Rino’s Place

Click to add a blog post for Rino's Place on Zomato

 

Rino's Place

Rino’s Place

When visiting landmark restaurants in major cities, I try my best and temper expectations.  Everything I have heard and read about Rino’s in East Boston was that it was fantastic.  Here is a picture above of the street corner where it is located.  What you don’t see here are strip malls, huge parking lots, and flashy signs and lights.  It’s just your small neighborhood diner that has only about 10 tables in it.  Stepping into Rino’s you won’t see glitzy, commercial decoration, elaborate seating and tables, or a large bar area filled with ornate glasses.  What you will see is a dining area just big enough to sit a few dozen people, and a restroom you have to go through the kitchen and just past the dish washer to reach.  This is the type of place of legends.  They don’t let any of the glitz and glamour do the talking for them.  What they do is offer you some of the best Italian food  I personally have ever had, with service to boot.

I arrived at Rino’s around 6 PM and fully expected a wait.  I walked in and reported that it was just me to the hostess.  She took down my name and cell phone number and told me I was #10 in line to be seated and that it would be at least 90 minutes.  I decided to walk a few blocks in every direction in this East Boston neighborhood.  I didn’t find much.  There was a neighbor corner grocery store, and ice cream parlor and a small Mexican bakery.  It definite made the anticipation that much more intense of how good the food would be.

Finally after about 45 minutes I was called by the hostess and shown my seat.  The rich smells of Rino’s were amazing.  I was sat down, where I immediately ordered the arancini appetizer.

Arancini

Arancini

The “1/2 order” of arancini were two huge breaded and fried balls of beef and cheese and smothered in marinara sauce.  I’ve had arancini before but not like this.  It was absolutely fantastic.  I also spied another table order the bruscheta, and it too looked delicious.

Cheese Ravioli

Cheese Ravioli

I really wanted to build up a little bit more to my main course, which was the cheese ravioli, but decided to just drop it like it was hot.  See that fork sitting off the right?  That’s not a mini-fork, that is your full size dinner fork.  Another thing you won’t see at Rino’s are waitresses with the huge serving trays carrying 4-5 plates balanced on one hand raised above their heads.  No no no.  Plates of these sizes with ravioli of this magnitude only come out of the kitchen one at a time, and held firmly by two hands.  It really was quite breathtaking how much food this was.  When I originally put this picture out on my Instagram, I described it as one of the top 3 meals I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m going to stick with that claim.  It was good enough for me to cancel the rest of my food plans, and return the very next day for lunch.

All the pasta at Rino’s is made in house, and fresh.  The portions?  hahaha  HUGE.  You know how you get when you are really full, where you start to slump to one side, and you are holding up your fat carcass with literally one hand.  Every bite I took was pure bliss.  I had got my plate down to two bites, at which point my belly was literally on the point of bursting.  I had zero room for anything additional.  My waitress came and stood next to my table, and put one hand on my plate, but did not remove it.  Instead she just stood there and stared down like my mother with that “Are you really going to come this far to leave two bites behind” look on her face.  I finished off the last two bites like a good boy, and immediately went into a food coma.

I decided to go to a movie to let the digestion process continue.  I had zero energy to both function as a normal human being and digest at the same time.  Watching Arnold Swatznegger blow stuff up in Terminator helped time pass.  The next day I had a 5 pm flight back to Salt Lake City, so after a bit of sight seeing at Harvard and then Fenway Park, I made my way back to Rino’s.

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

I don’t know how many chicken’s gave their lives to provide me with this chicken parmesan, but it doesn’t matter.  I only made it through half of it.  I had ordered two “side” dishes to go with my chicken parm.  please note how I said “side”.  Ready?

a "side" of gnocchi

a “side” of gnocchi

Linguini Bolognese

Linguini Bolognese

As all three plates that were set in front of me, pretty much taking all the room on my table, and received a few curious glances and comments from the tables around.  “That’s some appetite you got there” said one gentleman.  My plan all along was not to finish everything, but pack some for the plane to bring home to my family.   They had some later that night in Utah, and THEN AGAIN the next day for lunch.

Rino’s is brilliant in every way.  It is Tony Siprano good.  It is delicious that can’t be captured in words or even pictures for that matter.  Boston is a cool city.  I hope to be able to visit again and often.  Each and every time though, it is going to be Rino’s for dinner.

%d bloggers like this: