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Landmark Italian restaurant in Allston to get new owner - who pledges to change absolutely nothing

Bryant Rodriguez will attend the Allston Civic Association meeting tomorrow to introduce himself as the new owner of Carlo's Cucina on Brighton Avenue.

I have worked at Carlo’s off and on for the past 27 years and am a lifelong resident of Allston/Brighton, I also was the General Manager of Devlin’s in Brighton Center for three years. When I finally take over Carlo’s, I don’t plan to make any changes the name and food will remain the same it will just be a transfer of ownership. Carlo and his family have been there for 40 years and I hope to continue his legacy of serving great food and being a staple in the community.

The civic association's meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Honan-Allston library.

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Comments

Noooooooooooooooooooooo
Arguably some of the best Italian food in the area. I hope they don't change it but I'm not holding my breath.

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This is terrible news. The Irene's are gone? No chef Carlo? How can it possibly be as good? Better than many in the North End.

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I wouldn't have mentioned Devlin's. That place, especially management, it terrible.

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Why do you think Bryant left Devlin's?

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I ordered from Carlo's I was very disappointed in the price and the food. That they occasionally stock arancini is a good thing, but otherwise the place struck me as a tourist trap for BU parents.

I am so sorry to say this, but I am only being honest. Perhaps I just went there on an off day (?) although that can't possibly account for my feeling that I was underfed and overcharged for fettuccine alfredo. I did do take-out, so did not discover my disappointing food until I got home, at which point I did not complain, thus giving waitstaff no chance to make it right.

regardless I am sticking to the N. end for italian cuisine.

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But you're wrong. I've had some of the best Italian food of my life at Carlo's.

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He mustn't change a thing.

If he tinkers, and screws up this local place and its good eggplant parm - the balance of the universe starts to unravel. We won't be able to get a good deal on replacement windows ever again.

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Irene and Carlo retired some years ago and their daughter(s) have been runniing things. I’ve been going there for 20 years and IMHO it was the best home style red sauce Italian in the city. After they retired I thought the service and quality dipped a little (and the prices went up) but it was still very good. Not going to hold my breath though, these transitions don’t usually work out well.

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It used to be just a sub shop, and then at some point they started rolling in tables in the evening and doing brilliant, pretty refined Italian-American cooking in the evenings. That batter-fried shrimp in Grand Marnier sauce: really novel and delicious at the time. It was a staple for me for years, one of those places I'd recommend to the initial skepticism of friends who would later go, "Dude! How do you find these awesome places?"

The sad fact is I haven't been back in years, don't know if this ownership transition is a loss or not. My professional reviewing gig favors newer, fancier places, leaving me little time to revisit old standbys.

First-world problem, I guess, but I might trade a bunch of swanky 2018 meals for the joy of one mid-90s Carlo's dinner with old friends, when we had no money, and something humble but beautifully executed was truly exciting.

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When I owned the Primal Plunge bookstore down the street from Carlos, his eggplant parms and a rice and mussels special from the Vietnamese fish shop next door to Carlos were my staples. I was actually disappointed when Carlos converted his place to a restaurant. Ate there once and decided I would no longer eat pasta. Not that the meal was bad, just so so heavy.

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As someone who regularly attends hockey games down the street at BU, I've gone by Carlo's a thousand times but have never gone in. Is it worth trying, and what should I order?

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Hopefully that won't change with the ownership shift. Get there early though, like before 6PM, because otherwise you will have quite a wait.

My favorite dishes are the Calamari Friti and Polo Irene. Ravioli Antonio is also excellent. If there is ever a nightly special with Lasagna [not a normal menu item] - get it. The house Chianti Classico is a very good wine for the price.

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My go-to.

Also they do an awesome carbonara sauce

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My family and I love Carlo's Restaurant and have been going there for a couple of decades.We moved to Medway in the last couple of years so we haven't been able to go as often, but Carlos is always our gold standard for a delicious neighborhood Italian restaurant. We have gotten to know the whole family, Carlo's wife Irene, daughters, and the grandkids. We were always greeted by name, with open arms, and treated like family as we caught up on the latest goings on. Irene always would send a dessert to our table, without our asking.
And it wasn't just us. Irene went around to every table, treating every customer like they were very special guests in her 'house'.
Sadly,in the past few years Irene has struggled with poor health and Carlo spent most of his time taking care of her.
We are thrilled for Bryant as we've known him almost as long as Carlo's family. Since he and Willy will be there, I'm sure it will stay as good as it has been (although we will dearly miss our hugs and kisses from Irene, Irene Jr. and Patricia).
Tip- Get there before 6 on weekends.

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