In a search for something to please the whole visiting family we wound up at Marino's in Cambridge this week. I'm curious to hear other's opinions on this Abruzzi-style Italian restaurant that prides itself on fresh ingredients grown at their own farm and pasta made in-house.
In summary, the appetizers, pizza, and pasta are reasonable ($6-$15). The more expensive entrees ($20-28) seem overpriced. Portions are enormous. The best find was the pizza, everything else was passable to good but not outstanding. For those who care about decor, the two-story atrium with skylights, arches, and numerous hanging plants has a summery courtyard feel that is slightly kitschy. Seems like a good room to head to in winter when your longing for warm weather.
Pizza w/ anchovies and capers--$8--nice thin crust with a moderate amount of cheese and minimal toppings--like the Italian restaurants in Europe make. I much prefer this type of minimalist pizza to overloaded US pizzas. If you do too, you'll be pleasantly surprised here. The pizza is about 12 inches.
Lamb skewer appetizer--$8--I ordered this as my entree with a side of linguini. The portion is enough for a full meal and included two skewers of grilled lamb marinated in garlic, vinagrette, and fresh herbs including lots of rosemary. The meat was tender but too fatty and salty for my taste (I have a lower than average salt tolerance so it may not be relevant to all). The summer squash, pepper and onion wedges grilled with the lamb were excellent. The herby marinade brought out all the sweet summer flavor in them. Alongside the skewers were a few antipasto selections (wonderful, tangy marinated mushrooms, pickled beets, green and calamata olives--all on mesclun greens).
Linguini with marinara side: $4. Their marina is a little too thick and sweet but still satisfying. The homemade noodles were OK, heavy, and tasted vaguely of ice T.
gnocchi with marinara, sausage, and meatballs: $15. the gnocchi was tender, but a little too dense. Loved the sausage and meatballs. Also had a similar dish with fettucini and their fresh spinach, which again was satisfying but not memorable.
caesar salad--the real thing with a clear but subtle anchovie flavor, but unfortunately the lettuce was drowning in the dressing.
mixed greens salad--what you'd expect.