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
Disappointing and Dirty – We were visiting Boston and were looking for a good Italian meal for lunch. We were very disappointed in Cantina Italiana. Our waiter was very cold and rude. He barely smiled or said a polite word. The food was equally disappointing. Our bread tasted like stale grocery store bread. My husband's pasta and sausage dish was just a step above Chef Boy-ar-dee and my chicken and pasta in a white wine sauce was not much better than something I throw together on a busy week night. The bathroom was filthy, especially for such a pricey restaurant. I have seen cleaner bathrooms in Denny's, Overall, this was not worth the money and left us with a bad taste. There were so many other restaurants in the area that we wish we had made a different choice. We are really not picky diners and are usually quite satisfied with restaurants, but this was the exception for us.
COULD BE THE BEST DINER I HAVE EVER HAD!!!! – Amazing from the service to the desert I don’t think it could have got much better. This restaurant is reasonably priced with a great wine list. I would recommend this to anyone who likes magnificent Italian food. The last meal I had that was this good was in Italy… Cantina has a real home time feel with all the detail to fine cooking….. The staff was amazingly helpful and prompt. The manager was generally concerned about our experience and it clearly rubbed off on her staff. I think her name was Tricia (Cute too). It was nice to enjoy a great meal with great service for a change.
Average Food, High Prices – Just moved up from New Orleans. Expected more, but I guess I'm spoiled. (New Yorker too). The place was as authentic as you can get, complete with live accordian music, but we had the cold antipasto, gnocci and rissotto procini. The rissotto was dry, and the gnocci's sauce was flat and uninspired..
Not worth the 65 dollar bill (no wine or drinks).
No wonder there was no wait to get in.
North End disaster – We made a reservation for 8:30 on Saturday night and were still waiting for a table by 9:15. Other patrons near the bar were annoyed with the wait when they made reservations as the hostess and manager sat other walk-ins. When I told the hostess to take off our reservation she rolled her eye's at me.
As a hospitality professional myself I would never stake my reputation by recommending this restaurant to anyone. There are to many great restaurants in the North End to put up with this level of unprofessionalism.
Below Average Quality, Overpriced – I have been to this Restaurant 3 times, the first 2 times the food was good but the last experience was one of the worst I have had in any restaurant, rude waiter and terrible food. While the food was good the first 2 times, it is still overpriced. Not every restaurant in the north end has good Italian food, this one may vary on the day, you may have a good experience in one day and a bad one on another, but regardless, it is overpriced, you can get cheaper/better quality Italian food in a local restaurant or even Carrabbas.
Awesome homemade pasta – We went to Cantina Italiana last weekend because we'd never been there before and were hosting some out-of-town guests. We were all pleasantly surprised by how good the food is at this restaurant. The homemade pasta is excellent, including the fusilli. Our service was sporadic, but it was very busy.
Don't be fooled by the tacky neon side outside! The food is excellent! – I actually found out about Cantina Italiana on Citysearch and decided to give it a try despite having some negative reviews. I am so happy that I went. My boyfriend and I regularly went to Cantina while we lived in Boston and make sure that we go there whenever we are back in Boston visiting. The lobster ravioli, fresh mozzarella, and fried calamari appetizers are all excellent. The bomboloti pasta with spicy sausage and goat cheese is a unique variation on the traditional baked ziti and I get it every time! They also have some great seafood dishes with scallops and shrimp. Anyone who knows Italian food can really appreciate the great food. And don't be fooled by the "small" portions - I thought the plate looked small but the food is so rich that you'll find it difficult to finish and end up taking it home. Also really nice is that they serve fresh bread with a different olive oil each night - flavored olive oils from spicy peppers to simple garlic. The only thing that I have ever had that I did not enjoy was the cannoli, but that was because I was expecting sugar cream, not traditional Italian-ricotta style.
Make reservations and avoid having to wait - though they do have a newly redone bar in the front for you to wait.
Enjoy! (also know they have a sister restaurant down the street that is also good - though Cantina is better - but it is a little pricier and dressier)
Good Food but a Little "Buggy" – I have been goign here for a few years now, and the food has alwasy been outstanding. The last and final time i went there was with my oarents visting from CT. As we were sitting in a booth my mother noticed a cockroach!! commign out of the gap. We are all very disgusted. My father then tapped the wall with his hand in attempt to scare it back into the wall.. 3! more came out!
We were soo digusted we left promptly.
I will NEVER go there again.
Poor Service, Average Food – We went on a Saturday night and made reservations earlier in the day for 8:30pm. When making the reservation, I told the manager that we had a 10:30 show to attend and he said that shouldn't be a problem. We ended up waiting an hour for a table and not sitting till 9:30pm. They kept giving us the same line that we were the next table. If they had told us the truth, I would have gone elsewhere to eat. Not all was bad, the appetizers and the waitor were very good. The main course dishes were average and overpriced. Their are much better places in the North End for food than this one. I would recommend going elsewhere.
Not recommended for families – This restaurant offers good food in small overpriced portions. Unlike most restaurants in the North End (which are generally overpriced compared to their peers outside of Boston), they do not offer pasta as an accompaniment to the meal but as as an ala carte. The waiter was indifferent to the fact that we came with a family and it seemed clear that this was not their preferred clientele. There are much better deals with larger, more reasonably priced portions in family friendly settings in the North End.
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