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Italian Food and Cooking

Latest Articles

Review: Thornton's Grille

Giving people what they want
Restaurants are notoriously difficult businesses to start up, with survival rates not unlike those of small countries with larger, hostile neighbors. But some people know how to put them together so they'll stick around awhile.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 29, 2010

Beyond the State: What's reopening where

Venue Watch
As we enter Portland's busy season, there are several comings-and-goings (we'll focus on the comings and less on the goings) to keep track of as we plan our summer outings and evenings on the town.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 24, 2010
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Review: Coppa

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

Review: Anna D Café

A creative spin on classic comfort food
A roadside diner on a busy thoroughfare like Route 138 on Aquidneck Island has a captive audience of New York-to-Cape Cod travelers and summer visitors to nearby vineyards.
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  May 19, 2010
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Classic Italian

JP’s Bistro offers a trip back to the Gilded Age
America has reached the point where strip-mall dining can make us nostalgic.
By BRIAN DUFF  |  May 12, 2010

La Masseria

Exemplary Italian fare in East Greenwich
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.
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  May 05, 2010

Ardeo at Waterplace

A sturdy culinary link
There are two kinds of chain restaurants. Some are stamped out with cookie cutters and rely on customers being attracted to something familiar. And others go for quality as the common denominator, standardizing what has been fine-tuned but allowing for creative differences.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 28, 2010
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La Galleria 33

A new, old-school-style addition to the city’s longest-thriving dining district
As you go deeper into the North End on Salem Street, the pretense drops toward the levels of old, pre-gentrification “Little Italy.”
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  April 28, 2010
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Barlow’s Restaurant

When in doubt, ask for a second opinion
It’s not unusual for this column to have a different opinion of restaurants than the column in the Boston Globe — I favor a flatter bell curve.
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  March 31, 2010
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Sonny Noto's Restaurant

A not-so-hidden gem with a three-generation track record in Eastie  
How does a restaurant fly under the radar for nearly 60 years?
By MC SLIM JB  |  February 24, 2010

Bruna’s Table

Careful, but not fussy
Considering that Westerly has a large population with Italian heritage, it's curious that the town is not known for good Italian restaurants.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 10, 2010
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The brunch quandary

In Portland, there's always one more place you haven't tried
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.
By LEISCHEN STELTER  |  February 03, 2010

The Village Haven

Traditional (and bountiful) fare in Forestdale
We were headed to a concert in Cumberland and we thought we'd make a slight detour to North Smithfield — the village of Forestdale, to be precise.
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  January 26, 2010

Café Noir

Upping the hipness quotient
Ambience, style, flair — these have become as necessary as kitchen seasonings to spice up a dining experience in upscale restaurants.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 20, 2010

Midtown Café

A cut above the rest in Wakefield
In this economy and in downtown Wakefield, it's a tough task to keep a restaurant going.
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  January 13, 2010
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Il Casale

Nothing quaint and everything delicious at Belmont's 'country house'
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.
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  January 06, 2010

Kabuki

Cuisine off the beaten path
Japanese restaurants can be too predictable.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 30, 2009
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2009: The year in dining

My year in food
This was an unusual food year for me, in that the recession did not have the expected effect on the local dining scene.
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  December 28, 2009
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Fiorella's

A solid Italian-American trattoria with dynamite pizza
Friends are always asking me for my latest cheap-eats "discovery." But amid a million food blogs, 24/7 food television, and amateur-review Web sites like Chowhound and Yelp, I'm rarely the first to sing a good restaurant's praises.
By MC SLIM JB  |  December 02, 2009

Café Fresco

A terrific Monday night special, and more
Restaurants come and restaurants go.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 23, 2009
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Gennaro's 5 North Square Ristorante

A former tourist trap proves its worth
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.
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  November 25, 2009
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ArtBar

A pleasantly unpredictable treat sneaks out of the shadows
How do we find hidden gems? You can't just look under the radar. Sometimes the hiding place is behind a famous name, as is the case with ArtBar.
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  November 16, 2009
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Triple shot

Visiting three new Portland cafés
As a sign of difficult economic times, a turnover in cafés is a noisy indicator but a significant one.
By BRIAN DUFF  |  November 04, 2009

FRA’s Italian Gourmet

 Beyond wonderful
Ever have that kind of day when you need to start your lunch with a chocolate chip cookie?
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  October 29, 2009

Antonio’s Trattoria

Comforting elegance
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 suburban Cranston intersection. But don't forget the little guy on the corner -- Antonio's Trattoria.
By CHRIS CONTI  |  October 21, 2009
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Ducali Pizzeria and Bar

Good Italian-American pies and cheap drafts: any questions?
My old boss liked to say that people are happiest when reality exceeds their expectations.
By MC SLIM JB  |  October 21, 2009
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Gustation junction

Flavors mingle at The Corner Room
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.
By BRIAN DUFF  |  September 30, 2009
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Rino's Place

Old-school, groaning-platter Italian-American meets authentic Italian in Eastie
I often chat up local chefs about their favorite restaurants, usually over drinks at late-night watering holes.
By MC SLIM JB  |  September 23, 2009
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Community appeal

The Café at Pat's is a classic local spot
It is tricky to manage the transition from cult of personality to a rationalized institution.
By BRIAN DUFF  |  September 16, 2009

Andrew's Bistro

Posh presentations, reasonable prices
It's not hard for a restaurant to aspire to an upscale experience at downscale prices. What's hard is actually accomplishing it.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 16, 2009

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