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“Here is a ‘LaStoria’ Worth Telling”
Review of Lastoria's Italian Grill & Bar - CLOSED

Lastoria's Italian Grill & Bar
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Reviewed 31 January 2011

The owners of LaStoria Trattoria in Stoughton, MA certainly aren’t bashful. On their homepage, they state that their establishment ‘is not your usual “Red Sauce” Italian restaurant.” Only a few years ago, however, their menu read like one: wood-grilled pizzas, veal marsala, eggplant parmiagiano, blah, blah, blah. While the food was often solidly executed, it was rarely adventurous, and I ultimately found myself attracted to newer restaurants that prepared dishes with bolder ingredients and flavors. LaStoria, sadly, became an afterthought in the ever-changing restaurant industry.

When my in-laws mentioned that they had recently re-visited this Italian eatery and raved about its distinctly different menu, I decided to give LaStoria a second chance. To my surprise, I discovered that the menu – which had always boasted dishes from all regions of Italy including Sicily, Napoli, Roma, Calabria, Firenze, and Venice – was finally making good on its promise to deliver an inspiring variety of food true to its roots.

Adding affordable piattini (little plates) to the menu was a stroke of genius. Ranging from $3.50-6.50, these unique Italian style tapas include prosciutto crostini with gig glaze ($5), fried goat cheese stuffed green olives ($3.50), and truffled “Mac n Cheese” ($6.50). We opt for the equally enticing antipasti, particularly the creative scampi e Fagioli “al Forno” ($9.50), which features four plump prosciutto wrapped shrimp atop crispy spinach (comparable to kale) and a sinfully delectable white bean puree (which also accompanies complimentary fresh foccacia bread). On paper, the smorgasbord of flavors here sounds questionable at best, but on plate, it’s a hugely successful dish. Like much of LaStoria’s revamped menu, it’s a wildly pleasant surprise.

The menu is also broken out into traditional pasta dishes ($11-18), LaStoria Classici (including aforementioned marsala and parmesiana style dishes ($15-19), and more daring specialty pasta (including zucca tortellini e Cape Sante, which includes pumpkin filled pasta, maple glazed sea scallops, roast butternut squash, sage and cream for $17) and second dishes. Of the latter, Arista Griglia ($17) boasts perfectly grilled pork tenderloin drizzled with a just-sweet-enough apple cider glaze reduction, accompanied by sweet potato mashed and green beans. I gravitate towards the evening’s special, a generous serving of ultra-tender, fall-off-the-bone veal ossco bucco ($18). The meal is noteworthy for its restraint in terms of incorporating a subtle tomato relish sauce so as not to overpower the meat’s flavor. My one complaint? A blasé side of garlic soaked pasta had me yearning for a more hearty starch such as mushroom risotto. A rum-soaked dessert of tiramisu, however, quickly washed any complaints away. It packed the perfect amount of liquour and texture (neither too dense nor too light) and was light years ahead of its flavorless predecessor years back.

LaStoria also serves a wide assortment of wines and a unique selection of seasonal cocktails including carrot cake (with butter shots) and key lime martinis. As we wait for our tables, the bartender forewarns me that the Hot Apple Cider martini packs quite a wallop, and it does. The rums contained therein, however, overpower the cider flavor, rendering this also only lukewarm cocktail virtually undrinkable. Faring significantly better, however, is the espresso martini, a sweet, caffeinated concoction that excels where other versions (either too creamy or too much alcohol over espresso) have miserably failed.

LaStoria’s space is relatively small and sometimes cramped (you can practically talk with your neighbors at the next table), but this often lends well to a more intimate meal. Service was more than adequate, if not great. Our waitress was genial and knowledgeable enough, though an extra visit or two to inquire about our meal or re-fill water glasses would have sufficed. A cappuccino came out well after my tiramisu had been consumed, though accompanied by a sincere apology from our server.

But that’s why consumers pay exorbitant prices at more glamorous, upscale restaurants. I’ll take the high quality fare and incredible value (no entrees exceeding $20) that this quaint little Italian restaurant offers, thank you very much. By exchanging its red sauce roots for more sophisticated dishes, this LaStoria is writing a brand new chapter in its stories history. Count me in once again as a loyal reader – I mean, eater.

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2  Thank PaulsPalate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (62)
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56 - 60 of 62 reviews

Reviewed 21 September 2009

Six of us celebrating two birthdays arrived at about 7:30 on Sunday. We were asked if we would like to be seated upstairs or down. We chose up and we were seated by a window. The waitress was a lovely lady about 25 or so. She asked if we would like to have drinks now and gave us a menu. When she returned she told us what the specials were and they all sounded wonderful. She told us exactly what was in each. We ordered appetizers, calamari and also a spinache and cheese ravioli with lemon sauce. All of which was great tasting. She then brought us a nice salad already dressed (just like my mom did it). She asked if everything was ok and of course it was! The entres were wonderful as well and she kept us in coffee and drinks. The deserts were awesome ( I didn't have any because I was stuffed after my stuffed chicken breast which was actually the breast, and leg and wing) but all who tasted them were happy! This was a wonderful night and the waitress was GREAT. I wish I had a better memory, I would mention her name! The portions were very generous. As a matter of fact my friend who had a veal plate with rissotto and I had the rest of ours today for lunch. I will go again real soon and this time I'll get her name!

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Thank rcc444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2009

Had lunch 2 weeks ago with a friend and the pizza was succulent. The sauce was fantastic, the crust was perfect, the cheeses phenomenal. The female waitress(40's) appeared completely distracted and was not attentive...there were very few customers. On several occasions we have had the bartender as our waiter and he was always attentive, well versed on the menu and specials, and gave superior service. I have had the chicken picatta on several occasions and have also been very impressed. Despite the questionable service recently, in general the service has been decent.

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Thank BFM14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2008

While I believe this restaurant has the ability to be a fantastic Italian restaurant I believe they are lacking some of the basic fundamental in making dining at Lastoria an enjoyable experience. We found a waitress to be quite rude to us during lunch one day. It was not exceptionally busy but the waitress appeared frantic and confused. Within our party someone ordered a chicken parm sandwich and they rec’d a veal parm. The waitress was adamant that she didn’t screw up the order but rather the patron was wrong. She had almost a face off with the patron before finally giving in ..taking away the veal and ordering the chicken parm…but not forgetting to roll her eyes before leaving the table. This was my last lunch experience. But I have been back for dinner, drinks and appetizers several times. I’m disappointed to say my experience wasn’t much better. On two occasions I have been with a party that ordered Calamari. The first time the plate came out raw and needed to be sent back and and the 2nd time was months later when the Calamari came out cooked perfect but had truly no flavor. As far as service, the servers/bartenders seem to be pre-occupied with the regulars. They have 1 bartender on for the entire place to serve as a service and full bartender. The servers often do not know the specials upon opening and when asked they seem annoyed that they need to find out. Often I have been asked…”Do you want me to check?” Really? I believe that at the start of any restaurant operation there should be a meeting of the trons and kitchen to review the night’s specials and review what the restaurant has 86’d. Otherwise patrons will find it very annoying to be seated then have to wait while there tron finds out the specials ½ hours after they’ve opened? There are also few housekeeping issues I’ve encountered. While taking my daughter to the restroom on the 2nd floor I found that not only was the back of the toilet cracked in half but the restroom was out of toilet paper. Again the restaurant had just opened and this had been overlooked by most likely whoever had closed the evening prior and opened that evening. Small things like a completely cracked toilet and a disorganized staff makes you wonder how well the kitchen is being taken care of? It is apparent that this restaurant had the ability to be fantastic but it needs some attention to detail

Thank MAgirl10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2007

Expensive, but pretty darn good

Thank Matthew M
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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