Italian cuisine

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Review: Vapiano

In a year of bad restaurant ideas done surprisingly well, Vapiano is a mediocre idea done disastrously.
A dining hall with food not worth fighting for
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  May 25, 2012

Review: Cafe Longo

I suppose there are braver things to do. Perhaps charging a machine gun nest or serving a loosely wrapped braciole to a Sicilian grandmother. But open yet another Italian restaurant on Federal Hill, as Café Longo did in spring of 2009, sounds like divin
Like Mama used to make
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 05, 2010

Review: Tierra Restaurant & Lounge

Here's a welcome addition to the ongoing revitalization of Pawtucket.
Covering lots of ethnic ground
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 08, 2010

Reviewer's notebook: Tavolo and Sanette’s Karoo Kafe

Tavolo snuck under my radar because Chris Douglass, then well-known for Icarus, had made his first Dorchester move with Ashmont Grill, an admitted bistro.
Much more than pizza in Dorchester, and South African delights in Provincetown
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  September 10, 2010

Review: Trattoria Simpatico

It’s not only the real estate biz where location means enough to repeat the point.
A pleasant view wherever you look
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 13, 2010

Review: Pasta Beach

The name of this popular Italian eatery conjures up several images. Do you drop by for take-out pasta or pizza and take it down the hill to First Beach?
A winning combination of spaghetti and sand
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  August 06, 2010

Review: Café Luna

You don't expect to find fine dining in a shopping center, but Café Luna does its best to make the Garden City Center live up to its name as you approach, with flowers and window boxes and hanging planters taking the edge off the urban location.
An urban culinary oasis
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 09, 2010

Review: Nico

The North End can be touristy, it can be posh, it can be authentically Italian, it can be nostalgically Italian-American, it can be snooty white-sauce Italian, and sometimes it can be charmingly (or not so charmingly) vulgar.
An average North End destination with a sweet ending
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  June 18, 2010


One of the strange features of the Great Recession is the incredible complexity of down-market maneuvers.
A complicated conception with a delicious finish
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  May 28, 2010

Classic Italian

America has reached the point where strip-mall dining can make us nostalgic.
JP’s Bistro offers a trip back to the Gilded Age
By BRIAN DUFF  |  May 14, 2010

La Masseria

The first thing to say about La Masseria is that, despite its name meaning “farmhouse” and its décor focusing on earth tones with exposed brick and pitchfork tines hanging on one wall, it’s a beautiful space.
Exemplary Italian fare in East Greenwich
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  May 07, 2010


La Galleria 33

As you go deeper into the North End on Salem Street, the pretense drops toward the levels of old, pre-gentrification “Little Italy.”
A new, old-school-style addition to the city’s longest-thriving dining district
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  April 30, 2010

South End Buttery

South End Buttery started with cupcakes and coffee, but opened up a dining room below street level two summers ago, and has since gradually taken on more serious cheffery.
From Viennoiserie to veal: a local bakery grows up
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  April 16, 2010

Edgewood Café

The Edgewood Café's slogan is "casual neighborhood dining with a gourmet touch," and every adjective is scout's honor true.
For neighborly gourmands
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 05, 2010

Bruna’s Table

Considering that Westerly has a large population with Italian heritage, it's curious that the town is not known for good Italian restaurants.
Careful, but not fussy
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 12, 2010

The brunch quandary

There seems to be an endless number of places to try in Portland. So many, in fact, that I keep discovering well-established restaurants that I didn't even know served brunch. One of those places was Vignola.
In Portland, there's always one more place you haven't tried
By LEISCHEN STELTER  |  February 05, 2010


Post 390

Another week, another gastro-pub. Okay, Post 390 technically bills itself as a Back Bay "urban tavern," and is bigger and glitzier than most, but it has the same combination of comfort food with a twist, a few bits of high cheffery, serious drinks, and
Walking a narrow path to success
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  January 22, 2010

Il Casale

Il Casale — the "country house"— may be more rustic than Chef Dante de Magistris's magisterial and experimental restaurant Dante in the Cambridge Royal Sonesta, but it ain't no hometown spaghetti shack.
Nothing quaint and everything delicious at Belmont's 'country house'
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  January 08, 2010

Café Fresco

Restaurants come and restaurants go.
A terrific Monday night special, and more
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 27, 2009

Gennaro's 5 North Square Ristorante

The owners of Caffé Vittoria and the Florentine Cafe took over this venerable tourist trap that looks out on North Square a year ago, renamed it for their son last May, and quietly spiffed up the rooms and the menu.
A former tourist trap proves its worth
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  November 24, 2009

Brick Oven Meatballs

You can imagine them arguing about whether to ’fess up before they named the restaurant.
Secretly, but deliciously, Italian
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 06, 2009

FRA’s Italian Gourmet

Ever have that kind of day when you need to start your lunch with a chocolate chip cookie?
 Beyond wonderful
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  October 30, 2009

Antonio’s Trattoria

The Knightsville section of Cranston is an undeniable haven for Italian home-cooking, where legendary portions (Marchetti's), chic hotspots (Caffe Itri and L'Osteria), and marquee chef/owners (Tony Papa's) have successfully rubbed elbows along a suburb
Comforting elegance
By CHRIS CONTI  |  October 23, 2009


Being a ristorante on Federal Hill is a lot like being just another olive tree in the grove.
Traditional cuisine updated
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 16, 2009

Gustation junction

Since all three of Harding Lee Smith's restaurants are on corners, one wonders why he chose to name his newest one The Corner Room.
Flavors mingle at The Corner Room
By BRIAN DUFF  |  October 02, 2009

Seasonal fare(well)

With Labor Day weekend behind us, so goes the high tourist season here in Maine. While this means less crowded beaches and the possibility of finding a weekend parking space in the Old Port, it signifies a major transition for restaurateurs around the
The chef of Five Fifty-Five bids adieu to summer
By LEISCHEN STELTER  |  September 11, 2009

Junction Trattoria and Bistro

On a recent rainy Friday evening, we were calling around for a place to eat dinner. One restaurant had no reservations till 9 pm (it's still tourist season); another was farther away than we'd realized, and we might end up eating at that same hour.
Peerless pizza and much more
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  September 11, 2009


In far eastern Pawtucket, almost Massachusetts, sits a 30-year-old family-owned restaurant that's a great hit with locals.
Big on family atmosphere
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  January 07, 2009


Sunday’s daily special at Spirito’s, an all-you-can-eat roasted chicken deal that borrows from the Blackstone Valley tradition, includes pasta, as well as French fries and salad — for $9.95. You read that right.  
Family dining for cheapskates
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 22, 2008