316 Cambridge St, Boston; (617) 523-2727 This Beacon Hill eatery has been around for more than six decades. It’s a comfortable neighborhood restaurant and bar, as typical of the back of the hill as that other hangout (you know, the one where everybody knows your name) defines the front side.
You can actually match any shape of pasta with any sauce that’s 78 possible combinations! Apple-smoked chicken in cream sauce, atop a bed of penne ($8.95), gets Mine’s vote. Pizzas are equally creative. One pie commemorates a nearby landmark, recently departed: the Phillips Drug Pizza ($8 for the small size), topped with barbecued chicken and scallions. What the connection is, who knows.
Being a pub, Italian food is hardly the only cuisine available here. Char-broiled burgers are $4.95 naked, about a buck more gussied up with stuff like bacon or guacamole. There are also some fancy sandwiches, like Norwegian smoked salmon on a bagel ($6.25) or grilled veggies on fo-caccia ($5.95). All of these are served with fries. A full bar, of course, complements just about anything from finger food to fine dining. Harvard Gardens is open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, closing nightly at 11 p.m.