:29 PM

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.