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Restaurant Review: Pasticcio Italian Kitchen & Bar

The recently reopened spot, formerly Milano's, serves up delicious Italian food.

On our first visit to Pasticcio Italian Kitchen & Bar (8811 Waltham Woods Rd., 410-665-0580), we are greeted by a friendly host and seated right away in a cozy corner booth in a dining room to the left of the entrance that also has a small bar.

The dining room is quiet, with low lighting, carpeting, vinyl tablecloths and padded chairs. There are two TVs in the room, set at a low volume, and there are five or six people at the bar. There is another dining room to the right of the entrance, filled with booths, and a carry-out area in the rear, behind the host podium.

Our server comes over to our table immediately and greets us with warm bread and butter. We order a glass of sparkling wine, Umberto Fiore Moscato d’Asti ($6), and mussels marinara ($7.99) for an appetizer. We choose spaghetti and meatballs ($10.99) and chicken parmesan ($13.99) for our entrees.

The mussels marinara arrives quickly, a large plate of steamed mussels bathed in a zesty marinara sauce sprinkled with oregano. The mussels are medium-sized, steaming hot and perfectly cooked. Our salads, which come automatically with our entrees, are served, and they are medium-sized garden salads, with cucumber, tomato, onions and pepperoncini served over crisp iceberg lettuce with the house dressing, which is oil and vinegar with Italian seasonings.

Our entrees arrive shortly after we are finished with our mussels. The spaghetti and meatballs is served in a large bowl, three large meatballs over a mound of spaghetti with lots of tomato sauce. The dish is not heavily seasoned, but the meatballs are tasty and piping hot, and parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes are on the table, along with salt and pepper, so you can season to your own taste.

My chicken parmesan is pounded thin and fried well-done and crispy, with lots of browned mozzarella on top, a generous serving of marinara and a sprinkle of oregano. It comes with a huge helping of angel hair pasta on the side. When I had ordered, I asked the server whether she recommended the chicken parmesan or the chicken piccata, and she did not hesitate to recommend the parmesan. She certainly made a great recommendation!

The menu is extensive, full of traditional Italian fare as well as some creative spins on Italian food. Appetizers include bruschetta, clams casino and calamari; side orders include three kinds of fries, onion rings, meatballs, Italian sausage and wings; and salads include garden, Greek, Caesar, chef’s, tuna and chicken, and you can add grilled chicken or shrimp to any of those for a fee. The pasta entrees include ziti, manicotti and lasagna as well as spaghetti, penne, tortellini, and gnocchi and even lobster ravioli. There are several chicken and veal dishes with a variety of sauces including vodka and pesto. Pizza, subs, wraps and healthy fare with vegetables and whole wheat pasta round out the menu, offering something for everyone.

Pasticcio also has a fully stocked liquor bar and a very reasonable wine list with prices ranging from $18-$65. There are no draft beer choices, but that does not detract from the experience in any way. The bathrooms are very clean and well-lit, and the service is extremely attentive and fast. Pasticcio provides inexpensive, traditional Italian-American fare in a romantic atmosphere.

Sue BE April 13, 2011 at 07:17 AM
The Chicken Piccata is delicious! The clams casino were different but very good.
C Chanski July 13, 2011 at 04:42 PM
The review is positive, however, I wonder if the staff knew the reviewer was a reviewer? About 5 weeks ago, my husband and I went there and were not as lucky as this reviewer. We were seated, and sat and sat, ignored and had to get up and leave. The table next to our, had a reserved sign on it, and those people arrived, about 5 minutes after us. They ( about 3 people) were immediately greeted by a waitress and she chatted and chatted. Hearing their conversation I was able to discern they knew each other. Well, we didn't have a friend or relative working there, so we were ignored. Not even our drink order was taken. We had a choice. Talk to the hostess, to get service. Or leave, complaining as we went. We left and went to Italian Bistro- Great Service and great Italian food. Will not go to Pasticcio again because I don't go to places that only give good service to friends, relatives and reviewers. They were newly opened when we went and that is usually when you will see the most effort to give good service - This is one of those rare, bad restaurants. Try other area Italian Restaurants instead.
Ben Smyth December 25, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Pasticcios is one of the least consistant restaurants I've been to in the area. One day, you can have good service and good food, and the next, an alfredo made mostly of water, and almost no attention while in the restaurant. If you're feeling lucky, I won't stop you from taking a shot at it, but for a more consistent meal, any of the other local italian eateries are probably a safer bet.

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