Carlo’s Cucina Brighton - the North End comes to Allston

by Bess

Pasta alla Patrizia with light plum tomato sauce

Carlo’s Cucina Italiana
131 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

We have dined at Carlo’s many times over the years, and the food has been hot, fresh, and excellent on every occasion.

Carlo’s is a North-End-quality Italian restaurant located in the concrete-urban student area of Allston-Brighton. Carlo and his wife, Irene, have wisely refused to expand beyond their storefront-width enterprise, despite their long-standing filled-to-capacity popularity. To my mind, this is why a family restaurant is able to maintain its high quality cuisine.

We took our vegetarian out-of-town visitors to dinner here on a Monday evening in August. The place was unusually busy, and we had a short wait even at 8:15.

The restaurant was filled with an exuberant crowd; our Italian waiter was in equally good spirits.

I ordered the simplest salad, the Insalata della Casa. The waiter promised to dress it very, very lightly, rather than let me have the dressing on the side. I’m glad I listened, because I can’t remember having a more wonderful salad. It was so good that my husband actually exclaimed on tasting mine. Our waiter explained that the dressing was made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and “love.” The Insalata alla Caprese was also declared to be a winner.

As usual, I had my favorite dish, the Pasta alla Patrizia. Though my traditional accompaniment for it is the light white wine sauce, I chose the light plum tomato sauce that night and it was delicious. The chef had no problem substituting mushrooms for the sausage in the Fusilli con Salsiccia & Broccoli Rabe for one of our vegetarian visitors. The other two in our party had the Rigatoni alla Puttanesca. (One of my husband’s other all-time-favorites is the Pollo alla Irene - Chicken Irene.) To make it short and sweet - everyone loved their meals.

It was unanimously decided that Carlo’s Cucina Brighton is the one restaurant that can't be missed whenever our visitors come to town.

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