The South Shore has its share of decent old-school Italian restaurants, with many being unknown to nearly everyone but locals. And one such spot, Genesio in Randolph, is unknown not only to Boston-area diners, but to most food critics, too. Perhaps it is because Genesio is buried in a relatively quiet stretch of Route 28 south of Randolph Center and the busy strip of shopping centers. Or maybe it is because Randolph itself, as well as other blue-collar or middle-class towns outside of Route 128 on the South Shore don't get much coverage. Whatever the reason, diners and restaurant reviewers are both missing out on an absolute gem that ranks among the best red-sauce joints that the South Shore has to offer.
An Irish pub resided in the building that houses Genesio today, and you can still sense the feel of the pub when you walk in. The dining room is dark, cozy, and well-worn, with skylights and stained glass windows giving the just enough light to keep diners from being too much in the dark. The spacious bar side actually has a newer feel to it, and is a great place to watch a ballgame over a beer or two.
Genesio has a menu that has all the items you would expect from an Italian-American restaurant, and this writer has yet to find an entree that isn't satisfying. From the mouthwatering brick oven pizza to the extraordinary pasta (slightly chewy, with a delightfully hearty flavor) to the wonderful eggplant dishes (the eggplant is satisfyingly crisp), there is something for all lovers of Southern Italian food here. Both the veal and chicken dishes are above average, too, with the veal alla Maria being a favorite for artichoke fans and the chicken parmigiana being particularly tasty (the chicken is pounded flat without being too dry).
With a good food, reasonable prices, and a lack of crowds, there's isn't much not to like about Genesio. Sure, it's not the type of place where you dress up and enjoy and elegant night out on the town. And no, it isn't ever going to be a "hot" place where folks go because of loads of media hype. But Genesio is definitely a place to go if you like your Italian food old-style, and enjoy the "nice problem" of having too many delicious items from which to choose. A big high-five to this red-sauce joint for keeping the tradition of neighborhood Italian spots alive in this close-knit town south of Boston.
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