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“An oasis!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Toscano

Toscano
52 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA
617.354.5250
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Ranked #12 of 554 Restaurants in Cambridge
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Story St.
Transit: The T: Redline to "Harvard Sq."
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“An oasis!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

I was having a very rough visit to Cambridge. Hertz gave me a bum car and was struggling to replace it. The phone system at the Sheraton Commander was down and I couldn't get in touch with them.... And then we wandered in here. Great service, excellent food, delightful after a series of service nightmares. To boot, I was so distracted that I walked out without my credit card and the waiter came running out after me. THANK YOU for rescuing an otherwise disastrous trip !!!

Visited April 2014
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94 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    51
    30
    8
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Food is good but you are paying for atmosphere and location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

The ideal Harvard Square location of this Italian restaurant is one great reason to try it out. The gracious and subdued old world atmosphere is great for adult couples and any family meal that includes a senior citizen. You can hear your dinner companions and the service is impeccable. Thomas was attentive without being intrusive.

The flat bread in the starter basket was delicious. The Mista salad was fresh, but not the best mix of greens, could have used more Romaine as a foundation. Too much chicory and radicchio gave it a slightly bitter taste. My husband reported that his salmon filet was outstanding. I tasted his Dijon sauce which was tangy and smooth and very light. My Rigatoni with smoked bacon in a tomato cream sauce was excellent. Glasses of prosecco and pino grigio were excellent and poured in generous measure. The cafe latte was only so so. This is not a place for dessert; but you can find your choice of treats out in the Square after dinner. I recommend it if you can pay $80-$100, plus tip, for two evening meals.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great food, wine list, and atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

We went here for restaurant week and enjoyed all aspects of the meal. They had a wide selection of their normal menu available and the portions were very reasonable. I will go back here to explore the rest of the menu.

Visited March 2014
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BostonMA
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great Experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

We ventured into Toscano on a Sunday afternoon and were warmly greeted. We chose a seat at a high-top table. Our server Luciano was friendly, professional and made recommendations that were tasty and well presented. My husband had the pre-fix menu for Dine out Boston and enjoyed the meatballs, salmon and apricot tart; all delicious! I ordered the green salad and vegie pizza. The salad was excellent, fresh and bountiful. The pizza had lots of veggies. We ordered the white chocolate tart and were full with yummy yum smiles! Luciano made our experience great with his enthusiasm and excellent service! Definitely will return!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Ann Arbor, MI
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Nice location, good service, generous portions, but food is sadly too bland”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

I was here earlier this evening along with my wife and two friends of ours. I had the same impression today as I had a few weeks ago when I was here for lunch with some work colleagues: the portions are quite generous but the taste of the food itself is OK and overall could use a LOT more seasoning.

The dish I ordered tonight was the Tagliatelle Granchio. This is a tagliatelle pasta dish with lumps of crab meat and tomato. There really was no sauce provided and I found the food very bland. The same could be said of the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio (spaghetti with sea food) which one of my friends had ordered. This is the same dish I had tried out at lunch a few weeks ago and I can confirm that there is great consistency in the taste of the food - the pasta appeared just as soulless tonight as it had appeared on the day I had my lunch here. There were some saving graces though. One of us ordered the Ravioli Gamberi, which was flavorful. Another dish that we liked was the Rigatoni Toscano. One of us had ordered it as an appetizer and there was enough for all of us to have a bit of it and each of us agreed that it had a unique distinctive flavor. In my opinion, it was too firm (al dente) but I know that my wife disagrees with me on that!

Credit ought to be given where credit's due and I would commend our server for fine service. It was a fairly busy evening for the restaurant but he was patient in explaining to us what the various items on the menu were since we did need a fair amount of hand-holding. Being the restaurant week, he was also willing to explain and clarify how the four of us could order either from the restaurant week menu or from the regular menu. Early on we ordered a bottle of wine and he was attentive to making sure that I had a chance to try out the wine before pouring it out and ensured that our glasses were replenished as time went on.

The location of the restaurant is a plus too. It is located conveniently in Harvard Square but its location on Brattle Street, a little further from the Harvard campus and the T-stop, ensures that it is a little less crazy than some of the other places on the Square. Considering the portion sizes, its ambiance, and its location on the Square, I would also characterize this as a good value-for-your-money place. The total food bill for the four of us with one order from the restaurant week menu ($33), three entrees, plus a bottle of wine came to about $125 - very reasonable as such.

Overall, while the place delivers on location, service, and value for money, it fails on the one dimension that restaurants need to deliver on and that's the taste of their food. Unfortunately, in spite of their great service and convenient location, I don't think I will be back anytime soon.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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