Newton >Food & Dining > Vecchia-Roma
398 Watertown St, Newton, MA | Directions 0245842.360121 -71.202023
Mon., Sun. CLOSED;Tue. - Thu. 5pm - 9pm;Fri. - Sat. 5pm - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Chestnut Hill, Nonamtum
I can't recommend – I gave it 1 star to try and bring the 5 star average down. Otherwise I would have given it 3 stars, because the atmosphere was good (if you can ignore the drop ceiling), the people very friendly, portions generous and the lamb almost perfect. The bread is not good - almost like wonder bread. It always surprises me in this day and age that restaurant owners still can't tell the difference between quality artisan bread, and wonder bread. I find it embarrassing. The salad was pretty bad - very tough leaves, and wooden tomatoes - definitely not vine ripened. The dressing tasted like almost straight vinegar. My wife ordered gnocchi. The portion size was HUGE, but the sauce was orange. It looked like carrot sauce and tasted sour. It was thick, and seemed to be mostly tomato past. The lamb was suppose to come with potatoes and a vegetable. I asked if I could substitute risotto for the potato, which they happily accommodated. They do NOT know how to prepare risotto. It was rice on the raw side swimming in butter and salt. They brought it on a separate plate, and brought the lamb on it's own plate, with no vegetable. When I inquired about the missing veggie, the waiter stood his ground and said he thought I didn't want it. Obviously, if I'm bringing it up, I must want it, right? He kept hesitating, and made me feel guilty about asking for it, like it was a big deal. Kind of weird, but finally he brought it. And thank God, because it was good - the string beans are very good - not mush, and perfect taste. Back to the plate. It was generous lamb rib, with sauce. It was in a pool of sauce on the plate. Not a bowl of soup, but heading that direction. Now, I like a lot of sauce, but this was really over the top. Imagine three separate plates, for my one order. The presentation was just strange. The sauce by the way, could have used a bit more salt - not savory enough for the lamb it came with. By the way, the dish cost nearly $30! I love food, and know good from bad. If you are a gourmand, I recommend you stay away. If you aren't so picky, and feel curious, I encourage you to give it a whirl, and form your own opinion.
good food in the neighborhood – The dishes at this neighborhood italian restauarnt showed a surprising amount of variety for such a small place. While the dishes were solid and a grade above the usual "red sauce" italian joints such as vinny testa's the dishes did show any new ideas or originality. One annoyance was that they did not offer comlimentary tap water. If you want water you must pay $5.50 for a bottle of imported mineral water. The recommend wine was very good, and a decent deal at $24 (you can take home unfinished bottles).
In sum, its a nice option for a dinner out in the nonantum area, but I wouldn't recommend a special trip.
I Can't Believe I'm Telling You About This Gem – I'm only writing this because the owners & staff here are so phenomenal, and I want them to do well. If I was a little more selfish, I'd just keep this to myself.
My wife & I have been going here since they opened, and it's only gotten better & better. The staff is great, it's cozy, and the food, ai-yi-ai, the food - I don't even know what to recommend, it's all great. Their soups are out of this world.
Great neighborhood restaurant – We love this place. A small restaurant in the Nonantum village. They are good in sea food, salad, risotto, and devine dessert. Sometimes the pork dishes are dry, but other than that they have never dissappointed us.
Friendly and satisfying – I've been to this restaurant many times, and never had a bad meal. The specials are always good and the staff makes great wine recommendations. While the prices are not cheap, it's worth every cent. I would opt for the homemade tiramisu for dessert, and the rolled eggplant as an appetizer
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