Boston >Food & Dining > Ristorante Saraceno
286 Hanover St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211342.363962 -71.054530
Monday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Central, North End
Boston's unprofessional Italians – The opening and closing of the entry door made for a chilly eating environment. The waiter never came around to refill water. I had to flag him down. Bread was cold and tough. We were just NOT impressed. The food was good and that's about it...
THEY STOLE MONEY FROM US – We had a bad dinner here. The waitress was slow and rude. The food was bad. We left a small tip. When we checked our statement the next day with the bank, we found the restaurant CHANGED the final amount so it was EXACTLY 20% more than the original amount we were charged. This is ILLEGAL. This is STEALING. This restaurant will STEAL from you. Not to mention the food is HORRIBLE. DO NOT GO HERE.
Hidden dining areas make it a very cool experience – I went to Saraceno last week and it was awesome. It looks so small from the outside; little does one know that they have seating downstairs and also on two floors above the restaurant next door! The hostess took us up a flight of stairs located between Saraceno and the restaurant next store where we found cool, little nooks and spaces to enjoy your dinner. We ended up on the third floor which has a glass roof with vines and white, twinkling lights everywhere. I had one of the specials - lobster and scallops in a marinara sauce - and it was a-ma-zing. Lots and lots of scallops and fresh lobster. My companion wanted fettucine alfredo with shrimp which wasn't on the menu but the chef happily made it for her. The house chianti was tasty and our server, Maria, who is from Italy, was fabulous. I live in the North End and have eaten in just about every restaurant in the neighboorhood. This has moved into my top 5.
Untrained, Poor Timing, No Food or Wine Knowledge – I have a foot in the 5 star and in the 1 star camp. The food here is good, let?s face it. I have eaten here twice, once it was terrific , the waiter was great and the food more than passable and the value was good. Will I ever go there again? NO! Because I had a waiter from h*ll the second time. Why should I gamble with an evening? ?If we get a good waiter this place?ll be great,? is hardly a recommendation that gets my motor running. Imagine raving about a restaurant to your friends then have the waiter, when asked to describe a wine, tell you it is going to be good because it is a Chianti. When asked to elaborate, he said, it was going to be good because it was a Chianti Classico. The entire evening was like that. Untrained, poor timing, no food or wine knowledge. We were still eating our salads when the entrees arrived. We fled before dessert could be foisted on us. If the management doesn?t care enough to put trained, knowledgeable people on the floor to take care of customers, then why risk your evening. I can go to Sizzler for food as fuel. For a real night out, choose another restaurant.
Great Place to eat, one of the hidden jems of the North End – Ristorante Seraceno (ie the tunnel restaurant or knife, fork, spoon place) has very rarely let me down. The biggest mistake people make when entering a restaurant is judging souly based on bread. After spending 6 months living in Italy, i can tell you that this is AUTHENTIC italian bread. Skimping on the taste, the Florentine and Roman Italians prefer to let the taste of the olive oil overwhelm that of the bread. Though the service may not be the fastest in Boston, it allows you to take as long as you need to enjoy the experience of eating a good meal (which in Italy can be 2 or 3 hours). If you need to eat a bit quicker, tell them before hand.
Try the spicy seafood sauce. Always a winning decision!!!
Though upstairs has been revamped, try to sit in one of the back rooms downstairs. The different rooms give this place character. Ive sat in the room directly below the stairs and i think this may be the worst (it tends to be the most full). Ask to be seated in the back "wine room" or one of the other many rooms that make this place the hidden jem of the North End.
Rudest waiters I ever saw – As we entered, there were two waiters staying about 5 feet from us, and not serving customer, but doing some clean up at vacant tables. Nevertheless, we stood there for about a minute, and even then the waiter only paid us some attention when I spoke to him myself. Then he said "Yes?" in intonation that suggested "What the heck do you need from me?". Then led us downstairs, where we sat for 15 full minutes without anyone paying us any attention at all. Ok, I understand it's supposed to be kind of a "nice restaurant" where you wait for hours for your meal, but they didn't even say "Hi" or "I'll be with you in a moment", or something of the sort. Let alone give us the menu.
Of course, we didn't even try the food, because after 15 minutes of being ignored we decided that we didn't want to eat there anymore.
INCREDIBLY rude waitress ruins it every time – The waitress at this restaurant, who we have had the two times we've gone there, is the rudest waitress I have ever had. She literally rolled her eyes at very simple requests. The food is okay, but the waitress will ruin your experience. I suggest going ANYWHERE else in the North End over this restaurant.
Italian restaurant? A JOKE!!!!!! – We ate there this past weekend! Do yourself a BIG favor - pass right by it! The place was a "factory" turning people around with "canned" and "americanized" dishes of virtual slop. I KNOW ITALIAN FOOD! The garbage (in my opinion) they serve there is not Italian food and maybe one step above a "frozen dinner". The bread...the soft mushy bread? Cracked me up too.....! No Italian eats soft "americanized" bread! Antipasto? If you like escarole and a few slices of tomato that they call "antipasto" then go ahead. In my book antipasto has a mix of cheeses, coldcuts, pickled artichoke, mozzarella, dried tomatoes, etc -- a joke is what they serve. The pasta was lousy! The main courses were barely eatable. HUGE espresso spoons would barely fit in the cup of TERRIBLE espresso!. When the waiter noticed we finished (and left most of our food) -----BINGO...they alluded to the "check" to get us out!!!! That is - if you can even understand what the waiter says (not Italain nor English). My advice= go right past it!
used to be good...maybe 4 years ago – Don't bother going unless you don't know any better! Food is mediocre and not truly Italian. Service is fair or worse. Skip the Italian antipasto unless you are expecting an escarole salad! Bring your own Italian bread - they don't kinow what Italian bread is. Good luck with waiters.And-hope you don't have to take a p-ss! TERRIBLE PLACE TO EAT!!!!!!
lousy – We went there ( a number of couples) on Friday night 7/20/07. We had not been there in about 4-5 years and at that time it was prrety good. WHAT A CHANGE! They "americanized" the joint in terms of food . We are born-in-Italy Italians that live outside of Boston in nice area. We generally go to "Il Tartufo" in Newton Centre for THE VERY BEST ULTIMATE ITALIAN FOOD. So, back to Saraceno's...............and what we did not like:. 1) Garlic..garlic..garlic..everything with garlic as if EVERY Italian is supposed to be a garlic lover. We like garlic, but not "loaded" with it.. 2) Bread: It sucked! DEFINETLY not Italian bread ..soft americanized slices and to add insult, they give you butter pads and not olive oil to dip it in . 3) We ordered the Italian Antipasto. It is 90% "greens" & about 3 slices of "coldcuts, a partial artickoke,& sliced tomato. I have news : Italian Antipasto is supposed to be PROSCIUTTO, CHEESES, ARTICHOKE, PEPPERS, SALAMI, etc...not cheap greens. 4) Ordered a salad with oil/vinegar ( BASICS of any Italin restaurant). Got the oil but had to wait 15 min for them to find any vinegar. 5) Waiter - no Italian waiters.Albania and other from Honduras. Both had problems communicating well. 6) Wine: "Luna di Luna" in red bottle at big cost. I saw it at $7.99 in wine store the next day! 7) espresso: ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! So bad that waiter suggested beforehand that we go out for espresso. Demitasse cups with HUGE normal spoons that barely fit in cups! What happened to espresso spoons? Too cheap to buy any? 8) Bathrooms 2nd floor: If a guy has to urinate..go in and stand and you "just fit". If you have to do more..you virtually have to "back up" into restroom from door as space is so tight you virtually can't turn......about 30% size of small closet... 9) Rush..rush..to take orders..finish us..and "get us out"... SUMMARY: We give it a "1" out of "10" -----fully "americanized" for tourists..STAY OUT !!! A RIPOFF!
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