Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rino's Place! A trip to East Boston

Rarely in Boston do we have restaurants that have a no reservation policy, long waits, and lines of potential customers two hours before opening.  To find such a restaurant in East Boston is even more uncommon.  However, local Boston favorite, Rino's Place, was thrown into the limelight by Diners Drive-in and Dives, and the waits are now two hours and counting.  My brother, a huge "Triple D" always has Rino's high on his "to-do" list when he comes to town.  After putting him off for a few trips, it was time for us to suck it up and deal with the wait.

We arrived at about 6:30 and were told that it would be about a two and a half hour wait - not unexpected for a Saturday night, but still a bit much to think about!  Since Rino's is small and not that close to other businesses, they took matters into their own hands and opened Prima E Dopo (appropriately meaning "before and after") across the street.  We headed over, grabbed some bar stools, and prepared to enjoy some cocktails and appetizers while catching up with my brother and our friends.

Shrimp Scampi Bruschetta
After sampling a craft beer or two, we started to get a bit hungry (it had been 45 mins) and heard that the Shrimp Scampi Bruschetta was totally worth ordering.  My iPhone photo does not do it justice at all - this was amazing, and the thick bread supported the massive amount of cheese, shrimp and sauce overtop.  The portion was enormous, and more than enough for our group of 5 to share.  Prima E Dopo is definitely worth a trip to East Boston itself, even if you aren't trying to go to Rino's!

Finally, after a good amount of time and more than a few drinks our phone rang and Rino's were ready for us.  Please forgive the photos - we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Prima e Dopo, so my camera skills significantly deteriorated as the night went on.  When we sat down we we starving (as good as all the appetizers at Prima E Dopo looked, we worked hard not to spoil our appetite completely.)  For an appetizer we shared an asparagus, prosciutto and cheese plate that had been covered in balsamic vinegar.

Asparagus Dish
When it came to main entrees, some of our group could not resist the entree with the combination of mussels, claims and calamari in a lovely tomato sauce.

Nick went with a chicken dish that was smothered in mozzarella cheese over a bed of pasta.  While I still think he should have followed suit with the ravioli he maintains that this dish was just as delicious - if not more so!

Chicken and Mozzarella
Finally, the reason my brother (and the rest of us) wanted to go to Rino's in the first place - the lobster ravioli.  Nick jokes that I can enter a lot of restaurants and not need to look at the menu, and Rino's was no exception!  With all the hype, there was no way I could not order the ravioli.  When it arrived at the table, the smell was amazing!  The raviolis were HUGE and there was so much lobster packed inside and throughout the sauce generously poured over the entree.  The raviolis were delicious and definitely lived up to their reputation.

Lobster Ravioli
While I am not totally sure I would go back and wait for 3 hours for a table again, it was such a fun experiance and something worth doing, and delicious, delicious food.  Just don't plan on heading anywhere afterwards.  I have heard a local secret that Rino's does do take-out.  So, if you want to indulge without the wait this may be your best shot.  Again, even though Prima e Dopo does not have the same menu as Rino's, the food was delicious and worth the trip to Eastie.

Have you been to Rino's?  Whats the longest your have waited for a table?

Prima e Dopo on Urbanspoon

Rino's Place on Urbanspoon


  1. It all looks sooo good!! I am used to waiting an hour or so for New Haven pizza (Pepe's and Modern).

  2. We love Rino's and we also love the entire neighborhood. So many amazing finds for a foodie on a budget, including the incredible KO Pies at the Shipyard and the elegant Colombian place El Paisa at Orient Heights. Anyway, I'm not a fan of waiting, dedicated OpenTable user here, but I do make an exception for Rino's especially with the Primo e Dopo next door. Which I actually might love even more. Get an aperol cocktail and some grilled flatbread too.

  3. Sadly, I've never been to East Boston. I'm so stuck in my Somerville/Cambridge bubble! While I hate waiting for a table, some places are worth it - and this place sounds like one of them!

  4. Wow, that is quite the destination! I've sadly waited just as long for a table at the Cheesecake Factory - so at least it was more authentic :)

  5. the Shrimp Scampi Bruschetta looks worth the trip alone! I can't believe how long the wait was for Rino's though.

  6. wow, those ravioli do looked packed!! never been, but love the looks of that bruschetta might get me there ;)

  7. I tried Rino's for the first time last month and am now OBSESSED with their lobster ravioli. It is hard to justify the wait though, so I'm trying to figure out another off-time I can go (although that might not even exist). I wish I lived closer and could do take-out!

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