90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0214042.390775 -71.132723
Being Italian, I was eager to try Gran Gusto. Unfortunately, I did not have the good experience others have had.
Firstly, let me say that the wait staff was professional, and friendly, the atmosphere clean, and simple. However, the meal itself was extremely disappointing. For appetizers, we had the prosciutto and stracciatella (soft cheese made from buffalo milk),which was very good, and the grilled calamari, which was barely grilled at all, very, very dry, and lacked any flavor at all...(tasted like two day old leftovers)…
For entrees we had the following;
1. Rack of lamb which was fairly good, but with two tiny pieces, this was not very impressive...
2. Garganelli (pasta with seafood); tasteless, and overcooked.
3. Pollo (broiled chicken); was good, not well prepared, and very unimpressively presented.
4. Porchetta (an old Italian dish of spit roasted pork, sometimes stuffed), was unforgivably bad... Three thin slices of cold thin grey-colored tasteless ham, and two quarter size slices of potato. Real porchetta should be thickly cut, have good color, a crisp tasty skin, and soaked with the juices from the roast. What I received instead was three slices of cold-cut quality ham 'plopped' on a dish with a lemon wedge.
In all, this visit (which was supposed to be a special occasion), was extremely disappointing. The Gran Gusto website claims: "We pride ourselves on the best quality…our products are flown in from Italy.."….Well, let me say this; there was no pride taken in the preparation of our dinner, and if what we were served was flown in from Italy, they should have saved the freight costs and bought from the same purveyor as Olive Garden. I see absolutely no difference in the quality of the finished product. And at these prices, it's a very expensive letdown. You can do much, much better than this place…..
what happened – OVER THE TOP ITALIAN GUY AT DOOR, TOO MUCH KISSING OF STRANGERS, SEEMS PHONY. THE STAFF IS CHANGING, OVERALL MOOD NOT THE SAME.FOOD IS GREAT, FOR THE MOST PART, BUT I THINK IT'S LOSING IT'S PERSONALITY, WHICH WAS PART OF THE EXPERIENCE. BACK TO BASICS, STICK TO WHAT GOT YOU THERE.
Editorial Review – Charmingly set, yet curiously located, Italian eatery with unparalleled, blister-crusted pizzas and housemade pastas.
hidden gem – Went here on a date just before the Christmas holiday. The trendy awning advertising Abbruzzan cuisine had piqued our interest. When we arrived, we found that atmosphere inside wasn't as cozy as it had looked from the outside, and we were surprised to find that the place was pretty empty on a Saturday night. However, the staff was gracious, and the food did not disappoint. We heartily enjoyed the squash ravioli with saffron sauce and veal marsala. The food was well done and delicious - particularly for its reasonable price. The house wine was also pretty good. Overall, we really enjoyed our evening there.
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