Sportello
Sportello

Sportello

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.sportelloboston.com/
  • Phone: 6177371234x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 4:30pm
    Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Chef Colin Lynch
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Barbara Lynch Gruppo catering company 9 At Home offers unique and exclusive catering from No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop and Sportello. Please contact 617-423-4200 or info@9athome.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: A Street
  • Public Transit: For those taking public transportation, we are a short walk from South Station.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: In addition to evening valet ($18) and on-street parking, there are several open air lots and garages within two blocks of Sportello. There is a large garage in Stillings Street, a small lot on Farnsworth and several large lots on Boston Wharf Road & Congress Street.
A word from Sportello
With two "U"-shaped counters situated around an open kitchen, Sportello (Italian for counter service) offers a menu of Chef Barbara Lynch's trattoria-inspired Italian dishes for both lunch and dinner. A modern interpretation of a diner located in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood, Sportello features an approachable, artisan wine list curated by James Beard Award Winner Cat Silirie. Snag a stool at the counter and enjoy a bowl of handmade pasta!

Please note: Sportello is primarily counter seating, but does have several tables for more conventional seating. Tables are available for parties of five or more or by request. Requests are honored based on availability.
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Sportello reviews from OpenTable diners
217 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (161)neighborhood gem (88)hot spot (68)special occasion (42)notable wine list (38)great for lunch (35)good for groups (20)romantic (20)vibrant bar scene (11)kid-friendly (10)great for brunch (7)late-night find (7)scenic view (4)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
  • Bolognese Wonderful
    sudiegalVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Barbara Lynch has a gem and her infamous bolognese is beyond rich and wonderful. Pack an appetite or get a doggie bag!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sportello
    ronnytherat
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Delicious Food. Must try the Bolognase. Our server was great and had great recommendations for our questions. I will definitely go back here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Inventive but uneven
    Michael
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    If you want the best of Lynch's restaurants try 9 Park; the food is better there and the service more gracious, the space quieter and seating more comfortable; however, the menu at 9 Park is prix fixe and the cost of dinner is likely to be somewhat higher.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistent yet fresh
    catiyinVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Not only do the talented chefs and staff serve my definition of comfort food, it remains pretty affordable; a filling pasta meal never goes above $35 total. Though the counter seating was peculiar at first, it still feels intimate. I always love seeing my favorite choices such as the Tagliatelle Bolognese, but occasionally seasonal choices pop up. The first few times I came, the desserts were good but not incredible, but the last two visits, I have had an incredible coconut cake, so all parts of the menu constantly evolve and stay fresh. Service is jovial and prompt, even when the restaurant is busy. Exploring restaurants in Boston has become a (costly) hobby for me, but whenever I want to take someone out, I always recommend Sportello.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best of the best
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Best italian food in Boston; best service in Boston
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience!
    LovesgoodfoodVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Started evening in the "basement" bar where we had to join the lineup of enthusiastic young people to get in. The bar was hopping from one end to the other but the service was prompt and friendly. The bartender concocted a special drink according to my request. Definitely recommend this experience prior to dining upstairs. We lucked out and had Ethan as our server. He was very friendly and had a great sense of humor. He also had wonderful recommendations for us and our dining experience was very positive. We will return on our next Boston visit.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hardtoplease
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Third time here. I think it was even better this time. My guests loved it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sportello Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    We dined at Sportello this week and our food was terrific, but the whole experience was made better by our waitress Haley. She was so knowledgeable, personable and friendly it made the experience even better. My vegetarian daughter couldn't decide what eat, so she asked Haley to 'surprise her' and she brought her two appetizer-portion sizes that were amazing. I had the bolognese which I loved, but my husband had the braised rabbit which was even better, so I'll be sure to try that next time. We finished dinner with their classic coconut cake for dessert. All staff was attentive and made you feel like you were in their home. We will go often and so happy to have had the experience.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved the experience at sportello
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Great place for an afterwork dinner w a friend. Wonderful menu and attentive service. Pleasant atmosphere and venue!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food...missing drinks
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    The food here was great - I loved that the menu was small and manageable. There was something for everyone. I was disappointed in the daily specials of the day. But moreso, I was disappointed with the very very small wine list and practically non-existent cocktail menu. Go here for the delicious food - but make sure to stop elsewhere for some drinks along the way since you will only be able to have a select wine or two for dinner with your meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nothing special
    BUZZLULUVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Nothing special - average or slightly below. Pleasant enough atmosphere and acceptable service however the food was mediocre at best. Quite surprising.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A little disappointing really
    like2eatout
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Read-ups sounded good, so decided to try this place. I liked that the pasta was freshly made at the restaurant, and the main course was relatively good - the Bolognese. Appetizers were extremely small and disappointing. I also did not like the setting however - it was like being in a diner. The stools were very uncomfortable, and the lighting was bright, and the space was stark. The wait-staff and chef's were standing around looking at the customers which was a little awkward. I guess the ambiance and experience was a letdown. Too bad really, because the location and the menu had some good aspects. Just wasn't pulled together entirely.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tomtx
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Great food. The atmosphere is pretty funky, but you can't eat atmosphere. It is definately not No. 9 Park or Menton, although the prices are not much less. We did not get to Drink downstairs, but we had plenty of wine with our meals. The wine list does not have Chardonnay, so we were not pleased, since most of us had fish. The waiter did recommend a decent close second, but not to have Chardonnay is like saying: Drink what we want you to drink, not what you want. We recommend they add at least one good Chardonnay to the List. For the price, I doubt we would go back. (We come to Boston at least once a year, as all of my relatives live there.) For a B. Lynch restaurant, we will go to No. 9 Park or Menton again in the future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exellent
    Marco
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Food, atmosphere, great team from server's to manager and chef's
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Fresh Pasta
    marojale
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Split the Gnocchi and Caramelle, both were amazing. Portion sizes are good too, had just a little bit leftover to enjoy later. The diner style seating is great for service and it's nice to watch the chefs at work behind the counter. I'd definitely recommend Sportello to anyone looking for Italian food in Boston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great meal
    bostonfoodie
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Went to Sportello to celebrate my birthday with friends. We asked to be seated at a table so we converse better and the request honored. The waiter was attentive and paced the meal well. The food was in season and delicious. I highly recommend Sportello.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great pasta!
    CindyB
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    I had the farfalle with lobster, zucchini, and summer squash! Loads of flavor, but a light summer dish!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Consistently good in our experience. Great service. Lively and fun. Can get a bit loud.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Terrific pastas
    MayorSales
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Excellent pasta dishes and strong appetizers. Rabbit pasta especially good. Burrata a delicious appetizer. Excellent summer drinks. Side by side stool seating not as pleasant as table seating but, given size limits placed upon restaurant by space, it is probably the right call
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • love2eatVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Potato Gnocchi dish was excellent. Sea scallop appetizer was very good although neither of us were crazy about the rhubarb polenta. Farfalle dish was not bad, but not very exciting either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Gnocci
    bostonfoodie
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    The food is really spectacular - you owe it to yourself to get a glass of wine and a pasta dish (the gnocchi) from Sportello. There's a casual chic nature due to the format of the restaurant and the manners of the servers! Simple and sophisticated.
    Special Features:
    romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappoints
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    Great last minute decision. The food and service are always first rate. Great to see staff members who have been there for some time. Food was exceptional as was service. I wonder why I just don't go here all the time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed after reading hype
    warmspringslocalVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Very uncomfortable plastic stools fixed to the floor, no swivel. Ambience-stark white decor, bright lighting.Polenta with lamb ragu- elements tasty, but very little ragu in a pool of polenta. Worse balance in lobster farfalle-very, very little lobster and a lot of too al dente underseasoned farfalle. Switched dishes with my husband, he was so disappointed. Appetizer Burrata skin was tough- could not cut through it with a fork. Strozapretti was best dish if I had to pick one but wouldn't go there just for that - many other wonderful Italian restaurants in Boston with fabulous rabbit entrees.Shared silk tart - not so much silk but fudge-like. Few wines under $40; which doesn't translate to "fun, casual" spirit stated on website. :(
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not your typically dining experienc
    Monty329
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    The food was out of this world!!! I got the potato Gnocchi and literally ate every bite!!! They also put in a reservation for us at the bar DRINK downstairs while we ate which was great because there is normally a long wait to get in. The set-up is a little weird though. You are literally on top of the person next to you who may not even be part of your party. More like a cafeteria. But the food is worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun in upcoming area
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Great food, service and location in the upcoming Fort Point Channel area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bring lots of $$$ if you enjoy wine
    Artie
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    We found the food to be quite good. Portions on smallish side. Bread offered was a disappointment, however. We normally would order several bottles of wine with our meal, but not at those prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    The food was good- but too heavy for lunch. They should really consider a modified lunch menu. The lobster farfalle dish was too buttery. The wait staff were a little quirky- almost uncomfortable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Birthday lunch destination, big hit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    Loved everything about the place, very metro-contemporary. Fun surrounding location; inside diner counters & big windows. Fresh, creative food. I was treated as a birthday lunch, I'm certain the tab was over $150 for three for lunch. So can get pricey.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • White everywhere...expensive
    KathyApp
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Totally surprised when we walked in by the appearance. Looked like a spiffed up 50s diner with white plastic all around and most seating at counters. Lights were very bright. Even though in our boomer 60s felt like the grandparents had just arrived with the 30-somethings dominating available seating. We're wine collectors and live in Wine Country, California and were shocked at the price of the wines by the bottle. Over 1/3 of the average sized wine list over $100/bottle. Lowest priced bottle was $39. Wine by the glass started at $11. The olive appetizer was not great for the price. Entrees of average size, and pricey for nothing more than pasta in many cases.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a favorite!
    CameroonsVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    This is our go-to for modern Italian. The pasta is excellent, the portions are are not too large and the scene around fort point channel is hopping! They have gluten-free pasta for all those celiacs out there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always excellent
    cwwwVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Sportello is a great restaurant. We have been many, many times - the food is always delicious, the people who work there are smart, friendly, and very good at what they do.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not impressed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We ordered the artichokes...over cooked, dry and cold, Pork Belly crostini, again cold, the meat was dry and the crostini fell apart and lastly the burrata salad which was ok. Honestly we were not impressed and left w/o ordering an entree and went across the street to finish our meal. We eat out 3-4x a wk at many upscale restaurants and do not mind paying for great food. This is not it and I do not plan to come back. I wish I could say something good about the experience b/c I love Butcher Shoppe and No. 9 but it was just not up to par.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food
    Bosdine
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Four of us went for dinner and had a great time. The dishes were either good or great, and the coconut cake for dessert was really delicious. Our table was somewhat sandwiched in there, so that could have been a little better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • kcindc
    kcindcVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    My husband and I were visiting Boston and had read about Sportello in the Washington Post. Perfect timing!! The atmosphere is casual with mostly counter seating. We got a table and while it was noisy (aren't most places?) it wasn't deafening. The service could not have been better. Our waiter gave us good suggestions about wines and even dug deeper to find out the origin of the grape we selected. They split plates for us and had just the right touch with attentiveness. The food was bright and fresh, fresh, fresh. After eating lots of "corporate" food here in DC, Sportello clearly had a personal vision, expertly executed. We were delighted.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • overrated
    83Foodie
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    Noisy, not comfortable to sit (only seats are at diner like bar or a few tables for four). Food is heavy and ordinary and overpriced. Spicy tomato soup was only good item. Portions are too small.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 142 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 1020 reviews are from the Sportello reviews archive.
  • Good Food but Strange Layout
    SuburbiaDad
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    This place seems to have an identity crisis. It is setup like a corner diner with mostly bar seating, however it is serving up high end Italian food. The food was very good, but the atmosphere wasn't right for my wife and I out on a date night. We didn't know where to look as across from us was another couple on a romantic night, and then there was the open kitchen where we felt as if we could glance, but any longer would be staring. The waiter was good but we felt out of place and were nervous and hesitant to ask questions. I think Sportello needs to decide if it is a diner or a high end Italian restaurant. With the current setup, they should be a diner, but it would be a shame to lose the great Italian food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best gnocchi ever
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Sportello is one of the best dining experiences we have ever had. From the design, lighting and service to the best gnocchi I have ever put in my mouth. It is a must if in Boston. Tell your server you want to have a cocktail at Drink, their cocktail lounge downstairs, after your meal and skip the line to walk through their kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Expensive counter service
    suzeyesVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    While the food is very good the ambiance is very white n sterile. We sat at the counter and while being a novel idea, the prices ate just too high for the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    The appetizers were great! I think we may have ordered the wrong main dish so I would definitely be willing to go back and try something else. The set up is a little different. There are bar stools as their main seating and they are not very comfortable. I think they could improve the comfort level of the seats. If I were to return I would request a table.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yummy Fresh Pasta & Bread
    chris
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We took our 3 kids (ages 6, 4, 2) to lunch here. Even though it is not intended as a place for kids the staff was totally friendly and accommodating. They whipped up some fresh pasta with butter for the kids which was not on the menu. My husband and I split a salad and the gnocchi. The salad was good - I would order it again if I was there. The gnocchi were VERY good. They were much lighter and fluffier than most gnocchi you get at a restaurant or at home (even the ones that are supposedly homemade, so they must just have a very good recipe). The sauce was dynamite but not overwhelming. Hope I get a chance to try some of their other dishes - they had a number of things that sounded yummy to me!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate