Boston >Restaurants >
Italian >Trattoria Il Panino
11 Parmenter St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211342.363879 -71.054857
Monday To Thursday From 11:00 AM To 10:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 11:00 AM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 12:00 PM To 11:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Central, North End
Mistake to eat here – What a mistake it was trying this place. While the hostess who stands on the street trying to lure (seduce??) customers into the restaurant seems nice, once you are seated, forgettaboutit, thats the end of the service we received. I asked for plain old tap water, and the waiter brings a bottle that mysteriously appeared on the bill, when i told him we wanted regular water. The wait for the bread was interminable, everyone around us seemed to get it before we did (and they sat down after us). Was the poor service because we didn't buy a bottle of wine? I ordered the Veal Milanese, a pretty simple dish that i use as a standard on which to base my opinion of a restaurant. It was overly salted to the point of being inedible. I would have sent it back, but the waiters ignored us. When i left most of the dish on my plate, no one asked me if there was anything wrong, a bus boy just swept the plate away without comment. My daughter ordered a pasta dish, which was nothing to speak of, not worth commenting on. She also didn't finish it because there was nothing to recommend it to her. But, it was all made up (joke) by the high prices and poor service (we had to wait an incredibly long time to order and even longer to receive the food) A total waste of time and money, poor service, inadequate food. The setting on the outside patio is nice, but doesn't make up for the negatives. Don't go there and waste your money.
Unbelievable food! – I have been going here for 12 years and though I've tried nearly everywhere else with similar prices, I ALWAYS come back here. The food is fantastic, the people are great, the atmosphere is completely authentic. It is wonderful. Il Panino has grown with the times too as they now take credit cards and reservations which they did not used to do and they added outdoor space this year. I agree that having to buy water is annoying but who drinks water with Italian? Order a bottle of wine. They have gone back and forth on butter vs oil over the years. I highly recommend this place. I have probably been there 100 times with a variety of people and have never has anyone be anything but thrilled. Mmmmm.
Italian-food institution in the North End that has spread across Boston. – The Scene
At the original, least gentrified and most affordable location of the well-known area chain, expect long waits and plenty of tourists. (Or be smart: Make a reservation.) Ground level and basement dining rooms are overseen by Italian-American waiters, most of whom are bilingual, which brings an old world charm to the proceedings. The Italian wine list features several inexpensive table wines. A 48-seat giardino (little garden) is open when the weather's nice.
Pastas are churned out in an open kitchen. The menu features authentic, reasonably portioned Italian standards like chicken saltimbocca, tagliolini alla puttanesca, and gnocchi in a simple red sauce. Cold, fresh caprese (buffalo mozzarella, beefsteak tomatoes, basil and olive oil) is a perfect appetizer. Dessert can be had elsewhere, as no coffee is served, and a simple tiramisu is the only sweet finish available.
Average Italien food – I dined here recently on a warm spring night, it was on the later side so there wasn't a wait at all. We were able to sit outside on the patio, the atmosphere outside was nice. The food was average, I had the lobster ravoli's which were a bit bland. The service was fine but a little on the slow side. I wasn't impressed with the bread or the lack of olive oil and cold butter options. The reason why I wouldn't go back though is because they don't serve tap water, so you have to buy bottled water. I thought it was funny because Bricco is owned by the same people and they serve tap water, although Bricco is nicer and a bit more pricey.
Excellent Food, Average Service – The food is what draws me to this North End favorite time and time again. While the service and ambiance are slightly sub-par, the food makes it worth the trip. The pasta is always cooked to perfection and the sauces - delicious.
Skip It – I made the mistake of taking my wife to this restaurant. No table clothes, paper napkins, bread pre-wrapped butter cubes instead of olive oil and poor service. Had to pay for a glass of water. Food was poorly plated and uninteresting. For the average $20+/entree walk further down Hanover Street... there are many better options.
An Italian Jewel – I have been going to the North End since early childhood, and this is my absolute favorite restaurant. The ambience is measurable to stepping into an Italian Trattoria in Italy and the food is absolutely divine. A true Italian jewel in the North End.
Simply Excellent – The food blew me away. The place is small; sort of a bar/tavern on the main floor, and a cozy room downstairs. As folks say, it's noisy and close, but the food is insanely delicious. The best Italian food I've eaten in a very, very long time.
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