Bivalve says it all: “Rino’s is great if you grew up Italian with macaroni and gravy every Sunday and miss it.” The fare is the kind of red-sauce Italian that’s unthreatening but can be mediocre. But not at Rino’s, where a classic dish like pollo parmigiano “is drenched in a quality sugo and melted mozzarella,” says MC Slim JB. “The difference is that the accompanying pasta is made in-house: you don’t see that every day.”

True. But hounds agree that Chef DiCenso’s talent really shines through on specials: “I think his osso buco Milanese kicks the ass of versions three times its price on the other side of the Callahan,” says MC Slim JB. And Bivalve talks up “an amazing braised lamb shank there that was not only incredible but half the price of the other side of the tunnel.”

The wine, on the other hand, according to Bivalve, is “nothing special, but then it is priced appropriately for what it is (and for someone who grew up drinking stuff my grandfather made in a tub in the basement, served in jelly glasses, it goes with the meal).”

There are also huge lines at dinner: a three-hour wait at 5:30 one weekend night, for instance. Maybe you want to try lunch instead.

Rino’s Place [East Boston]
258 Saratoga Street, Boston

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