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Ristorante Saraceno - 23 Reviews - 286 Hanover St, Boston, MA - Local Favorite Reviews - Phone (617) 227-5888

Ristorante Saraceno

286 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 227-5888
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Ristorante Seraceno (ie the tunnel restaurant or knife, fork, spoon place) has very rarely let me down. The biggest mistake people make when entering a restaurant is judging souly...


02MAR2007 was the second time i had lunch here. the first time i was happy with the food and service. the second time this place sucked. there is an old italian waiter there wi...

Boston's unprofessional Italians 4/16/2011

The opening and closing of the entry door made for a chilly eating environment. The waiter never came around to refill water. I had to flag him down. Bread was cold and tough. We were just NOT impressed. The food was good and that's about it... more


We had a bad dinner here. The waitress was slow and rude. The food was bad. We left a small tip. When we checked our statement the next day with the bank, we found the restaurant CHANGED the final amount so it was EXACTLY 20% more than the original amount we were charged. This is ILLEGAL. This is STEALING. This restaurant will STEAL from you. Not to mention the food is HORRIBLE. DO NOT GO HERE. Cons: FOOD, SERVICE, STOLE OUR MONEY more

Hidden dining areas make it a very cool experience 2/12/2009

I went to Saraceno last week and it was awesome. It looks so small from the outside; little does one know that they have seating downstairs and also on two floors above the restaurant next door! The hostess took us up a flight of stairs located between Saraceno and the restaurant next store where we found cool, little nooks and spaces to enjoy your dinner. We ended up on the third floor which has a glass roof with vines and white, twinkling lights everywhere. I had one of the specials - lobster and scallops in a marinara sauce - and it was a-ma-zing. Lots and lots of scallops and fresh lobster. My companion wanted fettucine alfredo with shrimp which wasn't on the menu but the chef happily made it for her. The house chianti was tasty and our server, Maria, who is from Italy, was fabulous. I live in the North End and have eaten in just about every restaurant in the neighboorhood. This has moved into my top 5. more

Untrained, Poor Timing, No Food or Wine Knowledge 9/22/2008

I have a foot in the 5 star and in the 1 star camp. The food here is good, let?s face it. I have eaten here twice, once it was terrific , the waiter was great and the food more than passable and the value was good. Will I ever go there again? NO! Because I had a waiter from h*ll the second time. Why should I gamble with an evening? ?If we get a good waiter this place?ll be great,? is hardly a recommendation that gets my motor running. Imagine raving about a restaurant to your friends then have the waiter, when asked to describe a wine, tell you it is going to be good because it is a Chianti. When asked to elaborate, he said, it was going to be good because it was a Chianti Classico. The entire evening was like that. Untrained, poor timing, no food or wine knowledge. We were still eating our salads when the entrees arrived. We fled before dessert could be foisted on us. If the management doesn?t care enough to put trained, knowledgeable people on the floor to take care of customers, then why risk your evening. I can go to Sizzler for food as fuel. For a real night out, choose another restaurant. more

Great Place to eat, one of the hidden jems of the North End 7/28/2008

Ristorante Seraceno (ie the tunnel restaurant or knife, fork, spoon place) has very rarely let me down. The biggest mistake people make when entering a restaurant is judging souly based on bread. After spending 6 months living in Italy, i can tell you that this is AUTHENTIC italian bread. Skimping on the taste, the Florentine and Roman Italians prefer to let the taste of the olive oil overwhelm that of the bread. Though the service may not be the fastest in Boston, it allows you to take as long as you need to enjoy the experience of eating a good meal (which in Italy can be 2 or 3 hours). If you need to eat a bit quicker, tell them before hand. \r \r Try the spicy seafood sauce. Always a winning decision!!!\r \r Though upstairs has been revamped, try to sit in one of the back rooms downstairs. The different rooms give this place character. Ive sat in the room directly below the stairs and i think this may be the worst (it tends to be the most full). Ask to be seated in the back ""wine room"" or one of the other many rooms that make this place the hidden jem of the North End. \r \r \r Pros: Distinguishing back rooms Cons: no parking more

Rudest waiters I ever saw 11/24/2007

As we entered, there were two waiters staying about 5 feet from us, and not serving customer, but doing some clean up at vacant tables. Nevertheless, we stood there for about a minute, and even then the waiter only paid us some attention when I spoke to him myself. Then he said ""Yes?"" in intonation that suggested ""What the heck do you need from me?"". Then led us downstairs, where we sat for 15 full minutes without anyone paying us any attention at all. Ok, I understand it's supposed to be kind of a ""nice restaurant"" where you wait for hours for your meal, but they didn't even say ""Hi"" or ""I'll be with you in a moment"", or something of the sort. Let alone give us the menu.\r \r Of course, we didn't even try the food, because after 15 minutes of being ignored we decided that we didn't want to eat there anymore. Cons: Rude waiters, very limited space more

INCREDIBLY rude waitress ruins it every time 11/4/2007

The waitress at this restaurant, who we have had the two times we've gone there, is the rudest waitress I have ever had. She literally rolled her eyes at very simple requests. The food is okay, but the waitress will ruin your experience. I suggest going ANYWHERE else in the North End over this restaurant. Pros: Food is OK. Cons: Rudest waitress we have ever had. more

Italian restaurant? A JOKE!!!!!! 10/22/2007

We ate there this past weekend! Do yourself a BIG favor - pass right by it! The place was a ""factory"" turning people around with ""canned"" and ""americanized"" dishes of virtual slop. I KNOW ITALIAN FOOD! The garbage (in my opinion) they serve there is not Italian food and maybe one step above a ""frozen dinner"". The bread...the soft mushy bread? Cracked me up too.....! No Italian eats soft ""americanized"" bread! Antipasto? If you like escarole and a few slices of tomato that they call ""antipasto"" then go ahead. In my book antipasto has a mix of cheeses, coldcuts, pickled artichoke, mozzarella, dried tomatoes, etc -- a joke is what they serve. The pasta was lousy! The main courses were barely eatable. HUGE espresso spoons would barely fit in the cup of TERRIBLE espresso!. When the waiter noticed we finished (and left most of our food) -----BINGO...they alluded to the ""check"" to get us out!!!! That is - if you can even understand what the waiter says (not Italain nor English). My advice= go right past it! Pros: still thinking to come up with one Cons: everything more

used to be good...maybe 4 years ago 7/24/2007

Don't bother going unless you don't know any better! Food is mediocre and not truly Italian. Service is fair or worse. Skip the Italian antipasto unless you are expecting an escarole salad! Bring your own Italian bread - they don't kinow what Italian bread is. Good luck with waiters.And-hope you don't have to take a p-ss! TERRIBLE PLACE TO EAT!!!!!! Pros: none at all Cons: food, service, ambience, not really italian more

lousy 7/24/2007

We went there ( a number of couples) on Friday night 7/20/07. We had not been there in about 4-5 years and at that time it was prrety good. WHAT A CHANGE! They ""americanized"" the joint in terms of food . We are born-in-Italy Italians that live outside of Boston in nice area. We generally go to ""Il Tartufo"" in Newton Centre for THE VERY BEST ULTIMATE ITALIAN FOOD. So, back to Saraceno's...............and what we did not like:. 1) Garlic..garlic..garlic..everything with garlic as if EVERY Italian is supposed to be a garlic lover. We like garlic, but not ""loaded"" with it.. 2) Bread: It sucked! DEFINETLY not Italian bread ..soft americanized slices and to add insult, they give you butter pads and not olive oil to dip it in . 3) We ordered the Italian Antipasto. It is 90% ""greens"" & about 3 slices of ""coldcuts, a partial artickoke,& sliced tomato. I have news : Italian Antipasto is supposed to be PROSCIUTTO, CHEESES, ARTICHOKE, PEPPERS, SALAMI, etc...not cheap greens. 4) Ordered a salad with oil/vinegar ( BASICS of any Italin restaurant). Got the oil but had to wait 15 min for them to find any vinegar. 5) Waiter - no Italian waiters.Albania and other from Honduras. Both had problems communicating well. 6) Wine: ""Luna di Luna"" in red bottle at big cost. I saw it at $7.99 in wine store the next day! 7) espresso: ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! So bad that waiter suggested beforehand that we go out for espresso. Demitasse cups with HUGE normal spoons that barely fit in cups! What happened to espresso spoons? Too cheap to buy any? 8) Bathrooms 2nd floor: If a guy has to urinate..go in and stand and you ""just fit"". If you have to do virtually have to ""back up"" into restroom from door as space is so tight you virtually can't turn......about 30% size of small closet... 9) take orders..finish us..and ""get us out""... SUMMARY: We give it a ""1"" out of ""10"" -----fully ""americanized"" for tourists..STAY OUT !!! A RIPOFF! \r \r Pros: still looking for one Cons: food, espresso, bathrooms, antipasto, bread more

avoid this place 3/6/2007

02MAR2007 was the second time i had lunch here. the first time i was happy with the food and service. the second time this place sucked. there is an old italian waiter there with bad teeth who was very rude. i lived in napoli, italy for three years and ate at many italian places there. never had i seen someone so rude. i will not go back to this ristorante because that. they need to get it together with their help and maybe it will be a good place to eat. Pros: the italian food is ok Cons: i had better in italy. more

Wow! We were NOT disappointed 11/25/2006

We went looking for a good North End restaurant without the noise - a perfect place to meet and dine with friends that we have not seen in a great while. The atmosphere was very Mediterranean; make sure you ask to sit upstairs, even though the entrance may surprise you.\r \r My Veal Saltonboca was super, and the others in our party reported similarly on Veal Parm, Rissoto with Broccoli, and Chicken. We highly recommend this place and plan on returning soon. \r \r We had reservations and showed a bit early. We were seated on time. \r \r Oh, and don't forget dessert at Michael's Bakery just down the street. It was well worth the wait. Pros: Great food, service and atmosphere more

Worst Service! Food was ok. 10/21/2006

Usually we always know exactly where we are going in the North end but we decided to head in last minute with no reservations. We walked by and saw the restaurant was busy so we headed in. We were seated in the basement and it smelled old and musty. Our server was awful. I think he was just really busy with other tables. I noticed the other waitstaff completly miserable and I was embarrased the way she was treating her customers. It was just awful. Save your money and time more

Best Italian meal and seafood ever. 8/29/2006

Wonderful restaurant with exceptional food and service. We were there on a Friday night. Stepped in without reservations and were seated immediately in the beautiful and romantic basement. We were not rushed at any time during our meal. Our server was fantastic and took care of every request quickly and carefully. The house wine was wonderful and affordable. This was our first visit to Ristorante Saraceno, but will most certainly not be our last. We would recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to experience the best of Boston's north end. Pros: Ambience, food, service more

The Best of the Best 3/25/2006

Been going there for 15 years. I have tried others but we always come back to this restaurant. more

Great Food/ Great Service 12/10/2005

My wife and I have been dining at Saraceno's at least once per year for about 17 years. In my opinion, it's one of the best values in the North End. The food and service is always right on the money. Pros: Food , Service Cons: nothing more

The Best 3/28/2003

This is by far the best Italian restaurant I have ever been to. more

I LOVE IT 1/29/2003


Yuck 8/22/2002

I dont know what everyone is talking about. I had the worst dinner here.First of all, we had reservations and then we were taken passed all these rooms up about 100 stairs and sat in this weird room with vines all over it. The service was the worst. The bread was gross and when I asked for oil for my bread they looked at me like I was insane. The server didnt speak english well and our food was mediocre. I would never go back. There are so many better places to spend your money in the nort end. more

Disappointing-and not for vegetarians! 8/12/2002

I was very excited about going to this restaurant for our anniversary, but I was sorely disappointed. The waitress did not speak English well, and as a result did not get our order correct. We ordered the tomatoes & mozz, but were instead brought a simple tomato salad. She didn't understand vegetarianism: when asked what vegetables were avail. w/ the entree she was unable to offer the items separately. Heavily seafood laiden menu-OK if you are prepared for it. Bread: stale & cold, tasted like local supermarket Italian. Wine list: not impressive and highly marked up. They did make an effort to accomodate my diet by making pasta primavera, and it was fairly good. My husband also loved his veal. Dessert was the best item at this restaurant, and although service was relatively fast, I would not go back or recommend it. There are better restaurants in the north end! more
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Menu for Ristorante Saraceno

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  • The Scene
    While Saraceno's straightforward menu of familiar favorites doesn't throw anyone for a loop, the restaurant's interior--namely, the charming basement dining room--takes patrons...

  • 3/30/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Monday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Tuesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Wednesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Thursday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Friday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Saturday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Sunday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa, Cash, American Express, Diner's Club
  • Neighborhoods:

    North End, Central