Standing in the Rain in East Boston

By Todd Barron @

Where can you eat in East Boston which is worth standing in the rain for?  Rino’s Place is the restaurant and was definitely worth the hour wait.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab

One of my favorite episodes of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives show, takes place at Rino’s and the food looked freakin’ amazing.  When I was in Boston a few weeks ago I made a list of every restaurant I wanted to go to.  I started with the Zagat food rating and moved it to the top of the list if they were on Triple-D.

Two places made it to the top, Mike’s City Diner and Rino’s Place.  I went to both and although I enjoyed Mike’s, Rino’s served one of the best Italian meals I have ever had, hands down.  I’ll be dreaming about going back there someday.  It is that good.

After a 15 minute cab ride across the bay, we are dropped off in a residential neighborhood outside of a tiny restaurant called Rino’s Place.  It about to start raining and the hostess tells me we will be lucky to get in within an hours time.  So, we wait.

Homemade Burrata with Prosciutto

My wife and I walk around a half block or so and realize it is not the type of neighborhood you want to wander around in.  We retreat back to the relative safety of the cross-section, and wait under the awning of a house.

It’s raining full bore by this time and time crawls past.  We see several people leave, with several empty tables inside but no one calls my phone (as they said they would.)

Eventually, a very nice couple who is leaving, tells us there are plenty of tables inside and that we may want to check back in.  I check back in, and after a little huff, the hostess agrees to seat us.  I’m not sure what the problem is over, considering there are five empty tables, but anyway, we are happy to get out of the rain.

The menu looks just like the one from the website but the hand-printed specials menu is huge.  It does not have one or two specials, it has twenty or more!  I’m not sure which menu to order from but recognize some items I must have.

Rino's Special

For an appetizer I order the Stuffed Crab Mushrooms and the Burrata.  For my entree I order the Lobster Ravioli and my wife orders the Rino’s Special.

It takes a while but our Stuffed Mushrooms come out first and look simply wonderful.  The plate is full of large mushrooms, each one brimming with slightly seared crab meat.

The mushrooms are bathing in a white-wine, lemon, and parsley sauce and smell wonderful.  They taste even better as the crab melts in your mouth with the lemon leaving a perfect hint of tanginess behind.  We start to get full at this point, already!

Next up is the Burrata.  A plate appears with four large fresh balls of mozzarella, filled with cheese and cream, and wrapped in thin slices of prosciutto de parma.  They sit atop fresh slices of tomato, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  I cut into one of the pouches of cheese and the cream oozes out.  Wow, it tastes amazing.  The mozzarella is fresh and creamy and the cheese on the inside puts it over the top flavor wise.  The prosciutto is perfectly aged and adds a perfect amount of salt to the appetizer.  I could spend the next few days here, eating only this appetizer over and over again.

Lobster Ravioli

Our entrees of Lobster Ravioli and the Rino’s Special come out next and look amazing.  My plate is full of several huge made-to-order lobster ravioli, topped with a lobster-cream reduction sauce.  I bite into one and the pasta is silky smooth, with just the right amount of bite to it.

The filling of cheese and lobster claw meat is creamy, savory, and perfectly seasoned.  The sauce, oh wow, the sauce is so good.  It’s smooth, tastes of lobster, and has an amazing depth of flavor to it.  I can barely finish the entree but already want it again.  Guy Fieri showcased the dish on his show and he was right on the “money” when he endorsed it.

Rino’s Place makes the best Italian food I have ever had, without question.  I could easily see going there once a week to try something new.  The menu is huge, the prices are very cheap, and the food is out of this world.  Go there and you will not regret it.

Rino's Place on Urbanspoon

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