East Boston: Rino's

Let's Eat by Kitty Kaufman, photos by C

rino's empty

Here is a story 10 years in the making. How long it took us to get to Rino's in East Boston. How long we wait outside in the winter in the rain at 4 pm on Monday. They open at 4. How full the dining room is when we are allowed in at 4:30. Some are let in. We are not. No apology. We are frozen.


An appetizer of octopus and mussels in tomato sauce with toast. We are still frozen. Even with wine. C says, sit on your hands. There are no seat cushions. Ow.


Mellezane ripieno: eggplant with ricotta and smoked mozzarella. Circulation has resumed in my fingers so I can write. Our server sees I'm writing. She remarks, with a touch of cute and more of knowing.


Calamari sautéed on linguini in marinara sauce. The chef does hold the garlic and cheese. It's big. Leftovers. My mother was not adverse to cold spaghetti, I remember.


C's frutti di mare with scallops, shrimp, littlenecks and mussels in wine sauce with lemon and butter over fusilli. There is some left. On the trip home, the car is redolent, not a word I learned in school, with garlic.


Veal marsala is sautéed with mushrooms and ham over pasta. It's big and M may be an even more polite eater than I. He tells us about his vacation down South. Stories go with marsala.

It's a good meal. We settle up. I ask. The explanation goes like this: "We don't want to overwhelm the chef." "We seat three tables." Couldn't we come in, order drinks and wait til the kitchen is ready? No. The answers are practiced. Old, really. And the moral is: Online is forever. I see a lot of eaters telling wait stories on Yelp. Worse than ours. Look, someone has writen about waiting when there are tables. It's us.

Outside in the rain with a plethora of tables. I would like to tell you it was merely annoying. That we recovered and drank ourselves silly. That we were there for hours, and laughed and had dessert. That we forgot about rain. That it is worth it. But no. No, Rino's, no.

Rino's Place
258 Saratoga St
East Boston, MA 02128
617. 567. 7412

© February 1, 2017 Kitty Kaufman is a Boston writer. C and M are artists. We have food adventures, none like this, at Corporate Edge and Twitter

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