Trattoria Pulcinella

4.4
452 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
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
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(617) 491-6336
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Payment options
MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Giovanni Oliva
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Private party facilities
We close the restaurant for private party of 32 people and up.
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Private party contact
Giovanni: (617) 851-0371
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Neighborhood
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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
Additional
Beer, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wine
What 452 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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BM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

Good service and wine; very, very bad food. Ugly experience.

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ST
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Food was ok and service is average. However, it was very cold in the restaurant. I don’t believe they turned on the heat. Customers have to wear coats. Not a way to eat dinner and not acceptable as a restaurant. I will not come here again. There are much better places around.

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RS
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Owner was gracious and hospitable. The food was delicious and nicely presented. We ate quite early and were the only diners until about 6 pm, so the restaurant was very quiet. We will return.

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CL
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service in a quiet, cozy setting. Terrific neighborhood restaurant. Will definitely go back.

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s
New England
8 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always have a wonderful meal at Pulcinella - it's one of those places you don't want to tell your friends about for fear it will get too popular! The service is always excellent, and the wine list creative. It's always our favorite place to have a great meal and relax.

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HH
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

This is one of our fave neighborhood spots. It's a great spot to have authentic Italian cuisine, with fresh ingredients and a few rotating special dishes added to the standard comfort food menu options.

They also make a lovely cappuccino -- one of my favorite ways to end a great Italian pasta/seafood meal!

DO NOT miss their braised beef ravioli, a menu staple, if you love homemade raviolis that taste like Nonna's :)

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M
New England
15 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pulcinella has never disappointed. On the contrary, its one of the real jewels of Cambridge.
We've been going for 10 years and just celebrated a birthday -the cooks came through again!

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L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

They didn’t honor our open table reservation. We made a reservation about an hour before and when we arrived there was a long line waiting. They had never removed their on line availabilities and said we would have to wait until everyone in line had been seated

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S
London
11 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Neighborhood gem. Outstanding service and food. Lively but not oppressive atmosphere on a Friday night.

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OT
Newcastle
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband, son and I had an excellent Saturday night meal in this lovely little restaurant during our recent trip trip to Boston. Delicious food and very friendly service. Highly recommended for an authentic Italian experience.

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p
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Very poor, the food was burnt and had no taste

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TS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Slow service but a genuine old Italy feel, food and wine were well priced and tasted great. Fantastic spot for a dinner date if you’ve got time to burn

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HN
Philadelphia
75 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love, love, love this wonderfully authentic, charming restaurant. Took my son to dinner there for his 22 nd birthday and we had a perfect evening. Food was exceptional and the cozy restaurant a lovely atmosphere to be a part of. We look forward to returning to celebrate there again in the future.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food.

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d
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in town for the Head of the Charles Regatta and wanted an Italian meal, but also other options for some in the group. The food was delicious, generous portions, served very promptly and our server gave good wine recommendations. The Branzino was awesome. Would come back here again.

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R
Naples
9 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good neighborhood restaurant. Excellent southern italian cuisine.

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C
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food and ambiance here. Special place. Locally owned and run. An out-of-the-way location adds to unique experience.

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Excellent food and ambiance. Affordable and tasty wine options in all varietals.

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2
New England
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent local neighborhood restaurant. Long time customer who appreciates Mario's efforts.

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s
New England
9 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Trattoria Pulcinella has always been our 'go to' spot - the service is impeccable, food wonderful, and ambience - perfect. It's always our favorite restaurant.

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f
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We really enjoyed our meal. Not over the top, trendy menu, just really well prepared and perfectly cooked. I judge bolognese sauce against my sister in law in Puglia, and this was as good as hers. Really flavorful, hearty, not too salty, just right! The host/waiter (owner?) was so gracious. Charming small trattoria, not at all pretentious, just like what we experience in Italy. If we lived in the area, we would be dining there frequently.

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OO
Columbus
39 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner with our adult daughters while visiting Boston - chose Trattoria Pulcinella based on convenient location and reviews, and we were not disappointed. Food was exceptional - between us we had the eggplant parm, artichoke heart/potato and romaine salad starters and cacio e pepe, pesto and frutti di mare pastas. Came very close to licking the plates - everything was delicious. And the service was simply lovely - never intrusive but always helpful. Really, this was the highlight of our quick visit to Boston.

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F
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

It is good "American" Italian food. In other words, just average Italian food in terms of food quality -- large portions but average food. The restaurant has a nice neighborhood feeling and family run. Also full so i assume many people like the food as it isn't cheap.

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p
New England
12 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fabulous authentic food! Don’t go looking for Americanized Italian food because there’s nothing Americanized about this place. Can’t wait to go back!

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EW
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Trattoria Pulcinella is our favorite neighborhood restaurant. We always receive a lovely welcome from the restaurant’s owner. The food is excellent and the ambiance is very authentic and cozy. I always feel like I am in an Italian Home when we are there.

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R
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The restaurant did not honor a confirmed Open Table reservation- when I arrived it was closed and the person in charge said I had made a reservation after 9 pm. Open Table in fact offered 9:30 and 10:00 slots. I spent money on a taxi to get to the restaurant - all for naught: neither food nor an apology nor an explanation as to why they would not honor an Open Table reservation. Open Table needs to look into this, to avoid sending its customers astray.

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WM
New England
16 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a family-run, neighborhood restaurant, and if that is what you are looking for, you can find no better. It seemed like every other customer was a regular, and we were welcomed in the same manner. The food, all of which we ordered off the special board, was well-prepared and delicious. When we noted that we were not ordering the suggested poached pear starter because one of us has an antipathy to blue cheeses, we were immediately informed it could be prepared without the Gorgonzola sauce. Indeed, it appeared that every dish was prepared to order. All in all, a wonderful, relaxed and relaxing dinner.

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M
New England
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First visit in some years. Has not lost any of its charm. Authentic Italian, in a quiet Cambridge neighborhood. A place to linger over beautifully presented classics. Follow it with lemon sorbet in the fruit, spumoni and espresso.

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S
New England
5 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super friendly staff, very good food, and cozy ambiance. Marcello gives good wine recommendations and samples. Branzino (special) was quite good, as well as desserts. You never know who you might run into from this Cambridge neighborhood.

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b
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another great celebration, and food was incredibly delicious. Just as good as the North End.

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E
New England
18 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

The first clue when we arrived at the restaurant should have been when we saw one cook and one waiter for about a dozen filled tables. We sat down at 7 PM, our main course was served a bit after 8 PM. The food was fine; but, the waiter never bothered to say anything or offer up anything during the wait for the food. It was all we could do to coax some bread for the table. I had read several good reviews, so we were looking forward to a nice meal. And, at least the food was very good; but, considering how long we waited for our meal, there was no way we were staying for dessert. That probably would have been served the next day!

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JJ
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very friendly local spot with outstanding Italian food. We shared the grilled octopus, the burrata and linguine vongole for appetizers and all were outstanding. I had the lamb special, which was rack of lamb chops. Outstanding. Would definitely go back. Kitchen was a little slow but overall service and food quality more than made up for it. Great spot.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was a great experience. The service and the food were fabulous. The owner was took great care of us as well. This will be our new Italian spot in Cambridge! Thank you and we will be back 😊

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely neighborhood fine dining. Extremely welcoming owner who waits on you with care and kindness. Authentic and fresh Italian food, with delicious specials. Every visit I’ve had is always relaxed, so you can have a nice conversation and can stay as long as you like. It’s a civilized and comfortable space that will leave you feeling transported to Italy!

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SG
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service very good, friendly staff . Bread was authentic and olive oil delicious ! Food was tasty. Would go back

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LG
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always! Love Pulcinella. I’ve never had a bad meal of experience there. The staff is so welcoming and they make you feel at home.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always amazing! Hidden gem that I hate to share but feel like the world should experience!

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SZ
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Still an old neighborhood favorite with authentic food

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CH
New England
17 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Felt like I was in a North end type restaurant, very authentic.

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S
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish is prepared with care & attention, but the Carpaccio with truffles and Spaghetti with olive oil and garlic is not to be missed. The warm spinach salad with beets & walnuts is genius-- -all the goodness of a salad when you don't feel like having a cold, crunchy starter. Excellent and reasonable wine selection (particularly the Nero de Avola).

Classics of Italian cooking done to perfection--- every time. From the unique pesto to the desserts. We have been as a couple, family and with friends. A delightful experience every time.

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