Trattoria Pulcinella
Trattoria Pulcinella

Trattoria Pulcinella

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.trattoriapulcinella.net/
  • Phone: 617-491-6336
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Giovanni Oliva
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We close the restaurant for private party of 32 people and up.
  • Private Party Contact: Giovanni 617-851-0371

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: From Harvard Sq. take the 72 bus or the 75 and stopped in the corner of Concord Ave. and Huron Ave. We are next to CITGO gasoline station
A word from Trattoria Pulcinella
Trattoria Pulcinella is a nice family run business; we offer a lot of specials from our native Italy, like Wild boar prosciutto cured in the house, lamb, veal and fish's imported from Mediterranean sea. BUON APPETITO
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Trattoria Pulcinella reviews from OpenTable diners
21 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelQuiet
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (20)romantic (12)fit for foodies (11)special occasion (4)good for groups (3)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Attended the restaurant for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/14/2010
    Attended the restaurant for a Sunday night date (8pm), waiter was attentive but this was understandable as we were the only people in the place! Moving past the awkwardness, the food was delicious and made on the spot yet also a bit pricey. Overall, a nice place for a date (usually has more people in it when I walk by) or if you have a larger group go on a Sunday evening!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The wait staff was attentive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/23/2010
    The wait staff was attentive without being intrusive. His recommendations were excellent. The cheese appetizer was generous, which seems rare. The chef was willing to change the preparation of several dishes to accommodate finicky diners. The pear tart was outrageous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The main courses seem over-priced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 10/22/2010
    The main courses seem over-priced by about $5 each for a trattoria. Food was good but not great. Spaghetti bolognese, for example, was nothing more than a simple red sauce with meat, not an actual bolognese sauce, which is made with cream and other ingredients. Veal Milanese was tasty enough but over-cooked. Desserts were average at best. Service was less than polished: wine and water glasses were placed at random on the table after being filled, the wine was opened sloppily (by the owner no less) with foil sticking up and in the path of the wine as it was poured, and we repeatedly had to offer up empty glasses and plates to have them removed. Worst of all: no espresso or coffee! The machine was broken! Are you kidding me?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Trattoria Pulcinella seems
    Anonmouse
    Dined on 10/21/2010
    Trattoria Pulcinella seems to be one of those great places that needs to be rediscovered. We have gone twice in the last month or so, and both times been surprised that it wasn't full. The six of us had starters, fish and meat dishes, and dessert - all were delicious! Not over salty or dripping with fats, common faults at even the best restaurants. This is a special place. We will definitely return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My friend and I are in Cambridge
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/5/2010
    My friend and I are in Cambridge MA for a meeting and wanted to go to an Italian restaurant. This restaurant was on the open table list in Cambridge. The restaurant and the food was fantastic! We loved everything we ate! The time we were there, the restauant was quiet, however due to the small dining room, it could be noisy if all of the tables were full.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was authentic and fabulous.
    YardleyW
    Dined on 10/2/2010
    Food was authentic and fabulous. Menu has limited items, but everything was great.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This is one of our (my and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/19/2010
    This is one of our (my and wife's) favorite restaurants. Food is great, they are attentive to special dietary requests, and the service is excellent. It's not cheap (dinner for two including a bottle of wine comes to around $100) but it's a good place to go for a celebration. Good variety on the menu, and they always have some special dishes. Parking isn't too difficult (lots of metered spaces on Concord Ave around the corner) which is unusual for Cambridge.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food is always excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/17/2010
    The food is always excellent. It is a neighborhood time place.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and attentive service.
    TarNationVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2010
    Great food and attentive service. A little pricey, but quality ingredients were used.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had a wonderful meal. The
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/11/2010
    We had a wonderful meal. The staff was very cordial, and we greatly enjoyed our evening.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very pleasant dinner with
    wineguyVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2010
    Very pleasant dinner with Italian food that is not buried in cheese. Decent selection of vegetarian items. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food here was excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/4/2010
    The food here was excellent. We ordered grilled sardines as well as a poached pear with procuitto as appetizers. Both were absolutely amazing. For entrees we ordered two pasta dishes, a carbonara dish and a linguini with anchovies dish. The pasta was perfectly al dente. The anchoives were not for the faint of heart, very fishy but still quite tasty. The atmosphere was very calm and relaxing. Our reservation was for 7pm. When we arrived the restaurant was only half full but by the time we left there were people waiting for tables. The kitchen is open so you are able to see the chef at work. He came out to serve us our entrees and to ask how everything was. He obviously cares a great deal about his work. I woulddefinitely recommend Pulcinella
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I must drive by this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/28/2010
    I must drive by this place every day and have always wanted to try it. Well, now that I have, I will definitely be back! The food is authentic and delicious! It has all sorts of charm, and you feel like it's run by some distant relative of yours (it's that personable).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Trattoria Pulcinella was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/28/2010
    The Trattoria Pulcinella was again a delight. Maria waited on us and was friendly, respectful and informative. The quality of the dishes very high-we had the pasta special and the veal special. and the pear desert with two of the best cappucinos ever. we highly recommend this little gem.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This long standing neighborhood
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/27/2010
    This long standing neighborhood restaurant is a delight as we discovered on this our first visit. No surprise that Julia and Paul Child were counted among their regulars.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Trattoria Pulcinella is a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/16/2010
    Trattoria Pulcinella is a hidden gem in Cambridge. We've lived her ten years and had never heard of it-which is a shame-as the food, service and ambience makes it somewhat better than the other Italian restaurants we've eaten at in Cambridge, Arlington and Sommerville. We'll be going back often. The rack of lamb was well prepared, delicious and the spinach delicious as well. The pasta dish was also seasoned just right.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We picked this restaurant
    The3Cs
    Dined on 7/13/2010
    We picked this restaurant on pure chance while in the area checking out colleges. We arrived on the first evening they were introducing their new menu. The appetizers, soup and main courses were all excellent. The service was fast, and the server checked frequently to make sure we had everything we needed. We were very pleased with this great little neighborhood restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Our dinner for 5 was the perfect
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/12/2010
    Our dinner for 5 was the perfect setting at Trattoria Pulcinella !!! We weren't rushed and we all had a delightful dinner of pasta with very fresh shellfish (mussels and clams). Wine selection great as well as the perfect location in a quiet area of Cambridge.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great little restaurant with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/20/2010
    Great little restaurant with neighborhood charm & excellent food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My husband and I have been
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/12/2010
    My husband and I have been to this restaurant twice and it was great both times. The seafood is off the boat fresh! On our second trip, we got the grilled calamari & shrimp appetizer and the calamari was overcooked and rubbery. The shrimp was great, however. The rest of our food was great as well. This is a great restaurant. Definitely give it a try!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The worst Italian food I've
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/24/2010
    The worst Italian food I've hade anywhere. The food was mediocre at best and the waiter never came back to find out that it was terrible! The food lacked any flavor. This restaurant is located very out of the way - it was impossible to catch a cab and the waiter refused to call a cab. Don't go.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 3 of our 4 diners thoroughly
    simonsaid
    Dined on 4/10/2010
    3 of our 4 diners thoroughly enjoyed their meals (ranging from a lamb shank special to a pasta dish to the coniglio and a baby octopus appetizer). 4th person tolerates no spice heat - unfortunately, her dish (papardelle with scallops and rabe) had some unadvertized crushed red pepper which detracted mightily from her enjoyment (also, she said there were only 4 medium sized scallops in her dish). Also, the gelato was icy, not creamy (I didn't taste it, but the other three did and all agree that it was probably thawed and refrozen). The fresh bread was outstanding. So, 3 or 4 would be happy to return and try other dishes - the 4th says "no thanks".
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Easter night. My wife and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/4/2010
    Easter night. My wife and I were the only diners. The owner-chef assisted, waited on the table, was amusing, friendly in serving up a delightful meal. He was discreet in allowing us privacy, and cordial in conversation when that was appropriate. Above all, neither he (nor, I hope, we) showed any discomfort at the fact that on this under-populated evening, the place had to be losing money. Our comfort and pleasure in the experience is a true mark of the establishment's hospitality, and character.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent burrata and whole
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/26/2010
    Excellent burrata and whole anchovies flown in from Italy. Attentive waiters who acted like real human beings. Pleasing neighborhood atmosphere; kids an important part of the scene.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This restaurant is a pleasant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/19/2010
    This restaurant is a pleasant surprise. It was once an excellent gourmet restaurant. Then the owners decided to downscale and it became overpriced mediocre. After a three year lapse of time, we decided to re-visit. It now has a new persona and is a really excellent choice for a modestly priced comfortable neighborhood restauarant. The food is good, reasonably priced and the the service is friendly and helpful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We've been eating at Pulcinella's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 3/19/2010
    We've been eating at Pulcinella's for the last 15 years. The food is consistently wonderful and the service is great - it's just a terrific evening. We've celebrated many happy occasions there!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My husband and I had a marvelous
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 2/20/2010
    My husband and I had a marvelous experience here. The staff is very knowledgable and welcoming while at the same time being extremely unobtrusive. A special burrata appetizer was amazing; another shrimp and calamari one was well-prepared but nothing extraordinary. We split a main course of fish that was delicious and cooked perfectly (not overcooking fish to me is always one of the ways to judge a good kitchen.) The wine list is small but well chosen and we especially liked the Barbera we had, after a very informative discussion with our server. Pulcinella is small and cozy; you can spend a lot here but you also don't have to which makes it a wonderful neighborhood place to drop by when you just want a great meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice small casual and pleasant
    DaveNVIP
    Dined on 2/16/2010
    Nice small casual and pleasant restaurant. It's beer and wine only, but that wasn't a problem for us. The wine list is short, but the choices on it were very good. Excellent service. Excellent meal. Look forward to going back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good restaurant and definitely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 2/14/2010
    Good restaurant and definitely an asset to the neighborhood since there's a scarcity of nice, intimate Italian restaurants in Cambridge. Food is excellent -- very tasty without being too rich or heavy. Ample wine list that includes a nice, inexpensive house wine. The interior is cozy and unique, with red walls and slatted wooden ceiling. The one downside was the inconsistency of their service. We had a reservation, but still had to wait about 15 minutes before being seated. Once seated, we were again left to wait another 15 minutes or so, without any service (e.g., no water, no menu). We had two different waiters; one was friendly, the other was curt. Overall, we'd expect better service considering their upscale prices.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • From the minute I called to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 2/14/2010
    From the minute I called to say we would be 10 minutes late for our reervation till my husband had get up and give the check to the host, I have never had such unpleasant service at a fine restaurant. Our main waiter, who disappeared after we got our wine, was gruff & unpleasant. The other waiter, an amiable guy, saw that we had been waiting for over 25 minutes to order and so he took our order. Waited 20 minutes for our check to arrive. I might have been able to overlook some of this if the food had been good. However, the veal scallopini was probably one of the worst dishes I have ever had, anywhere. It was overly salty, dry as a bone and had no real flavor, except for salt. My husband's pasta was tasty but all very disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This restaurant can do no
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/12/2010
    This restaurant can do no wrong! The service was great, food was perfect and the wine is extraordinary! This was my second time dining at Trattoria Pulcinella, both for special occasions, and the owner went above and beyond with complimentary champagne, tiramisu and port on the house. He really added a personal touch to the evening, and for that I will return again and again. I give two thumbs up to Trattoria Pulcinella!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The menu was creative and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/6/2010
    The menu was creative and extensive. The specials were all appealing. Our server was warm and helpful, but the restaurant was terribly under-staffed. Some of the dishes were delicious and some were fair. It felt a bit over-priced, but we were largely pleased with the meal. With a bit of work on the lighting and more attention to tables, this could be a lovely, romantic "neighborhood gem".
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We hadn't been to Pulcinella
    JOSJONVIP
    Dined on 2/4/2010
    We hadn't been to Pulcinella in years and, reading the reviews, decided to give it a try again because we were in the neighborhood. It was OK. We had a good ($40) bottle of wine so altogether with tip the bill was $150. That was a lot to spend for a meal that's not much to rave about. I thought the roasted red peppers on the appetizer plate might have been out of a jar; the veal piccata was tasty but a bit oily; the osso buco was cooked perfectly but the flavor was all in the sauce, not the meat, the risotto tasted good but there was a bit too much liquid. Service was terrific; we went early so by 6:30 when we left there was only one other couple in the room -- it was nice and quiet! Espresso was great, as was the bread and olive oil.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was great, however, the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 1/30/2010
    Food was great, however, the service was not uniform. Some people in the dining room got better service, others not as good. Was very evident. Would go back though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food. Friendly service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/23/2010
    Great food. Friendly service. Everything cooked to order, wait time depends on dish. Pleasnt atmosphere. Not inexpensive, but worth the cost if one wants excellent cooking and ample portions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The spaghetti carbonara was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 1/8/2010
    The spaghetti carbonara was without question the best I have EVER tasted. As it turns out, the owner cures his own pancetta for the dish. Seriously, this is an absolute 10 of a dish. We split this as an appetizer; I usually find this to be a bit heavy, not so here. the flavor was beyond words!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I went to this great neighborhood
    embs
    Dined on 12/31/2009
    I went to this great neighborhood restaurant for New Year's Eve dinner last year, and it was terrific. A tiny restaurant, this only means that the server had more time to lavish his attention upon me. I felt like I got a fantastic Italian meal with a great bottle of wine, topped off with a delicious cheese and jam plate! I have continued to return for special occasions, and would recommend to anyone!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I have been to Pulcinella
    Localyokel
    Dined on 12/29/2009
    I have been to Pulcinella many times and have always enjoyed it, but this visit was disappointing. The menu seems to have changed to focus on seafood and the only vegetarian option was spaghetti aglio e olio. The salad was drenched in olive oil and salt. But the service was excellent and friendly and dessert and wine were also very good and reasonably priced. I would like to see more of the interesting pasta and gnocci dishes I have had there in the past and the preparation of the food could be more careful. Considering that this was a holiday week, perhaps the restaurant was just having a bad night. I will definitely give them another try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice classy Italian ambience;
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/24/2009
    Nice classy Italian ambience; even greater host/owner/chef; i didn't understand a thing he said when explaining what's on the menu but he made it sound mouth watering; we were the last ones and he was closing up but never felt any pressure to leave; of course, food was good; i had the goat meat pasta special, girlfriend had veal; not too heavy on ingredients so you don't have to be rolled out; all in all, a nice little spot for 2
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We've been eating at Pulcinella's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 12/23/2009
    We've been eating at Pulcinella's for 14 years - it's a consistently wonderful dining experience. The menu is unique, the food is delicious and the service is superb. Be sure to try the specials!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet