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Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

My mom's birthday is coming up and she has a hankering for lasagna. We live in Lexington and she finds the sauce too sweet at Mario's, so that's out. Plus I was hoping to find something a bit nicer. One complicating factor is she's going through a course of radiation for lung cancer and she's having trouble with swallowing, so we need something that's on the softer side, without chunks of meat. Any thoughts? Willing to drive into Boston but it needs to have pretty easy parking since she can't walk very far either.

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  1. The first thing that came to my mind would be to call ahead to Gran Gusto in Cambridge and see if they would make it for her considering the circumstances. There is parking right outside the door and delicious pizza for the rest of your guests. Also not too far from Lexington and avoid going into downtown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bugsey34

      Hmmm, that's an idea. Thanks, will give this some thought. I do really like their red sauce and I think mom would too.

    2. I haven't had it, but Fiorella's in Newton has it on their menu. Best wishes to your Mom for her birthday.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Duster17

        we went to fiorella's for my nephew's graduation and the lasagna was outstanding. no chunks of meat. and a large parking lot.

        1. re: Duster17

          I agree with wonderwoman - Fiorella's would be perfect. Easy access with a parking lot and on one level, delicious lasagna with no chunks, nice room. I'd call ahead to ask about reservations, though - my recollection is they only take reservations for a party of six or more, but maybe they'd make an exception for the occasion and given the circumstances.

          1. re: cjd260

            I'll try posting again. If you sign up on Fiorella's website, you will get a free entree ($15 or less) during your birthday month. Your mom could get her lasagna for free!

            1. re: bear

              Good to know! She's having nausea problems tonight so the entire dinner might have to get canned. Sigh.

              1. re: Chris VR

                If she isn't being given Emend, please ask her doctor about this wonder drug. I gladly paid the $100 per pill out of pocket for this drug.

                A large portion can be really overwhelming. I know you want a restaurant meal, but to be honest, a homemade lasagna sheet rolled around a nice lasagna filling, might be the perfect presentation during an illness. 3 oz of goodness with enough sauce to enable her to swallow. Obviously, this is a home dish... but sometimes we have to deal with reality. Hope your Mom feels better tomorrow.

                1. re: smtucker

                  I work in the business and Emend really is a great drug for delayed nausea. It's criminal that anyone should have to pay $100 a pill for it, but that's our health care system, another topic for another day.

                2. re: Chris VR

                  Hope the nausea abates some. Such a hard situation. Best wishes to your family.

          2. Stellina in Watertown makes eggplant lasagna. It's on the menu now for $20, per the website.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lergnom

              I haven't been to Stellina in years, but the atmosphere would be perfect. Maybe I'll check and see if they have regular lasagna on the menu. Thanks!

            2. How about the new Il casale in Lexington? They have a good vegetarian lasagna. They have some interesting items on their menu as well. Make sure you request a comfortable seating at a low table as some of the seating there is bar level and could be uncomfortable.

              1. Il Casale in Belmont usually has a "broken" (deconstructed) lasagna that is pretty tasty. I just peeked at the Lexington menu (I haven't been yet) and they also offer a couple of lasagnas for under $20, one of which is vegetarian. Maybe that would work? The space, like Belmont, is casual but I think would work for special occasions.

                1 Reply
                1. re: digga

                  I did actually try the lasagna at Il casale in Lexington and it was heavy on the bechamel and light on the sauce, which wouldn't work for mom. Vegetable and eggplant lasagna are also out (but sound great to me!). Just straight noodles, sauce and cheese is what she's looking for. Thanks for the ideas!

                2. So this probably isn't what you want for her birthday, but Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park makes a delicious lasagna that's exactly what you've described. It's not really a dine-in place, and you'd want to call at least a day ahead to order it; however, if she's got the craving, it would be a good option to have at home or keep in the freezer. Their Italian cold-cut sandwiches and house-made bread are also something special.


                  I also hope that her new year brings her improved health and comfort. Fingers crossed for you all.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: TimTamGirl

                    Hmmmm. I will definitely keep this in mind for future meals! Hard to tell how much longer she'll be able to have any solids anyway, so this may have to wait for her recovery. We're just on the edge of her needing everything pureed but I was hoping to get one last nice meal of solid food in her for her birthday.

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      Though not what you are searching for, Tutto Italiano is great for take-out/deli.

                      I frequent the Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park. Excellent selection of cheeses and cured meats. Subs on their homemade rolls are terrific. And, I am addicted to their balsamic vinegar in refillable bottles.

                      According to their website there other locations in Wellesley and Lexington.

                      1. re: shutterbugRI

                        OH! Yes, there is one of these in Lexington! I've only been in once, and saw a case with deli meats. I didn't notice prepared foods but wasn't looking that closely. I will definitely have to check it out, for meals at home. Thanks.

                  2. Vinny's in Somerville offers traditional and veggie lasagna. Both are very good.

                    1. I appreciate all the suggestions and will definitely try to check out some of these with her when she's more up to eating, as Italian is her favorite. I decided to go with Felicia's in Stoneham. We've always had good meals there and I think the red sauce will work for her. From speaking on the phone with them, I think they'll be able to cook it a bit longer so it's easy to swallow, and maybe also dice it up in the kitchen so she doesn't have to futz with it too much at the table. Thanks for all your good thoughts as well.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Chris VR

                        We used to go there with my elderly aunt, and they were very accommodating. The food was good enough to make the rest of us happy. Good luck.

                        1. re: Chris VR

                          I hope you all have a special meal, Chris, and that your mom is able to really enjoy her lasagna. Please report back!

                          1. re: Chris VR

                            Felicia's also does (for your other family members) a good pasta w/ clams. Best thoughts for your mom.

                            1. re: Chris VR

                              Hats off to Felicia's for helping you out ! not a bad place in a pinch and the Limoncello at the end of the meal always helps

                            2. Dave's Pasta in Somerville makes a very good lasagna and it's made with their homemade pasta noodles so I think it would be softer? Maybe worth a try? So sorry about your mom :(.

                              1. Happy Birthday to your mom and hoping it is a great day for her, whatever you do.

                                1. I had cancer treatment last year, although not on the lungs, but it effected my taste, texture, sensitivities. Gran Gusto worked for me, but it was their eggplant parm that was memorable. The texture was great. No lumps that I remember, so I wanted to point this out, because it is similar to lasagna with the sauce and cheese, but I would guess the eggplant would be easier to swallow overall than pasta. Good luck!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: makonna

                                    That's a really good point, about eggplant vs pasta being softer and easier. Unfortunately we've had to call tonight's dinner off because of the nausea but I'm hoping I can still get some ice cream cake in her tonight!