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“Restaurant: OK - Jazz venue: Excellent”
Review of Chianti Cafe

Chianti Cafe
Ranked #18 of 133 Restaurants in Beverly
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Beverly, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Restaurant: OK - Jazz venue: Excellent”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

I find it difficult to rate Chianti's.

If I was to rate it strictly as an Italian restaurant - I would say it was good - but not great. The quality of the food is OK - certainly not up there with the best of the North End, for instance. But certainly passable. I like the calamari app., which is not deep fried rubber bands like you usually get. The calamari is butterflied and rolled in asiago cheese and pan fried. Very good. I usually go for the vitella al forgo, which is veal with proscuitto and mozz in a mild tomato sauce. My wife usually goes with the pumpkin tortelloni. The wine list is fairly expansive and expensive - service is usually good, although sometimes missing when you need them.

But, I don't go to Chianti's for the food, I go for the jazz experience. This is an awesome venue for some of the best jazz and music acts around - mostly local (Boston, etc.) acts, but some acts with national exposure. The music is available seven nights a week - and never a cover to get in - so you could just walk in from the street, find a seat at the bar, and listen to the music any night of the week. The club side is intimate and cozy, just like a jazz club should be. Sometimes, when I am there listening to a good group - highlighted against the weathered brick backdrop - I have to pinch myself to remember that I am sitting in little downtown Beverly, and not in some jazz joint in New Orleans. So, for that reason, I will continue to patronize Chianti, and hope that it is successful for a long time to come.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RICHARD L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
1,037 reviews
642 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
“Very Good Italian Choice”
Reviewed May 25, 2014 via mobile

Chianti is a nice though casual Italian restaurant. The good is very good: the menu is nicely varied, and always offers meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Service is good. For dessert, I recommend the dark chocolate tartuffo.

While there is no dedicated parking, municipal lots and street parking are available.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Lost Focus on Food”
Reviewed April 21, 2014

This has been our favorite restaurant for over a decade. We've been with Rich (the owner) through the expansion, the creation of the Jazz club and more. And Rich has been the spirit of Chianti; he's made sure the experience was memorable.

After all of these years, we've had 5 horrible experiences over the past few months and now have Chianti off of our list. I don't know what happened, but it's interesting that I've not seen Rich there for any of our visits.

Here are some specifics:
- The menu is a fraction of it's previous self. It was never a long menu, so taking out a number of items is a loss. I do miss the caesar salad and the wider range of fresh pasta.

- The food is bland at best. I ordered Ravioli ai Funghi last month when one of my daughters was home. The pasta was undercooked and the entire dish lacked seasoning. We had trouble getting our waitperson back to even get more parmesan which still didn't add enough. So we asked for salt which took another five minutes, they didn't bring the pepper with it (which is the norm in even average establishments), and the salt shaker was clogged, so we finally just took the top off. What happened to quality?

- We had the mista salad which was always a favorite. The salad was brown in spots. the dressing was non-descript and bland. We left over half of our salads on our plates and the server never asked a word.

- On another visit in January, we were the only ones in the large dining room on a Thursday night. The wait staff was terrible. We could never get our water filled, they were slow, once again we had bland food and it took 5 minutes to get the salt as they were spending all of their time in the jazz bar. I don't think it was the same salt shaker as previously mentioned, as it was also clogged, but we cleaned it with an extra fork. I ordered the salmon medium rare which came well done. It was another long wait for the waiter who did take the fish back. It was funny (not really) when it came back, and the new piece was at least as well done as the first. At this point I just ate it.

-----

Again, this was a wonderful place to dine. Maybe they should just be a jazz bar now. I know we're done for dinner. And we're sad.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Scott S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverly, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Over Rated”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Pushy, pretentious waitstaff. Good food. Nice atmosphere, right downtown. Beverly has better options.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Cptconc59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Nice atmosphere, food wasn't as great as expected”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

We had 6pm reservations, and were seated quickly. I thought we would have lots of time before we were going to the north shore Theatre for an 8pm show. The dinner took quite awhile to arrive, and was good,but nothing to rave about. We barely got to the theatre in time. If you are attending a show be sure to let your server know.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank corrineBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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