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Parisian gnocchi at Field & Vine
Parisian gnocchi at Field & Vine
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

The Most Comforting New Pasta Dishes in Boston

It's a fine time to try some hearty bowls of noodles

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Parisian gnocchi at Field & Vine
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

As fall begins to set in, there's nothing more comforting than a hearty bowl of pasta, and plenty of exciting new restaurants are pulling out all the stops on that front.

Thus we present the Eater Boston Pasta Heatmap, an ever-evolving collection of the newest destinations in town (restaurants that have been open under a year) that are serving up one or more pasta dishes that you should absolutely try right away.

Today's update includes the addition of Prairie Fire in Brookline; Field & Vine and Spoke Wine Bar, both in Somerville; Semolina Kitchen & Bar in Medford; Sulmona in Cambridge; and Twyrl Pasta Bistro in Arlington.

The Hourly and Waypoint, both in Harvard Square, have been retired from the Heatmap since they've been open over a year — but don't let that stop you from visiting them and eating all of their pasta. (Take a peek at the Pasta Heatmap archive right here to see all the past picks.)

Notes about this map:

  • Points are listed geographically from north to south, not ranked.
  • Many of these menus change frequently, so you may not find these exact dishes at the restaurants, but you can't go wrong — every spot on this map knows how to make a killer pasta dish.
  • Is there another new restaurant serving up excellent pasta that should be on our radar? Leave a comment below or hit up the tipline.
  • This map was originally published on December 8, 2016 and is updated periodically, with the date of the most recent update appearing above.
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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Eataly Boston

Copy Link
800 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 807-7300
Visit Website
Take a deep breath and step inside. It's crowded, it's crazy, but it's full of delicious Italian foods to eat there or to take home and cook. One of the most anticipated openings of 2016, Eataly has grandly debuted inside the Prudential Center, and there are plenty of pasta options.

One of the full-service restaurants, La Pizza & La Pasta, serves a wide range of pasta, both dried (imported from Gragnano, Napoli) and made fresh in-house. Another Eataly restaurant, Il Pesce, a collaboration with Boston's Barbara Lynch, also offers a few pasta dishes that highlight locally sourced seafood. The spaghetti alla chitarra (pictured) with Boston mackerel, pine nuts, and raisins is no longer on the menu, but try the spaghetti and bottarga with chili flakes and garlic or the garganelli verde with blue crab, leeks, and breadcrumbs instead.

Spaghetti alla chitarra/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

2. Mida

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782 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 936-3490
Visit Website
Douglass Williams' new South End restaurant, Mida, describes itself as "rooted in, but not limited to, Italian culinary traditions." As such, the pasta is one of the stars of the show (but not the only one — try the duck). The menu changes constantly, but a past winner was a pork shoulder orecchiette, topped with crumbled parmesan. Sure, the tender pork was great, but the pasta itself was perfection — thick, al dente, hand-shaped. If you're lucky, a server will swoop in with some buttered toast so that you can sop up the remains of the sauce after you've inhaled a pasta dish.

Important: Mondays are all-you-can-eat pasta night.

Pork shoulder orecchiette/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

3. Benedetto

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1 Bennett St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 661-5050
Visit Website
If you've been to Giulia, you already know that the pasta at its new sister restaurant, Benedetto, will be outstanding. The tricky part: How do you get your fill of Benedetto's perfect pasta (and sfizi and antipasti and entrees) while saving room for a beautiful dessert from Cafe ArtScience alum Renae Connolly? We can't help you on that front, but as for pasta options, you can't go wrong.

A visit in winter 2016 included outstanding dishes such as a Glenn flour linguine with bay scallops, melted leeks, and foraged mushrooms; braised duck leg tortelloni with broccoli rabe, dried cherries, and thin strips of parmigiano; and tagliatelle alla bolognese with beef short rib, pancetta, and chicken livers (pictured).

The tagliatelle remains on the fall 2017 menu alongside newer dishes such as pappardelle with smoked rabbit sugo, sweet peas, tomato, and prosciutto; linguine with clams, tomato, garlic, parsley, and olive oil; and ricotta gnocchi with sweet corn crema, shiitake, and roasted peppers.

Tagliatelle alla bolognese/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

4. Oak + Rowan

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321 A St
Boston, MA 02210
(857) 284-7742
Visit Website
Really love pasta? This new sibling to Newburyport's Brine and Ceia serves a four-course pasta tasting menu on Thursdays. But any day of the week, there are a few a la carte pasta options available. They change occasionally, but previous dishes have included tarragon fettuccine (pictured) with cauliflower, pistacchio, cara cara orange, and pink peppercorn, as well as a visually stunning squid ink farfalle with pheasant confit, lemon, and uni.
Tarragon fettuccine/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

5. Cultivar

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Ames Building, 1 Court St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 979-8203
Visit Website
If you were a fan of Mary Dumont's work at Harvest, rush over to her new spot, Cultivar, located at the Ames Hotel (but operated independently of the hotel) where every single dish is gorgeous — and tastes fantastic as well. As for pasta, the current menu features four options, all available as half or full portions. (Splitting your food with someone? They'll serve it divided; this photo shows half of a half portion of a pasta dish.) Try the squid ink messinesi with sea beans, Calabrian chili, bronze fennel, confit tomato, mahogany clams, squid, and lobster.

Like Benedetto, Cultivar also has a strong dessert program; save some room for executive pastry chef Robert Gonzalez' beautiful creations.

Cultivar squid ink messinesi Half of a half portion of squid ink messinesi/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

6. North Square Oyster

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5 North Sq
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 829-4975
Visit Website
This North End newcomer shows off lobster in hot and cold versions of a lobster roll, but lobster lovers can also fill the craving with this irresistible pasta dish — rigatoni with a lobster and oxtail bolognese and parsnip, ricotta, and rosemary. A half-sized portion is available to leave more room for trying the restaurant's various raw bar items, soups, and more.
North Square Oyster lobster and oxtail bolognese Rigatoni with lobster and oxtail bolognese/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

7. Pammy's

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928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
Pammy's co-owner and chef Chris Willis takes pasta so seriously that he's milling the flour in-house. It's worth the effort. The new restaurant's opening menu features four entree-sized pasta dishes; don't miss the lumache (snail shell-shaped pasta, almost as if fat rigatoni were bent into an elbow shape). It's served in a bolognese sauce enhanced with gochujang, a spicy Korean pepper paste — perhaps an odd combination to find on the menu of restaurant that leans Italian, but it really works. Each bite ends with a little bit of a kick.
Lumache at Pammy's Lumache bolognese/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

8. Twyrl Pasta Bistro

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315 Broadway
Arlington, MA 02474
(781) 859-3123
Visit Website
Inspired by a Venetian bistro, Twyrl is meant to serve fast, healthy pasta dishes in a cozy, casual setting, and all pasta is made fresh in-house. While there are a few pre-set options (seafood scampi, diavolo, and bolognese), the bulk of the menu offers diners the chance to mix and match pastas, sauteed vegetables, sauces, and proteins in whatever way they'd like.
Twyrl gnocchi A gnocchi special with blue cheese and white wine sauce/Facebook

9. Semolina Kitchen & Bar

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572 Boston Ave
Medford, MA 02155
(781) 219-3871
Visit Website
Dave's Fresh Pasta — home of excellent fresh pasta to buy and cook at home — has spawned a full-service sibling in Medford, and as expected, pasta is one of the highlights. The lunch and dinner menus generally offer different selections, and specials are regularly posted on Instagram. Current dishes include classic spaghetti and meatballs made with fresh egg spaghetti, San Marzano marinara, meatballs, parmesan and romano cheeses, and herb salad (lunch menu); garlic shrimp pappardelle made with fresh egg pappardelle, white wine, butter, garlic, parsley, crushed red pepper, and olive oil (dinner menu); and more.
Semolina Kitchen garlic shrimp pappardelle Garlic shrimp pappardelle/Facebook

10. Spoke Wine Bar

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89 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 718-9463
Visit Website
Corn season is fleeting, and an excellent dish of spelt linguine with corn, ricotta, and serrano chili (pictured) is already gone from the menu. But Spoke — a revamped version of the briefly shuttered Davis Square haunt — generally includes a pasta dish on its concise menu, and it's always worth trying (and pairing with an interesting wine, of course). At the time of this map's most recent update, the menu featured cavatelli with braised duck, squash, sunchoke, and robiola.
Spelt linguine at Spoke Wine Bar Spelt linguine/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

11. Field & Vine

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Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 718-2333
Visit Website
Located in the former Journeyman space hidden past Bronwyn in Union Square, Field & Vine is all about seasonal, local ingredients, but its standout pasta dish draws inspiration from across the sea. The Parisian gnocchi — currently served with foraged mushrooms, sage, and kale — is a warming, creamy dish reminiscent of macaroni and cheese in all the best ways.
Field & Vine Parisian gnocchi Parisian gnocchi/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

12. Sulmona Restaurant & Bar

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608 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 714-4995
Visit Website
Sulmona, the younger sibling of Amelia's Trattoria nearby, always has a selection of pastas available on its menu of Italian street food, pizzette, and more. There are a couple mainstays on the menu — such as the amatriciana, made with rigatoni rather than the traditional bucatini — as well as options that change up a bit with the seasons. Other current pasta dishes include cavatelli with wild boar ragu; linguine with clams; and more.
amatriciana at Sulmona Eric Luciano for Sulmona

13. Prairie Fire

Copy Link
242 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446
This Coolidge Corner newcomer — a sequel to Milton's Steel & Rye — features wood-fired everything (including pizza) in the longtime Lineage space. There are lots of delights on the menu, but the biggest star is perhaps the pasta, particularly the squid ink campanelle with a zippy lobster arrabiata, garnished with green onion and crispy garlic. The team also gets a little more out of the box with dishes like the cocoa fusilli with duck ragu, breadcrumbs, caciocavallo (a provolone-like cheese), and egg yolk.
Black campanelle pasta with chunks of lobster on an earthy, white-speckled plate Squid ink campanelle/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

1. Eataly Boston

800 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115
Spaghetti alla chitarra/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
Take a deep breath and step inside. It's crowded, it's crazy, but it's full of delicious Italian foods to eat there or to take home and cook. One of the most anticipated openings of 2016, Eataly has grandly debuted inside the Prudential Center, and there are plenty of pasta options.

One of the full-service restaurants, La Pizza & La Pasta, serves a wide range of pasta, both dried (imported from Gragnano, Napoli) and made fresh in-house. Another Eataly restaurant, Il Pesce, a collaboration with Boston's Barbara Lynch, also offers a few pasta dishes that highlight locally sourced seafood. The spaghetti alla chitarra (pictured) with Boston mackerel, pine nuts, and raisins is no longer on the menu, but try the spaghetti and bottarga with chili flakes and garlic or the garganelli verde with blue crab, leeks, and breadcrumbs instead.

800 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02115

2. Mida

782 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
Pork shoulder orecchiette/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
Douglass Williams' new South End restaurant, Mida, describes itself as "rooted in, but not limited to, Italian culinary traditions." As such, the pasta is one of the stars of the show (but not the only one — try the duck). The menu changes constantly, but a past winner was a pork shoulder orecchiette, topped with crumbled parmesan. Sure, the tender pork was great, but the pasta itself was perfection — thick, al dente, hand-shaped. If you're lucky, a server will swoop in with some buttered toast so that you can sop up the remains of the sauce after you've inhaled a pasta dish.

Important: Mondays are all-you-can-eat pasta night.

782 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118

3. Benedetto

1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Tagliatelle alla bolognese/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
If you've been to Giulia, you already know that the pasta at its new sister restaurant, Benedetto, will be outstanding. The tricky part: How do you get your fill of Benedetto's perfect pasta (and sfizi and antipasti and entrees) while saving room for a beautiful dessert from Cafe ArtScience alum Renae Connolly? We can't help you on that front, but as for pasta options, you can't go wrong.

A visit in winter 2016 included outstanding dishes such as a Glenn flour linguine with bay scallops, melted leeks, and foraged mushrooms; braised duck leg tortelloni with broccoli rabe, dried cherries, and thin strips of parmigiano; and tagliatelle alla bolognese with beef short rib, pancetta, and chicken livers (pictured).

The tagliatelle remains on the fall 2017 menu alongside newer dishes such as pappardelle with smoked rabbit sugo, sweet peas, tomato, and prosciutto; linguine with clams, tomato, garlic, parsley, and olive oil; and ricotta gnocchi with sweet corn crema, shiitake, and roasted peppers.

1 Bennett St
Cambridge, MA 02138

4. Oak + Rowan

321 A St, Boston, MA 02210
Tarragon fettuccine/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
Really love pasta? This new sibling to Newburyport's Brine and Ceia serves a four-course pasta tasting menu on Thursdays. But any day of the week, there are a few a la carte pasta options available. They change occasionally, but previous dishes have included tarragon fettuccine (pictured) with cauliflower, pistacchio, cara cara orange, and pink peppercorn, as well as a visually stunning squid ink farfalle with pheasant confit, lemon, and uni.
321 A St
Boston, MA 02210

5. Cultivar

Ames Building, 1 Court St, Boston, MA 02108
Cultivar squid ink messinesi Half of a half portion of squid ink messinesi/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
If you were a fan of Mary Dumont's work at Harvest, rush over to her new spot, Cultivar, located at the Ames Hotel (but operated independently of the hotel) where every single dish is gorgeous — and tastes fantastic as well. As for pasta, the current menu features four options, all available as half or full portions. (Splitting your food with someone? They'll serve it divided; this photo shows half of a half portion of a pasta dish.) Try the squid ink messinesi with sea beans, Calabrian chili, bronze fennel, confit tomato, mahogany clams, squid, and lobster.

Like Benedetto, Cultivar also has a strong dessert program; save some room for executive pastry chef Robert Gonzalez' beautiful creations.

Ames Building, 1 Court St
Boston, MA 02108

6. North Square Oyster

5 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113
North Square Oyster lobster and oxtail bolognese Rigatoni with lobster and oxtail bolognese/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
This North End newcomer shows off lobster in hot and cold versions of a lobster roll, but lobster lovers can also fill the craving with this irresistible pasta dish — rigatoni with a lobster and oxtail bolognese and parsnip, ricotta, and rosemary. A half-sized portion is available to leave more room for trying the restaurant's various raw bar items, soups, and more.
5 North Sq
Boston, MA 02113

7. Pammy's

928 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Lumache at Pammy's Lumache bolognese/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
Pammy's co-owner and chef Chris Willis takes pasta so seriously that he's milling the flour in-house. It's worth the effort. The new restaurant's opening menu features four entree-sized pasta dishes; don't miss the lumache (snail shell-shaped pasta, almost as if fat rigatoni were bent into an elbow shape). It's served in a bolognese sauce enhanced with gochujang, a spicy Korean pepper paste — perhaps an odd combination to find on the menu of restaurant that leans Italian, but it really works. Each bite ends with a little bit of a kick.
928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

8. Twyrl Pasta Bistro

315 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474
Twyrl gnocchi A gnocchi special with blue cheese and white wine sauce/Facebook
Inspired by a Venetian bistro, Twyrl is meant to serve fast, healthy pasta dishes in a cozy, casual setting, and all pasta is made fresh in-house. While there are a few pre-set options (seafood scampi, diavolo, and bolognese), the bulk of the menu offers diners the chance to mix and match pastas, sauteed vegetables, sauces, and proteins in whatever way they'd like.
315 Broadway
Arlington, MA 02474

9. Semolina Kitchen & Bar

572 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155
Semolina Kitchen garlic shrimp pappardelle Garlic shrimp pappardelle/Facebook
Dave's Fresh Pasta — home of excellent fresh pasta to buy and cook at home — has spawned a full-service sibling in Medford, and as expected, pasta is one of the highlights. The lunch and dinner menus generally offer different selections, and specials are regularly posted on Instagram. Current dishes include classic spaghetti and meatballs made with fresh egg spaghetti, San Marzano marinara, meatballs, parmesan and romano cheeses, and herb salad (lunch menu); garlic shrimp pappardelle made with fresh egg pappardelle, white wine, butter, garlic, parsley, crushed red pepper, and olive oil (dinner menu); and more.
572 Boston Ave
Medford, MA 02155

10. Spoke Wine Bar

89 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144
Spelt linguine at Spoke Wine Bar Spelt linguine/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
Corn season is fleeting, and an excellent dish of spelt linguine with corn, ricotta, and serrano chili (pictured) is already gone from the menu. But Spoke — a revamped version of the briefly shuttered Davis Square haunt — generally includes a pasta dish on its concise menu, and it's always worth trying (and pairing with an interesting wine, of course). At the time of this map's most recent update, the menu featured cavatelli with braised duck, squash, sunchoke, and robiola.
89 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144

11. Field & Vine

Sanborn Ct, Somerville, MA 02143
Field & Vine Parisian gnocchi Parisian gnocchi/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
Located in the former Journeyman space hidden past Bronwyn in Union Square, Field & Vine is all about seasonal, local ingredients, but its standout pasta dish draws inspiration from across the sea. The Parisian gnocchi — currently served with foraged mushrooms, sage, and kale — is a warming, creamy dish reminiscent of macaroni and cheese in all the best ways.
Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143

12. Sulmona Restaurant & Bar

608 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
amatriciana at Sulmona Eric Luciano for Sulmona
Sulmona, the younger sibling of Amelia's Trattoria nearby, always has a selection of pastas available on its menu of Italian street food, pizzette, and more. There are a couple mainstays on the menu — such as the amatriciana, made with rigatoni rather than the traditional bucatini — as well as options that change up a bit with the seasons. Other current pasta dishes include cavatelli with wild boar ragu; linguine with clams; and more.
608 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

13. Prairie Fire

242 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
Black campanelle pasta with chunks of lobster on an earthy, white-speckled plate Squid ink campanelle/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
This Coolidge Corner newcomer — a sequel to Milton's Steel & Rye — features wood-fired everything (including pizza) in the longtime Lineage space. There are lots of delights on the menu, but the biggest star is perhaps the pasta, particularly the squid ink campanelle with a zippy lobster arrabiata, garnished with green onion and crispy garlic. The team also gets a little more out of the box with dishes like the cocoa fusilli with duck ragu, breadcrumbs, caciocavallo (a provolone-like cheese), and egg yolk.
242 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

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