If you are from Quincy, you might be wondering why Gennaro's Eatery is featured on this site. Yes, the Italian food at Gennaro's is mostly excellent, the people who work there tend to be down-home, friendly sorts, and the prices are more than fair. So why might Quincy residents be scratching their heads over this pick? Well, considering that Gennaro's often has long waits even on weeknights, with the parking lot seemingly full nearly all the time, it may be tough to consider this family restaurant near the Braintree border a hidden gem. But outside of Quincy, very few people seem to know about Gennaro's, making it mainly a local favorite with little exposure outside of the area.
The parking lot at Gennaro's can cause a bit of stress (there are only about 15 spots, with the streets around it having little or no parking). Once inside, however, patrons are treated to a warm, friendly place that includes a bustling front area where takeout orders are picked up and a dining room in the back that is clean, well-lit, and comfortable, albeit a bit on the noisy side at times. Starters include a variety of salads including a marvelous Caesar salad that can be ordered in one of two sizes, terrific versions of soups such as pasta fagioli and minestrone, and appetizers including shrimp scampi and a tasty garlic bread. There is quite a range of entrees at Gennaro's; diners can choose from Italian subs, a traditional brick-oven Neapolitan pizza, a number of calzones (including a party size at a reasonable price), and all kinds of pasta, chicken, veal, and pork dishes. Standouts on the menu include the lobster ravioli, which are tender and fresh and mixed with a tasty cream sauce; the cheese ravioli, which come with a homemade marinara sauce that has a full, hearty flavor; the firm and delicious meatballs that can be ordered as a side or added to a calzone, pizza, or pasta dish; the savory tortellini carbonara with lots of pancetta and posciutto; a traditional eggplant parmigiana that is big enough for two--or possibly even three--meals; a very garlicky shrimp scampi with a mountain of pasta included; and a number of pastries including the cannoli, homemade tiramisu and lemon cake, all of which have way too many calories but are certainly worth every one.
For a simple, reasonably priced Southern Italian meal in a casual, comfortable environment, Gennaro's Eatery is a standout among the many Italian restaurants that can be found between Quincy Center and the communities of Braintree and Weymouth. It's nothing fancy, and the waits can be long at times, but there is a reason why locals keep returning to this place again and again. If you like both local favorites and Italian food, Gennaro's is tough to beat.
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