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Pappabuona's Profile

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Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

We did it!
A group of Chowhounders went out for pizza last night. Originally we were supposed to go to A4 in Somerville but we changed location after they told us the wait was going to be of 90 minutes! So, we decided to go to Mast' in Boston.
The pizza was good. In my opinion the dough had the perfect balance of salt, water, flour and yeast. The mozzarella and tomato were of good quality and the "cornicione" was thick enough to my liking. The center of the pizza was perhaps a little too wet. Mast' serves Neapolitan style pizzas. I enjoyed the pizza but most of all I enjoyed the lively and lovely food conversation with the other CH fellows at my table! Thank you :)

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

Great! Anybody else?

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

I don't take it the wrong way and I agree with you that it is very good. I ate at Michele, at Ciro (Trianon) and Starita in Naples...and many others Neapolitan pizza places around Italy. They are all a little different from one another, but still you can categorize them as Neapolitan for the type of dough, the crust, the tomato and the mozzarella that is used following the rules of Pizza Verace Napoletana certification. In my humble opinion Gran Gusto follows these rules and can be considered a real Pizza napoletana. In Boston I believe only il Posto and Pastoral have this certification. In Italy, where 80% of the pizzerias offer Neapolitan style pizzas, not all pizzerias have this certification.

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

Hello EB, please explain how Gran Gusto is not really authentic Neapolitan. Thank you.

Best sandwiches in Boston?

Speaking of Cubano.... try the Spicy Cubano at Moody's Delicatessen & Provision. it's delicious! (Smoked ham, pulled pork, chipotle aioli, mustard, swiss cheese, sweet pickles on ciabatta.)

canneles in boston

Canto 6 in JP and Bread and Chocolate in Newton Highlands have them

March 2014 Openings and Closings

These were 2 of my slices. They were larger than the slice shown on Yelp but I do not have anything to compare other than my memory :) This is not your typical "slice of pizza place"... It's not cheap but the quality is there.

March 2014 Openings and Closings

I went last night, I had 4 pieces of pizza ( and yes with a lot of heavy vegetables and meat) and I spent $14. The pizza was really delicious and authentic and Lisa over there is super nice. How about we cut some slack to new places and we stop giving them bad reviews not even after a week after they are open? Maybe they just need to adjust. Let's go back in a month and see then.

Italian restaurants that would impress an Italian in Boston and/or Central MA

Actually, Aosta is not in Piedmont. Aosta is the capital of Valle d'Aosta another region norh of Piedmont.

New Year in Philadelphia

Thank you. We are going to be 6 and yes we will have a car. Not sure yet about the area we will stay.... It would be nice to get recommendations also for this :)

Oct 28, 2013
Pappabuona in Philadelphia

New Year in Philadelphia

Good Morning,
I will be traveling to Philly from Boston on December 30 and I will stay there until January 2nd. I need recommendation on where to have a nice dinner the 31st and also lunches and dinners the other days. I am looking for typical Philly's flare but also for places that have wonderful food in general (it can be a sandwich spot too!) Thank you so much to those who can help!:)

Oct 28, 2013
Pappabuona in Philadelphia


I went last Saturday at 8 pm. The place was packed. The service was very good. The food was so and so. Good octopus, very bland mussels, the vitel tonnato (or their interpretation of it) was too salty. The pasta I had with a very simple tomato sauce was delicious but the gnocchi with coniglio ( rabbit ragout) were horrible. The entrees were ok and the Chocolate panna cotta was really well done. But you know what was unbearable? The noise... I have never experienced anything like that...
Forget having a conversation with my friend, I couldn't even hear my own thoughts!

Horse meat?

not just for braciola. It can also prepared raw as in "carpaccio" or steak Tartare

Horse meat?

Italy is the largest consumer of horse meat in Europe and specialized butcher shops (called Macellerie Equine) sell it. It is very rich in iron and low in cholesterol and doctors used (and maybe still do) to recommend it for people with iron deficiency.

"Charcoal Guido's" to bring brick-oven pizza to Waltham

Guido in Moody st. is now open and I went to try it last night.
Food is good. I had a very nice pizza ( If Gran gusto is a 10 I would give them a 8), some arancini, arrosticini ( lamb skewers) with a very good spicy oil and a bruschetta with Polpo that was very good. I tried the cannelloni (ok) and the gnocchi semolina (a little bland). There were a few problems with the service but I talked to one of the owners and he was happy to have a client that could tell them how to improve things and not simply walk away and never come back. He brought to the table some delicious biscotti made by his mom and even offered at no cost some limoncello or sambuca. Very nice addition to Waltham!

Best place for dinner in East Cambridge?

how about Hungry Mother... it's right there... 233 Cardinal Medeiros... I recommend reservations :)

Gran Gusto-- it's been a while

I was there on Saturday night. I only had pizza and ricotta cake but it was as good as always.

Il Pastificio - Everett, MA

I recently went for the first time to Il Pastificio in Everett and I loved the place.
I tried their Panettone (Italian Christmas cake) at a friend’s house and I really loved it, so I decided to go and try a few more things.
The owner is a first generation Italian gentleman and he still makes pastries and fresh pasta (tagliatelle, tagliolini, ravioli and tortellini) the way you would find in Italy.
The tortellini with meat and Parmigiano were really delicious.
I also tried their ricotta cake, a little bit on the dry side, but filled with lots of good quality candied fruit.
I’m also very excited because I saw he also had Cassata Siciliana in the refrigerated case (so difficult to find here) and I cannot wait to try it next time.

Have you been there? What was your experience?

Feijoada in Sao Paulo

Hello Itaunas,
sorry to ask for help so last minute but I am traveling to Rio tomorrow and I was wondering if you can suggest some wonderful place (I am interested in Brazilian Food ) that I shouldn't miss once I get there !
Forgive me for interrupting a thread about Sao Paulo and Happy New Year! :)

Scugnizzi in Arlington (formerly Buona Vita Restaurant)

Thank you Ferrari.
I actually went recently for lunch and I used a Living Social voucher. The experience was horrible. I got the Pizza Margherita (because I always start from the basics) and the dough was pale and flat (like your picture). The rice they used for the arancini was over cooked and finally the sauteed calamari were served in a sort of broth with some green in it.... really disappointing!

Authentic Italian

It' s the zucchini together with the vongole that does not make it authentic: I don't recall ever seen this before. Pasta e Fasuli is dialect (from Campania) region not Italian. In Lombardy they call it pasta e fasoi, in Veneto pasta e fasioi and so on....

Authentic Italian

Restaurants like Gran Gusto or Trattoria Toscana are very authentic. I could go to Rome or Bologna and find a Trattoria Toscana that serves the same stuff as in Boston and nice Neapolitan Pizzerias like GG in every Italian town…..
Other restaurants like il Casale, Sportello, Erbaluce or Rialto have some dishes on their menus that are “really” Italian and then some others that can be wonderful, with an Italian “twist”, but that cannot be considered authentic. In my opinion, what makes an Italian restaurant authentic is the type of ingredients that are being used, the way flavors are combined, the regional traditions that are “behind” a specific dish and of course you have to know the very basic: how to cook pasta!

Beachowolfe, here is an example of a Primi menu from an Italian restaurant in Boston:

spaghetti and clams, manila clams, garlic, Sicilian olive oil, zucchini

hand-crafted potato dumplings, porcini crema, roasted peppers, artichoke chips

pasta e fagioli cannellini beans "al fiasco", mezzi rigatoni pasta, olive oil, parsley
(with rock shrimp add ..)

lasagna "rotta"
"broken" lasagna (changes daily) / market.

three cheese ravioli, wild mushroom ragu, tomato, ricotta salata

spaghetti alla carbonara
guanciale, soft onions, egg yolk, pecorino romano Fulvi (D.O.P. Lazio)

San Marzano tomato sugo, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano

the traditional meat sauce "alla Bolognese"

The last five items on this menu seem pretty authentic/traditional to me, the first 3 not so much, but this does not mean that they are not delicious.
By the way in Italy too these days, we have many talented chefs that transform the staples of Italian cuisine in something completely different and new and I think it is great to have the possibility to choose...(unfortunately here in Boston I don't think we have enough of the good authentic ones.....)


I am a Piemontese DOCG (controlled designation of origin guaranteed :)) and some of Draghi's dishes might be inspired by my Region but they are certainly not authentic. The whole menu is definitely "Italian influenced", very well balanced and executed, but it is not something that in the old country we would call "verace". It is a good restaurant, you will enjoy the food and don't forget, when you make the reservation, to ask for a quiet table :)

Italian for a group

Gran Gusto: Good Pasta, Cambridge, Parking, Nice atmosphere!

Fiorella's post-renovation (slightly longish)

Last night around 8:30 pm I decided to give it a try. The place was not very busy but the host seemed to have a hard time to decide where we were supposed to sit. We ordered one Pizza Margherita and one plate of Pasta Primavera Margherita. The pizza was the worst I had in a long time: it tasted stale and any frozen pizza at the supermarket would be better than this one...the pasta was well cooked but it was covered by this mountain of vegetables humangously cut that to me shows no respect of love for food. While I was eating my pizza a very pushy waitress came over and insisted that I needed to put fresh Parmesan cheese on my pizza so that it would have tasted much better...I said: NO!, but in retrospective.....

West Roxbury Banh Mi

I totally agree and I would like to add: very nice people too!

Moulton's Seafood

When I say "not too salty" to me is a plus! :)

Moulton's Seafood

I had dinner at Moulton's last night. The food was good and well executed. The haddock chowder was tasty but not too salty, the pasta with frutti di mare with white sauce was well cooked and with lots of clams, scallops and mussels. The clams were well cleaned with no sand residue (which to me is a MUST). Service was fast and attentive.

Scugnizzi in Arlington (formerly Buona Vita Restaurant)

Thank you! I can't wait to try it.
Did you "look" at the pizza by any chance?

The Great Boston Pastry Hunt

You are welcome! Yes, there are nuts in the meringue and no, they do not do other types.
here is her full pastry menu