In some ways, East Boston is to Boston what Brooklyn is to Manhattan. East Boston is one of the last remnants of old Boston, and it is reflected in its crowded streets, bustling squares, and old-time shops and restaurants, including the landmark Santarpio's Pizza on Chelsea Street and the old-school Jeveli's Restaurant in Day Square. It is a shame that many people never venture into the East Boston neighborhood for dining out. Indeed, tourists might think that there is nothing here beyond the airport and the tunnels. This is far from the truth, however, as East Boston has a lot to offer, including one Italian restaurant called Rino's Place that is a true find.
Rino's is set in a congested neighborhood, surrounded by three-deckers and row houses. It seems an odd place for a restaurant, as there are almost no other dining spots or shops anywhere near it, but this really is part of Rino's charm. When you enter the small storefront, you feel like you stepped back in time, perhaps into someone's kitchen inside a house. The owner and waitstaff seem to know many of the patrons who walk through the door, and tables are full of locals discussing the events of the day.
The food is some of the best Italian in Boston; dare I say it may actually rival the more popular Italian restaurants in the famous North End. The smell of sauce simmering in the kitchen is enough to come to Rino's, and it would be wise to order a dish that includes this delicious "gravy," as it is called in this part of the city. The veal and chicken are good bets, but you can't go wrong with anything on the menu, as it is all freshly made here.
The next time you are in East Boston, venture over to Rino's; it is not the easiest restaurant to find, but the terrific food, friendly staff, and cozy atmosphere will make you glad you came.
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