authentic italian food boston ma marlboro pasta calzones pizza fusilli lobster ravioli
authentic italian food boston ma marlboro pasta calzones pizza fusilli lobster ravioli
The sauce is king at Linguine's Italian Eatery

Linguine's Italian Eatery • 350 Boston Post Road West • Marlborough MA • 508-481-9747
HOURS (limited menu 30 minutes before closing)
Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa. Parking adjacent lot.

Food: Wonderful sauces make everything they touch seem special.
Prices: Low to moderate; entrees from $7.95 to $11.95
Pluses: Variety; quality

A mile or so west of Interstate 495, Linguine's appears just after an explosion of hotels, chain restaurants, and a shopping center. We found it generating plenty of traffic on its own on a recent weeknight about 7:30.

The service counter overlooks a nicely done, small dining area with tables, chairs, and booths for perhaps 40 people. Another, larger dining area was closed for the evening. At lunchtime, Linguine's is self service. There's table service only after 5 and on weekends; coffee and desserts are offered only after 5, as well. We began with a respectable $12.95 bottle of San Nicola merlot, one of six wines available, none more than $14.95. An extensive luncheon menu covers the usual and the more imaginative in hot and cold subs, such as fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil for $4.95, or soppressata and provolone for $4.75.

The only dinner appetizers are salads, antipasti, or garlic bread. Our choice was the Italian antipasto, $6.95 plus $1 more for lettuce. The presentation was an excellent platter of prosciutto, covered with very fresh iceberg, soppressata, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes with olive oil. It was delicious; the quality of the cold cuts and the accompanying bread caused us to make a mental note to return for a sandwich sometime soon.

Entrees could start with a list of a dozen calzones or an infinity of pizza choices, but we went straight to an extensive pasta list with none over $8.95, plus seven chicken choices from $7.95 to $9.95; seafood from mussels to shrimp at $7.95 to $11.95, and veal marsala or cacciatore for $10.95 and $11.95. The pasta list offers ziti, ravioli, tortellini, gnocchi, and naturally, linguine, with a huge variety of sauces and accompaniments including one or two tomato sauces which were new to us.

The basic sauce, plum tomato with fresh basil, is a delight--fresh tasting and light with no hint of acid. It's available to take home at a reasonable $4.95 per quart. The menu promises that all pastas are cooked al dente, and ours were indeed perfectly prepared.

Our veal marsala over ziti had a fine sauce with plenty of fresh mushrooms, and two good-sized veal cutlets. The veal, however, wasn't infused with the taste of the sauce, but tasted as if it had been prepared separately; overall, it was still a good dish. Our chicken cutlet Parmigiana was outstanding. A huge portion of chicken breast, breaded, and topped with cheese and a terrific, bright tomato sauce was a bargain at $8.95 including ziti. The chicken was excellent, the sauce light and fresh, the value extraordinary.

Informal, Comfortable
Service was quick and friendly in this unusual find of an eatery. The atmosphere is informal and comfortable, and everything we tried made us want to return for more great tastes. We noticed an amazing number of take-out orders being picked up while we dined, and we weren't surprised. Linguine's light touch is a cut above the crowd of new italian restaurants; it's low key and unpretentious, offering very good food well prepared at modest prices. We dined with finicky friends, and everyone was pleased. Our dinner for two, with the large antipasto, was $27.85 plus wine, tax, and gratuity.

If you live nearby, you're fortunate; if not, Liguine's is worth the trip.

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