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“Old World Charm in the North End”
Review of Mother Anna's

Mother Anna's
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Ranked #156 of 3,307 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: North End
Cross street: Between Cross St. and Richmond St.
Transit: Congress St @ Hanover St (191, 192, 193) Haymarket Station - Outbound (Orange Line) Haymarket Station - Inbound (Orange Line)
Reviewed March 26, 2008

I've eaten at Mother Anna's a dozen times now, usually in connection with a visit to the nearby Haymarket with its fruit and vegetable vendors that make me feel like I've stepped back in time. The restaurant is at the outer edge of Boston's North End, a part of town dominated by Italian restaurants, grocery stores, and pastry shops. The food at Mother Anna's isn't fancy, but it's mighty good. The emphasis is on red sauce...and what red sauce! Mamma mia! It's the most gorgeous red/orange color and the flavor can't be beat. It's consistently good.

The decor is old-fashioned and is dominated by family photos; lighting is dim even on a sunny day; and the wait staff is attentive. You expect to hear people speaking in Italian...that kind of atmosphere. The wine list is terrific and music is, of course, Italian. For years, the restaurant sat beside the Big Dig which was under construction for a long time...this is complete now and a patio sits where a pit lingered for too long.

Food can't be beat. On my last visit I was with ten people. We were seated mid-afternoon without a reservation. Some of us had salads to start along with crusty Italian bread that is hearty and good. The Caesar salad is tasty and the house dressing drew no complaints. Many of us had Veal Parmesan with Eggplant, a house speciality...it's a lot of food and it's well-prepared. A few had tortellini with artechokes, spinach, and gorgonzola and some had veal or chicken Marsala...no complaints all around. We each paid $22 and that included a handsome tip. Try it; you'll like it.

A visit to the North End offers lots of choices in many price ranges. If you are looking for honest Italian food at modest prices, this is the place for you. I've spent three times as much at fancier places around the corner without the same satisfaction. I hope that this Boston institution is around for many more years.

2  Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 20, 2008

Food is delicious!

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2007

We went for lunch in November so it was not overly busy. The meals the five of us ordered were all great, the food came out quickly and the waitress was friendly and fast. Great fried calamari as well. Would recommend this place.

1  Thank Krusj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2007

I went to Mother Anna's with my parents during a trip to Boston in September 2007. The evening was beautiful so we asked to be seated outside. The views were nice.

Our waitress was not very attentive from the start.

The basic bread they give you is quite bland so we ordered garlic bread, which was great- crunchy and warm.

For dinner, my dad had a dinner salad that he enjoyed. My mom and I both ordered the gnocchi which was outstanding.

My water was not refilled despite repeated requests.

We went to Mike's for dessert.
I would not dine here again but I would consider it for take out.

1  Thank ladybugx87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2005

We chose Mother Anna's for an Italian dinner in the "North End" based on the recommendation of our lunch waitress at another restaurant and because of its convenience to the Quincy Marketplace. We stood in the entry area for about 20 minutes while the greeter recognized and seated several of his friends and "regulars" ahead of us. Eventually we were taken to a small, dimly-lit room to the right of the main part of the restaurant with four or five tables arranged along an outside window with a view of a construction pit. On the wall opposite the window were a series of carelessly-hung and faded photos, and behind my dining companions I looked at another window with a rusted metal frame covered by a dingy curtain that could have come over on the boat with an Italian ancestor.
The service was as disappointing as the environment. Our bottle of wine was brought well after our salads, which themselves arrived one at a time. I had wished to begin with a beer, but cancelled that order when the wine finally came. Our main courses arrived about an hour and ten minutes after we were seated.
I had the linguine with red clam sauce; my wife and daughter shared a special dish of portobello tortellini in mushroom sauce (not potablello though). (They declare an $11/person minimum charge on their menu.) Both dishes were of mediocre quality and both were very salty.
Our dining experience was further diminshed by a trio of loud, obnoxious, and profane young adults at the next table. Their language was sufficiently unsuitable for my wife and teenage daughter that I was obliged to approach them and request their cooperation in softening their volume and cleaning up their profanity. Although this arguably was not the fault of the establishment, I acted only after our waitress had passed by them several times during their ill-mannered demonstration and had not acted to quiet them or clear the air.
Of our three main areas of concern for any restaurant - atmosphere, service, and cuisine - we give Mother Anna three strikes.

4  Thank Taxpayer55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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