Boston >Food & Dining > Cantina Italiana
346 Hanover St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211342.364967 -71.053451
Monday To Tuesday From 11:30 AM To 03:00 PM Monday To Tuesday From 04:00 PM To 11:00 PM Wednesday To Saturday From 11:30 AM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 12:00 PM To 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: North End, Central
One of the North End's oldest restaurants serves up satisfying Italian cuisine and plenty of charm. – The Scene
A loyal, local clientele and a steady stream of tourists have kept business booming at this popular restaurant since 1931. While there are fancier, more modern establishments in the North End, few places provide such an untainted old-world atmosphere. Congenial waiters clearly take pride in their service, and the dining room's cozy booths provide an ideal setting for enjoying the restaurant's special homemade bombolotti (wagon wheel) pasta.
The kitchen's extensive menu rarely veers off the red-sauce highway. But diners seldom complain after digging into heaping plates of buffalo-mozzarella salad and baked ziti. Start with a filling plate of garlic crostini topped with shrimp and vegetables, before moving on to a delicate vegetable risotto or a hulking veal T-bone (which benefits from a savory port-wine sauce). Leave room for sinful desserts, including a homemade lemon-zest cannoli or a slice of cappuccino-mousse cake.
All around greatness@! – Cantina Italiana is a great place for dinner. I've gone on many occasions with friends and also with my husband and have yet to have a bad experience. The hostess(es) have always been pleasant, the wait staff has always been very efficient and the food is always top notch. On top of all this, I think the prices are most reasonable for the atmosphere. Also, it is great because it is one of the few places with a reasonable valet service.
Bad experience with Waitstaff – I went to the Cantina to celebrate my birthday. What a disappointment! When asked about wines the waiter did not know what he was talking about so pointed to the highest priced wine. When ordering our dinners he asked he we wanted a "SIDE"" Of pasta but conviently forgot to ask which size we wanted (neither of which were listed on the menu). When the side came it was about what we expected but when the bill came we found out that the SIDE OF PASTA was as much as our VEAL DINNERS! We asked the manager about the side of pasta who did take it off the bill.when the waiter came back over to give us our new bill he did nothing to even acknowledge that he had made a mistake. No apology, NOTHING! He didn't even look at us but slammed the bill down and walked away.
Not "nokies"! – The baked gnocchi is fantastic! I've tried several gnocchi dishes in town and Cantina, by far, serves the best!
A good experience – I was fairly impressed with the food and service of Cantina Italiana. The veal parm. had a lot of kick and flavor to it and was very tender. The waiter was polite and knowledgable, and the overall atmosphere had a good feel. There wasn't much unique about the place, but it was better than a lot of other North End restaurants I've tried, so I would consider going back.
Impressive – I went here to celebrate my birthday. The host was wonderful. Atmosphere impeccable. However, it took a while for the waiters to serve us. The bread could have been a little warmer. The calamari for appetizers was not fried, much to our disappointment. It was decent- it was sauteed and topped with a red sauce. The chicken and broccoli with ziti is good.
Traditional Italian – Very good traditional fare here. The place is known for its red sauce, and that is well warranted. It is a lot like Mother Anna's with similar menu selections and prices. It is right on Hanover St., so it makes for a great walk after dinner. Great spot for hitting that craving of a traditional Italian meal. Pretty crowded, but owner pays each table a visit.
Old School should teach New School – This is not where you take someone looking for the trendy new thing. This is where you take the person who will only eat old school italian, but you also want something good. The food is good, the prices are reasonable, the service is as friendly as it gets. Cantina is what the North End is all about - but don't waste your time on the desserts.
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