You don’t have to trek to the North End for good Italian anymore. For homey red-sauce fare in a warm and comfy atmosphere, look no further than Grassona’s Italian in Brookline’s Washington Square. A neighborhood joint serving up hearty classics alongside well-curated cocktails and wine, Grassona’s is like eating at grandma’s without the cheek-pinching.
“Grassona” means “fat woman” in Italian, and no image sums up the menu better than a portly old lady in an apron wielding a saucy spoon. Lovers of Italian cuisine will rejoice at the sight of familiar and reliable favorites like Fra Diavolo, mozzarella and meatballs, as well as updated and inspired takes on classic dishes. There are heaping plates of antipasto for sharing with la famiglia, a variety of house-made pastas, and big entrees that will remind you of grandma’s cooking but probably taste a lot fancier.
Just like the menu, the decor at Grassona’s will transport you back to the homey hospitality of grandma’s house. The space is trim and tidy, but patterned wallpaper, antique china, and walls lined with jars of olives and pickles lend a casual chintz to the elegant atmosphere. Burgundy accents warm the space along with dark hardwoods, farmhouse tables, and an antique curio doubling as a host-stand.
The bar program at Grassona’s nods to its Italian roots but gets a bit of an update with a fresh cocktail program and a wine list designed by a certified sommelier (who also happens to own the joint). Cocktails are split between drink list mainstays and house concoctions, featuring fresh ingredients and fresh ideas. The wine list focuses primarily on approachable Italian varietals, with some truly special glass-pours available thanks to a state-of-the-art wine preservation system. The beers on tap pair perfectly with a bowl of pasta or a plate of meatballs.
1704 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02445