Boston >Restaurants >
Italian >Trattoria Il Panino
11 Parmenter St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211342.363879 -71.054857
Monday To Thursday From 11:00 AM To 10:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 11:00 AM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 12:00 PM To 11:00 PM
Neighborhoods: North End, Central
Best italian food in North End – I have been in Italy many times, the food and the people are great..... if you want to have a real `italian experience` there is no better place than Trattoria il Panino! The food is authentic, the Zuppa di pesce is my favorite! A combination of assorted fresh shellfish in lightly spicy cherry tomato sauce.... My husband loves the ossobuco alla milanes, never been disappointed! They have a good selection of italian wines and we dont really mind to drink bottled water since the large bottle costs $4 more less, plus its italian water from Florence! the service is always satisfying, most of the servers are italian very friendly and attentive, ready to answer your questions. the dining room upstairs its small but very cozy, you can see the chef cooking... its fun!! I will go there any time I want to enjoy italian food!
Great Food, Shady Dealings – I've served tables for most of my life--for the past five years, in fine-dining. The lobster ravioli and baby squid were both excellent; but, it's unfortunate to say that in an attempt to boost sales or be too haughty to serve tap, this place risks angering guests to the point of forgetting about the meal.
Whether it's Boston, New York, or San Francisco, fine-dining, casual or low-brow, I've never been to a place that doesn't serve tap water. When the server mentioned that she doesn't serve tap, I could not believe she was saying something so blatantly illegal to boost her sales (anyone remember when the water main broke in eastern Mass? All restaurants were still required to provide water, even if it was bottled, free of charge), but I played stupid not wanting to create a fuss.
As the meal continued, I could tell service was seriously struggling. Felt rushed at some moments, and couldn't catch sight of our waitress at other. When we eventually asked for a bottle of water, the backwaiter opened it and failed to bring glasses. Apparently, this establishment that's too good to serve honest tap thinks its appropriate for two people to drink from the same bottle. Even if it was one person, did he think this was a Coor's Light?
Granted, I'm mostly writing this review about water, but something about it just gets my blood boiling. Sure, you may have made an extra $5 dollars on your sales (which means an extra $1 in tip), but to deny a guest something so basic goes far in pissing them off and getting them to tell others never to go. Try a different tactic in boosting sales. I've heard daily specials work wonders.
Best on a weekday – This is a great mid-week date spot but avoid it during the weekends and when it is tourist season. I used to go to this place all the time when I was in college and became a regular. The North End is always busy and with this place being just off Hanover it tends to have shorter lines on the weekend but expect to wait.
The wine list is very good and the staff can be helpful it matching meals and wines. Price can get high quickly if you are concerned so come ready to spend.
the food is unreal! – I've had one of my favorite meals ever at this restaurant - it's a staple when my family or friends come into town. decent prices, amazing quality, etc. would highly recommend! try the tortelli - it's outstanding.
disappointing – I had a good dining experience here a few months ago, but when we went back a couple days ago we were very disappointed. The waitress didn't tell us about specials, but the real problem is that the quality of many dishes is poor and in general the place is overpriced. The octopus in the octopus salad app was from a can, and the sauce on my veal also tasted canned. Additional warning: they don't serve tap water. A waste of money.
One of the Best Spots in Boston! – I have been taking family and friends here for years. It's important to make a reservation because the place is small and popular but well worth the wait if you must.
The dishes are all fresh and you can taste the care they take in their ingredients and preparation. The wait staff is delightful and give great suggestions on the menu. In the summer sit outside on the patio, otherwise try to get seating upstairs. This is an intimate and romantic spot, perfect for a date or a special event. This is a place you take people you want to impress. Located in the middle of Hanover Street, you can walk to Mike's Pastry or Bova's Bakery (my favorite) after for a great desert.
No matter who you take to this dinner or what you order, it will be a meal you will remember. Enjoy!
Wait, wait, wait – We had eaten at Il Panino before and enjoyed it. We arrived Saturday nite 10/17/08 at 6:45, without a reservation, and asked if we could be seated. We were told by hostess Maria that it would be "a little over 30 minutes". Two hours later we were still standing outside. The problem was that as others arrived who had made reservations, they were seated before us - - fair enough, but we should NEVER have been told that we would be seated in "a little over 30 minutes". We left, never to return again!! This is no way to treat customers. Jim and Marge - Chadds Ford PA; Mike and Bill - Milton, MA
This restaurant really captures the spirit of the North End – I love this restaurant... it's small and cozy and the food is amazing. Yes, it's true you can't get tap water, bottled only. If you go, try to get a table upstairs, the ambiance is very intimate and romantic. This was the one place I would always take out-of-town visitors. And they were always really impressed. The downfalls are parking (of course, it's Boston) and long waits during peak times. Of all the places I've eaten in the North End this is my favorite.
good food, terrible service – The food was great, but the service was terrible! We were there at 6pm on a Saturday night..it was busy, but not insane--especially considering they don't have so many tables. Did you know they don't serve tap water? What a nice way to run up the bill/tip! So, after paying $6 for a bottle of water, all of our food came out at different times with about a 20 minute difference between the first and last entree. There were 5 adults and a baby and the baby's tiny pasta dish came when we were all basically done with our entrees--no apology and no taking it off the bill. To top it off, an 18% gratuity was added to our bill, which is unusual for parties of less than six (maybe they were counting the baby?). With so many good restaurants in the North End, you would think they might be a bit more competitive and provide better a higher quality of service.
Reservations not honored – Do not plan on this restaurant acknowledging reservations made. My husband called on a Tuesday to make a reservation for a Thursday night, a night that was one of the best spring nights yet. We when got there we saw many patrons waiting for tables and located the host. He looked at a sheet of lined paper, barely acknowledged us and said I don't have your name. We stated we called on Tuesday and asked about their reservation book, he pointed to his piece of lined paper, which was clearly for the night and tracking walk-ins, and said that the paper was their reservation list. We were truly disappointed. Why take reservations if you aren't going to honor them?
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