Rino’s Place in East Boston has received a lot of attention from The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” show after being featured on October 2010. This Italian restaurant has been open for over 24 years. They serve quality Italian comfort foods from $9-$18 in large portions.
Rino’s is not great for large groups, but perfect for a date or a group of four. It’s not a very large place, so it fills up quickly during dinner. Definitely call ahead if you have a party of 6 or more for a reservation. If you plan carefully and go very early, you may not have to wait 2 hours to be seated. If you end up having a lengthy wait, go across the street to Primo e Dopo, the bar across the street owned by Rino’s. We went across the street, grabbed some bar stools, and enjoyed some cocktails and appetizers while waiting.
We ordered house wines to start.
Half order butternut squash ravioli
The butternut squash ravioli was a special main entree of the evening. We decided to try a half portion, turning it into an appetizer and received 4 ravioli, perfect for us to try 1 each. The ravioli were stuffed with a light butternut sage filling and were covered in a nice creamy butter sage sauce.
Mussels in white wine
This also was a special appetizer of the evening. Usually they serve a version in red sauce or with pasta regularly at Rino’s but tonight they had a delicate white wine garlic broth instead. They were quite tasty with the toast points.
We finished the included standard salads first- iceberg, tomato, onion, cucumber- then moved to the mains.
This is my sister’s favorite Italian dish. They use linguini pasta and it is worth the additional up charge to get freshly made pasta. You won’t regret it. The chicken bathing in marsala sauce is delicious and the al dente linguini soaks it right up. At Rino’s the portion size was big enough for leftovers and then some.
This is Rino’s signature dish. Everyone who visits this restaurant waxes poetic about how good these ravioli are. They’re right! The ravioli are quite large and stuffed with a well-seasoned ricotta lobster filling. The creamy tomato sauce was flavorful, and there were generous chunks of lobster throughout. I was pleased to find so much lobster meat in this pasta dish.
Spdcial of the evening- Chicken broccolini with pasta in red sauce
Unfortunately we forgot the actual Italian name of this dish, but it was a special on our visit. It looked and tasted like a chicken, broccoli and ziti in red sauce. Nothing was over seasoned or over cooked. It was a simple and well executed main that suited our dining companion’s minimalistic tastes completely.
Rino’s has some basic Italian desserts. Usually we get the fruit sorbet but this time we decided to try the hazelnut chocolate gelato. It did not disappoint. We split the gelato between 4 people so that 2-3 bites was enough sweetness for everyone to round out our dinner.
In the words of Roald Dahl, “scrumdiddlyumptious”. This place is my Saturday’s delight when I can get there early enough not to wait 2 hours. Even if we have to queue up before opening or do takeout, we’ll definitely be back again.
258 East Saratoga Street
East Boston, MA 02128