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“Had to try lobster ravioli”
Review of Rino's Place

Rino's Place
Ranked #132 of 3,263 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $12
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed August 19, 2011

I reenacted the movie Trains, Planes & Automobiles to get here. It looked easy enough to get to from the Seaport hotel but the concierge recommended against walking the neighborhood to get there. The neighborhood looked okay enough to me, just basic three level townhouses. Rino's is on the corner. It's got around 15 tables and it is very popular. I got there at 6:30. The lady explained it would be a minimum two hour wait. She suggested going down the street to a local bar and she would call me. I chose to just stand there with the rest of the people and wait. Two and a half hours later I was seated. The wait staff are very nice. It's a small place. The food is interesting. I had lobster fritters with a sweet balsamic sauce. It tasted like nothing I had eaten before. You also get a small house salad and a basket of bread which was pretty mundane. I then got the lobster ravioli, which was wonderful. The tomato cream sauce compliments the ravioli well. I got tiramisu to go because it was getting late. I was told by the server that desserts are not made there and it was just okay. I got back to the hotel around 11:30 triumphant in my quest to try a restaurant I had seen on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives. Would I eat there again? No, because Boston is a great food town. Rino's was an experience. There are other places to try on future visits.

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Thank wanderkitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 14, 2011

The food here is homemade and delicious. I had a layered eggplant dish that was to die for. The caprese salad is huge and the lobster ravioli...to die for!!! Everything was fresh and delicious! We had our eye on every table to see what others ordered. it all looked amazing!
You will have to wait in line. It is such a small restaurant that the bathroom is right by the kitchen. It truly is worth the wait...they told us an hour and it was actually about 45 minutes, but one man waiting said he had waited 4 hours once...it is that good. Good enough to be featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives!!!

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Thank rickyred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2011

Rino's is a tough place to find and a tough place to get a table at - but so worth it. I have a couple of recommendations. First, if you want a shorter wait - go for lunch. My family tried to get in on a week day and had a three hour wait. The next day we tried for lunch and got right in. Had we known the food was that good, we would have waited the three hours the night before. Second, if you want to go for supper - make an evening of it. There is going to be a wait, so don't make any other plans. Go there, put your name in with the helpful and friendly staff and then go grab some drinks and one of the many local bars in walking distance. The staff will call when your table is ready. It makes the wait much more fun and you don't have unrealistic expectations of getting right in and doing other things that evening. Finally, if your party is larger than four people, your wait is going to be a lot longer than most. Rino's is small and have only one little area where larger parties can sit. The website says you can make reservations for parties of six and larger, but if you are a party of five, you only have one area in the restaurant to sit. This makes for a longer wait than anyone with four or less. If you are a party of five, find a sixth and make reservations, otherwise be ready to wait. This was our family's food highlight of our trip to Boston! Great!

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Thank lk28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2011

We called Rino's on a Sturday night at 4:15 to get ont he wait list, but unfortunetly they no longer take call ahead seating. By the time we arrived at 4:45 there were 22 parties ahead of us. No problem - since reading some of the reviews we were prepared to wait and headed to the lcoal bar.

2 hours later, we decided we needed to leave the bar or be completely smashed - After walking back to Rino's we were told there are only 6 parties a head of us. (not bad right?). Nobody moved out of the restaurant for at least an hour...a party of 12 was sitting inside chatting away having already finished eating and paid the bill. Grrrrr

Once the large party left we seated right away and the waitress was great. I wished I remembered her name. She was funny, attentitve and really knew the menu.

We started with the stacked eggplant appetizer special and we could have ended the meal there. It was perfectly cooked with an amazing pesto cream sauce. My wife had the lobster Ravioli - I think there is enough reviews on this site to describe how great that dish is. I had the Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops over homemade pasta. (Incredible)
After eating all over the country and the North End of Boston consistently, you cannot miss Rino's.

One negative - the desert selection was not great - we wish we had time to swing by the North End to get great Italian deserts

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Thank Brian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2011

Rino's is a very small Italian restaurant in East Boston. The food is the best in the city! So good, in fact, that they were recently featured on Food Networks "Diner, Drive-In's and Dives" with Guy Fiori. The restaurant is small so plan accordingly. It probably holds less than 50 people, so call ahead for a reservation. Average wait time if you don't can be 2-3 hours. (And yes, it's still worth the wait!!!) There is currently no place to wait, but on the sidewalk or in your car, but they have recently leased a space across the street that will converted to a "waiting area". "Before and After" will be a place where people with reservations/waiting for a table will be able to have a cocktail and appetizer or dessert either before or after they dine. Great idea!!

Waiting isn't always a bad thing. It was a beautiful night and we met a groups of interesting people. Some foodies who follow the show fly all over the country and try the restaurants, another couple flew in from Oklahoma just to eat there. A family of 5 from Hawaii peeked in our window and we wound up chatting with them as they waited. Rino's was always a neighborhood place, but now is an internationaly known destination! Now about the food!!!

We made a reservation for 11 of us on a Wednesday night at 5:00. The restaurant was already completely full and bustling with the smells of garlic, basil and melted mozzarella.... We sat down and were welcomed by the waiter and started reading the specials menu which was just as long as the regular menu!

Our table ordered:
Appetizers: Stuffed mushrooms-each mushroom large and 6 per order
Lemoncello shrimp- not overly sweet like I imagined. Cooked to perfection with a lemon sauce over the top.
Fried Calamari- crispy, tender (not chewy) with lemon wedges on a heaping platter.
Stuffed Eggplant- There were 2 appetizers of eggplant and I am not sure which one we ordered, but this is one dish I still dream about. Even my father who hates eggplant, LOVED this dish. Thinly sliced eggplant, coated in bread crumbs and deep fat fried, layered with ricotta, red sauce and fresh buffalo mozzarella (or smoked mozzarella) then topped with more mozzarella and a creamy pesto sauce and baked in the oven until it all melts. To die for delicious!!! We had bottles of wine and I was ready to head call it a night, but then came dinner! Seriously! The appertizers were so huge you could have survived on just those! But Rino's is worth the trip, so get dinner too!

Our table had:
The signature dish: Lobster Ravioli's. If you don't live in New England, and you like lobster, you have to get these. Yes, you can buy your average frozen lobster rav's or find them in other places, but Tony cooks the lobsters himself, makes the stuffing and each ravioli is massive. You get 8 ravioli's with huge chunks of lobster and homemade pasta in a creamy sauce with more chunks of lobster and other yummy things. So amazing!
Rino's special: Thin, tender pieces of veal, chicken breast and shrimp over your choice of homemade pasta in a creamy sauce that is spectacular. (3 of us had this!)
Seafood Fra Diavlo- spicy with lots of seafood
Fruite de Mare- "Fruit of the Sea" in Italian. Was there any pasta in there? This dish was so huge and completely covered with cherrystones (clams) mussles, shrimp and scallops, you could barely see the pasta! Once you start eating the seafood, you have the amazing homemade pasta underneath in a white (or red if you prefer) sauce. Delicious!
Lamb Chops: You're in Boston and most people will order seafood, but my nephew opted for the lamb chops and what a great choice!! Perfectly seasoned and cooked to a medium rare, the rack was large and tender! The plate came out with some roasted asparagus and 2 large spiked balls of something on the side. They were mashed potato balls covered with small spikes of spaghetti ( I think?) and then broiled until they are a toasted brown. The potato is still soft and warm, but the browned pasta offers an interesting crunch and the eye catching aesthetics when it is served!

Who has room for dessert, but we somehow managed to order a lemon sorbet served in a fresh, frozen lemon cover and all, an almond mousse cake that was yummy. Only a couple of the group ordered dessert as we were just too full!

We ate the eggplant for breakfast the next day and the Rino's special for lunch and dinner and STILL had leftovers.

Tips: They accept Visa and Master card and plan to be able to eat leftovers for several days! Average cost of entree's is $16-24 Be patient, Tony cooks to order and it is an extremely popular place! Enjoy your dinner, chat with other diners and experience truly great cooking! You won't be disappointed! Location is in East Boston- there is on-street parking so you might have to drive around a bit and there is a step up to the restaurant.

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1  Thank Tracy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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