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Trattoria Il Panino

Map & Directions
(17 Reviews)

11 Parmenter St, Boston, MA 02113

(617) 720-1336

CLOSED NOW
Today: 11:00 am - 2:00 am
Tomorrow: 11:00 am - 2:00 am
27
YEARS
IN BUSINESS
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General Info
Traditional casual italian dining
BBB Rating
A+
BBB Rating and Accreditation information may be delayed up to a week.
Hours

Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Fax: (617) 523-7365

Payment method
cash, travelers checks, all major credit cards, amex, discover, master card, visa
Price Range
$$
Neighborhood
North End
AKA

Trattoia II Panino

Categories
Family Style Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Restaurants, Italian Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Cuisines: Mediterranean, Family Style, Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: Beer, Wine

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average

COUPONS & DEALS

No coupons available

Reviews

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norel17

10/30/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best italian food in North End

I have been in Italy many times, the food and the people are great..... if you want to have a real `italian experience` there is no better place than Trattoria il Panino! The food is authentic, the Zuppa di pesce is my favorite! A combination of assorted fresh shellfish in lightly spicy cherry tomato sauce.... My husband loves the ossobuco alla milanes, never been disappointed! They have a good selection of italian wines and we dont really mind to drink bottled water since the large bottle costs $4 more less, plus its italian water from Florence! the service is always satisfying, most of the servers are italian very friendly and attentive, ready to answer your questions. the dining room upstairs its small but very cozy, you can see the chef cooking... its fun!! I will go there any time I want to enjoy italian food!

server7

09/01/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great Food, Shady Dealings

I've served tables for most of my life--for the past five years, in fine-dining. The lobster ravioli and baby squid were both excellent; but, it's unfortunate to say that in an attempt to boost sales or be too haughty to serve tap, this place risks angering guests to the point of forgetting about the meal.

Whether it's Boston, New York, or San Francisco, fine-dining, casual or low-brow, I've never been to a place that doesn't serve tap water. When the server mentioned that she doesn't serve tap, I could not believe she was saying something so blatantly illegal to boost her sales (anyone remember when the water main broke in eastern Mass? All restaurants were still required to provide water, even if it was bottled, free of charge), but I played stupid not wanting to create a fuss.

As the meal continued, I could tell service was seriously struggling. Felt rushed at some moments, and couldn't catch sight of our waitress at other. When we eventually asked for a bottle of water, the backwaiter opened it and failed to bring glasses. Apparently, this establishment that's too good to serve honest tap thinks its appropriate for two people to drink from the same bottle. Even if it was one person, did he think this was a Coor's Light?

Granted, I'm mostly writing this review about water, but something about it just gets my blood boiling. Sure, you may have made an extra $5 dollars on your sales (which means an extra $1 in tip), but to deny a guest something so basic goes far in pissing them off and getting them to tell others never to go. Try a different tactic in boosting sales. I've heard daily specials work wonders.

tchampine

04/08/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best on a weekday

This is a great mid-week date spot but avoid it during the weekends and when it is tourist season. I used to go to this place all the time when I was in college and became a regular. The North End is always busy and with this place being just off Hanover it tends to have shorter lines on the weekend but expect to wait.

The wine list is very good and the staff can be helpful it matching meals and wines. Price can get high quickly if you are concerned so come ready to spend.

jmclennen

09/30/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
the food is unreal!

I've had one of my favorite meals ever at this restaurant - it's a staple when my family or friends come into town. decent prices, amazing quality, etc. would highly recommend! try the tortelli - it's outstanding.

jarog

08/22/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
disappointing

I had a good dining experience here a few months ago, but when we went back a couple days ago we were very disappointed. The waitress didn't tell us about specials, but the real problem is that the quality of many dishes is poor and in general the place is overpriced. The octopus in the octopus salad app was from a can, and the sauce on my veal also tasted canned. Additional warning: they don't serve tap water. A waste of money.

cocinafina

11/23/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
One of the Best Spots in Boston!

I have been taking family and friends here for years. It's important to make a reservation because the place is small and popular but well worth the wait if you must.

The dishes are all fresh and you can taste the care they take in their ingredients and preparation. The wait staff is delightful and give great suggestions on the menu. In the summer sit outside on the patio, otherwise try to get seating upstairs. This is an intimate and romantic spot, perfect for a date or a special event. This is a place you take people you want to impress. Located in the middle of Hanover Street, you can walk to Mike's Pastry or Bova's Bakery (my favorite) after for a great desert.

No matter who you take to this dinner or what you order, it will be a meal you will remember. Enjoy!

JimBianchetta

10/19/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Wait, wait, wait

We had eaten at Il Panino before and enjoyed it. We arrived Saturday nite 10/17/08 at 6:45, without a reservation, and asked if we could be seated. We were told by hostess Maria that it would be ""a little over 30 minutes"". Two hours later we were still standing outside. The problem was that as others arrived who had made reservations, they were seated before us - - fair enough, but we should NEVER have been told that we would be seated in ""a little over 30 minutes"". We left, never to return again!! This is no way to treat customers. Jim and Marge - Chadds Ford PA; Mike and Bill - Milton, MA

sknoneman

11/30/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
This restaurant really captures the spirit of the North End

I love this restaurant... it's small and cozy and the food is amazing. Yes, it's true you can't get tap water, bottled only. If you go, try to get a table upstairs, the ambiance is very intimate and romantic. This was the one place I would always take out-of-town visitors. And they were always really impressed. The downfalls are parking (of course, it's Boston) and long waits during peak times. Of all the places I've eaten in the North End this is my favorite.

uwleahsara

07/31/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
good food, terrible service

The food was great, but the service was terrible! We were there at 6pm on a Saturday night..it was busy, but not insane--especially considering they don't have so many tables. Did you know they don't serve tap water? What a nice way to run up the bill/tip! So, after paying $6 for a bottle of water, all of our food came out at different times with about a 20 minute difference between the first and last entree. There were 5 adults and a baby and the baby's tiny pasta dish came when we were all basically done with our entrees--no apology and no taking it off the bill. To top it off, an 18% gratuity was added to our bill, which is unusual for parties of less than six (maybe they were counting the baby?). With so many good restaurants in the North End, you would think they might be a bit more competitive and provide better a higher quality of service.

kimmie23

05/25/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Reservations not honored

Do not plan on this restaurant acknowledging reservations made. My husband called on a Tuesday to make a reservation for a Thursday night, a night that was one of the best spring nights yet. We when got there we saw many patrons waiting for tables and located the host. He looked at a sheet of lined paper, barely acknowledged us and said I don't have your name. We stated we called on Tuesday and asked about their reservation book, he pointed to his piece of lined paper, which was clearly for the night and tracking walk-ins, and said that the paper was their reservation list. We were truly disappointed. Why take reservations if you aren't going to honor them?

samlizjaker

09/02/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Mistake to eat here

What a mistake it was trying this place. While the hostess who stands on the street trying to lure (seduce??) customers into the restaurant seems nice, once you are seated, forgettaboutit, thats the end of the service we received. I asked for plain old tap water, and the waiter brings a bottle that mysteriously appeared on the bill, when i told him we wanted regular water. The wait for the bread was interminable, everyone around us seemed to get it before we did (and they sat down after us). Was the poor service because we didn't buy a bottle of wine? I ordered the Veal Milanese, a pretty simple dish that i use as a standard on which to base my opinion of a restaurant. It was overly salted to the point of being inedible. I would have sent it back, but the waiters ignored us. When i left most of the dish on my plate, no one asked me if there was anything wrong, a bus boy just swept the plate away without comment. My daughter ordered a pasta dish, which was nothing to speak of, not worth commenting on. She also didn't finish it because there was nothing to recommend it to her. But, it was all made up (joke) by the high prices and poor service (we had to wait an incredibly long time to order and even longer to receive the food) A total waste of time and money, poor service, inadequate food. The setting on the outside patio is nice, but doesn't make up for the negatives. Don't go there and waste your money.

jp2000

08/16/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Unbelievable food!

I have been going here for 12 years and though I've tried nearly everywhere else with similar prices, I ALWAYS come back here. The food is fantastic, the people are great, the atmosphere is completely authentic. It is wonderful. Il Panino has grown with the times too as they now take credit cards and reservations which they did not used to do and they added outdoor space this year. I agree that having to buy water is annoying but who drinks water with Italian? Order a bottle of wine. They have gone back and forth on butter vs oil over the years. I highly recommend this place. I have probably been there 100 times with a variety of people and have never has anyone be anything but thrilled. Mmmmm.

dynamopix

05/19/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Average Italien food

I dined here recently on a warm spring night, it was on the later side so there wasn't a wait at all. We were able to sit outside on the patio, the atmosphere outside was nice. The food was average, I had the lobster ravoli's which were a bit bland. The service was fine but a little on the slow side. I wasn't impressed with the bread or the lack of olive oil and cold butter options. The reason why I wouldn't go back though is because they don't serve tap water, so you have to buy bottled water. I thought it was funny because Bricco is owned by the same people and they serve tap water, although Bricco is nicer and a bit more pricey.

milo200

03/30/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Excellent Food, Average Service

The food is what draws me to this North End favorite time and time again. While the service and ambiance are slightly sub-par, the food makes it worth the trip. The pasta is always cooked to perfection and the sauces - delicious.

wdraike

05/23/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Skip It

I made the mistake of taking my wife to this restaurant. No table clothes, paper napkins, bread pre-wrapped butter cubes instead of olive oil and poor service. Had to pay for a glass of water. Food was poorly plated and uninteresting. For the average $20+/entree walk further down Hanover Street... there are many better options.

RosaAntonia

11/29/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
An Italian Jewel

I have been going to the North End since early childhood, and this is my absolute favorite restaurant. The ambience is measurable to stepping into an Italian Trattoria in Italy and the food is absolutely divine. A true Italian jewel in the North End.

pratsa

07/10/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Simply Excellent

The food blew me away. The place is small; sort of a bar/tavern on the main floor, and a cozy room downstairs. As folks say, it's noisy and close, but the food is insanely delicious. The best Italian food I've eaten in a very, very long time.

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