Linguine's Italian Eatery • 350
Boston Post Road West • Marlborough MA • 508-481-9747
Before proceeding with this week’s adventure, a caveat to those
who demand the formality of cloth napkins and an extensive wine list:
Linguine’s is more sneakers-and-jeans than jacket-and-tie. As to
lovers of classic Southern Italian cuisine served in big portions;
ahhh ... .
Upon observing the Formica-topped tables, the squadron of paddle fans
overhead and the busy service counter, my first impression of Linguine’s
was that I had entered a pizza house. With a full offering of calzones,
sandwiches and pizza, that’s essentially correct, but only half
the story. Turn over the menu and you see it features chicken,
seafood, veal, and a host of pasta dishes.
A gentleman emanating the particular nervous energy that bespeaks “proprietor” offered
a quick greeting and led us to one of the remaining, unoccupied tables.
Within minutes, a waitress arrived to take our drink orders. Linguine’s
supplements its full range of soft drinks with a few choices
of domestic and Italian bottled beers. The brief wine list is a choose-by-the-color
affair. I ordered a glass of Placido chianti (Tuscany) and my
guest went with white: Woodbridge chardonnay (Lodi Appellation, California).
We soon came to appreciate the menu’s lack of an appetizer section,
for it provided no deterrence from the Italian antipasto — one of
the better we’ve had anywhere. Shredded lettuce formed the base
and was layered with sliced prosciutto and soppressata (Italian dry salami).
Over this were slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella, strips of roasted peppers
and sprigs of basil. Antipasto, with no set rules as to content or construction,
can open a window to the soul of a kitchen. Linguine’s evoked quality
Six versions of homemade ravioli caught my attention. I went right
for the top-of-the-line. These were round raviolis stuffed with lobster
meat and breadcrumbs, under a pink lobster cream sauce with bits of
melted cheese. I’d have preferred it boiled a bit softer, but that didn’t
deter me from enjoying this dish’s elegant richness.
Braciole are rolls of meat stuffed with a mixture of parsley, cheese,
and bread crumbs; then simmered in tomato sauce until tender.
Beef flank steak is generally used, but in the old country, other denizens
of the paddock were preferred. Served amid a bowl of ziti, it was a
blackboard special and the entrée of choice for my guest. One
taste of the sauce and he was in heaven. It had a freshness of tomato
and basil flavors that is rarely encountered. The braciole was tasty
and authentically prepared.
From a trio of dessert offerings, we shared a creamy-moist serving
of tiramisu that was superior to creations we’ve found in more aspiring
restaurants. As we sipped water from paper cups, the contrast became clear:
Linguine’s may not have elegant décor, but the talent in
its kitchen would add a star to much of the competition.