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Restaurant Review: La Famiglia Giorgio -- Lots and lots of okay food

By Raffi Krikorian

La Famiglia Giorgio

Price per person: $13$18

250 Newbury Street, Boston

Hours: MF 11am10pm, Su noon10pm

No reservations, no dress code

Rating: 2 out of 5

For some reason, La Famiglia Giorgio seems to be a very popular place, and many of my friends have recommended it to me for its great food, perfect service, and large portions. I guess two out of three is not bad.

The service at La Famiglia is very friendly but lacks a certain amount of grace; one must not mind being pointed at and called "you" when ordering food. The food itself is decent (if a little bland, unimaginative, and oily) and the portions are quite generous. Lastly, the price is not at all unreasonable. For about $15, you can get a decent and filling meal.

When I first approached the restaurant, it looked like a cute little place with outdoor eating and appetizing food. The building is quaint: a nice little brick structure which houses the basement kitchen and dining room. On the patio in front of the building are small, two person dining tables with closely packed chairs; inside, the same seating arrangement is apparent, leaving a single aisle down the center along which the waiters carefully navigate. If you are claustrophobic, definitely sit outside as there are no windows in the cramped downstairs quarters. La Famiglia gets a lot of traffic on Friday nights and on the weekends, so they do their best to seat as many people as possible.

Aside from the shower of old bread crumbs which empty from the worn menu onto one's lap, the menu looks quite appetizing - there is everything from Calamari to Calabrese (each with ziti or linguini) in the Pastas, an appetizing Chicken section, and even steak tips for those who were dragged into an Italian restaurant against their will. Price changes are unfortunately marked with post-it notes, which usually fall off due to the bread crumbs. When ordering your food on a budget, make sure your price is right.

Also, be aware of the waiters' tendency to rush you to order. Unless you have something specific in mind before you sit down, or you can pick your food out really quickly, you will probably have to ask your waiter for more time to choose.

Thankfully, the main courses arrived quickly; the bread given to us to whet our appetites was cold. The main courses were atop platters nearly overflowing with pasta and sauce. After eating what I thought was a considerable amount, there was still no visible dent in the mountain of pasta on my plate. My complaint is that my meal was swimming in olive oil, which crept to the edge of the plate and completely doused the food underneath. The tomato sauce was also simple and bland. On the whole, the meal was decent, spectacular only in portion.

If you are looking for some place elegant, this restaurant is probably not the place to go. But if you and your friends are in the area, and are looking for a large amount of Italian food at a reasonable price, then La Famiglia Giorgio is just about perfect.