11 Parmenter St, Boston; (617) 720-1336
297 Franklin St, Boston; (617) 338-1000
1001 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge; (617) 547-5818
With its roots in the North End, II Panino now boasts three locations serving up great fresh pasta dishes quickly and inexpensively.
Mine visited the North End hideaway, where lunch specials are $4.95 in the street-level room, which doubles as a sub shop. Don’t be fooled. Each weekday there are two specials to choose from, such as tortellini Alfredo, a hefty slice of lasagna, or penne with mushrooms and broccoli in cream sauce. Seafood specials regularly fall on Fridays and Saturdays, such as mussels over linguine. Fresh bread comes with these.
After 3 P.M. the menu expands to over two dozen pasta dishes, all ranging from $6.95 to $9.95. Linguine with clams, ziti with three cheeses, tortellini with pesto, and more. There are also fra diavolo dishes lobster, clams, calamari, or mussels as well as chicken, gnocchi, eggplant par-migiana, and more.
For dinner, the trattoria downstairs is a warmer, cozy setting that feels like old Italy wooden tables nestled against white stucco walls. II Panino serves beer and wine, and much of its food is made fresh daily on the premises. Hours vary.