The heavily-Italian cities and towns directly north of Boston have a number of excellent Italian restaurants, some of which rival anything Boston has to offer. Revere, Everett, Malden, and Medford are perhaps the communities with the largest concentration of Italian restaurants north of Boston, with Medford having some particularly good ones, including Il Faro in Medford Square, Bocelli's in South Medford, and Avellino's, which is near the Somerville border. But the best of them all is also perhaps the least well-known. Indeed, Pasta Lina's is one amazing restaurant that is also one of the Boston area's true hidden gems.
Pasta Lina's, which is pretty much buried in a nondescript block of stores near the intersection of Routes 60 and 28, looks like a takeout joint from the outside (and to many people it is), but to the right of the main entrance is a small but attractive dining room that has a handful of tables. Pasta Lina's is BYO, but there is a liquor store across the street where you can choose from a variety of reds and whites to enjoy with your food here.
And what about the meals at Pasta Lina's? Well the menu includes dishes such as chicken saltimbocca, veal marsala, and many of the other entrees that will satisfy lovers of Italian food. A few additional items that you might want to consider are the scampagnata antipasto, a deliciously filling appetizer with various Italian cold cuts and fresh strips of mozzarella cheese; the tender, homemade tortellini that you can get with pesto or homemade tomato sauce; and the mouthwatering, stick-to-the-bones veal brociolettine. One thing to keep in mind is that Pasta Lina's is a tiny, family-run place, so once they run out of dishes for the day, that's it for that dish until the next day.
Pasta Lina's seems to be known only to folks who live and work in East Medford and perhaps the western section of Malden, which is a few hundred yards away. But no one else seems to know about this friendly little dining spot (and there is very little on the Internet about it). So if you like hidden gems--and we are thinking you wouldn't be here if you didn't--Pasta Lina's is one of the most hidden (and one of the best) of the hidden gems that we know of in the Boston area.
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