We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“What a gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carlo's Cucina Italiana

Carlo's Cucina Italiana
131 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134-2802 (Allston / Brighton)
617-254-9759
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #29 of 2,881 Restaurants in Boston
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Allston / Brighton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“What a gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2014

The location of Carlo's is in Alston. It is a melting pot of people and the restaurants in this strip are a reflection of the people. In the middle of it all , in the smallest room down there is this Italian gem. It is just like the north end or Federal Hill in RI. The Food - GREAT , I have been 8 times and had a different dish every time. Most of the time I know what I want but my mind is changed when I hear the specials. This is classic plates and good size portions.

Staff is the best in town.

Best things so far:
- calamari - any where us order it as an app or as part of a dinner , always fresh and never tough
- dinner salad - one house salad is more then enough for 2 people (basic but done righ
- Linguine con Frutti di Mare, Verdicchio, Chicken Parm, Eggplant parm, Thick Cut Pork chop.

these are all thing I love.

but like I said - LISTEN to the specials.

Parking is tough , small parties are better but they will take a reservation for 6+.

Enjoy

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    73
    17
    3
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Eliot, Maine
1 review
“Hmmm..”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

My fiance and I were calling around to make reservations for our 5 year anniversary and I called at 12:30pm on a Thursday, woman who picked up the phone sounded annoyed right away, when I asked if the took reservations her reply was "yeah but call back after 5." OhhhK no thanks I wont be spending my money at a place with such rude people, thanks but no thanks!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Always a crowd-pleaser”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

This is a small spot, but with a lot of warmth. The service is great (the Sicilian owner is a hoot!), the food is delicious, and it's a good bang for your buck (the portions are very large). It's small, but cozy and great. I consistently have a great meal here (I've been dining here for a decade).

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Shore, MA
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“Join the neighborhood and eat well!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

I’ve been to Carlo’s many times for lunch, but had never been for dinner until recently. Too bad I took so long--dinner was every bit as good as lunch!

The restaurant is located along a busy, commercial street, Brighton Ave., and doesn’t look like much on the outside. It doesn’t look like much on the inside either--just a small place with closely placed tables and no decor of note. The tasty food is the attraction at Carlo’s, however. The menu is standard red-sauce Italian, served in generous portions. I’m a fan of the eggplant parmigiana and the chicken marsala. My husband enjoyed his veal on this recent visit, though I’ve forgotten how it was prepared. Salads are fresh and of good size. I’ve always been too full to try dessert. Prices are very reasonable.

The wait staff maneuver their way through the crowded dining room and juggle the hefty plates on the small tables. There are usually some “excuse me’s” along the way, but this works just fine because the staff are friendly and polite and Carlo’s is not pretentious. It is a casual, neighborhood place and doesn’t try to be anything else. Though I’d guess most of the customers are local families or workers at nearby businesses, everyone is warmly welcomed so newcomers needn’t worry about feeling out of place.

Street parking is available along Brighton Ave. and on side streets, but it can be tough to find a spot. The #57 MBTA bus from Kenmore Square goes right by the restaurant.

Carlo’s is not in a convenient location for the typical Boston tourist, but it is a good choice for those visiting Boston University or Boston College. Others who find themselves in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood will also not regret stopping in for a meal. I’ll continue to go often for lunch and will definitely return for dinner!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Awesome Italian”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

I accidentally stumbled upon this restaurant about 3 years ago and I keep going back. The service is very friendly, I'm always treated like family and they even remember my name when I return. I only go about 2-3 times/year so that really means something to me. In the age of mega-chains taking over the restaurant industry, it is refreshing to dine somewhere like Carlo's.

The ONLY downside would be that because the restaurant is so small, they often have trouble accommodating large groups, even with reservations. Some may see that as attractive, but I sometimes find it inconvenient when I would like to visit with 5-8 friends.

The food is excellent and you won't be disappointed in the portion size. The Chicken Marsala dish is incredible!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Carlo's Cucina Italiana also viewed

 

Been to Carlo's Cucina Italiana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Carlo's Cucina Italiana, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.