Nightlife: Regina Pizzeria
A slice of the North End in Allston
Regina Pizzeria has long greeted visitors with “Welcome to Boston’s original pizzeria!” A North End staple since 1926, the restaurant now has nearly two dozen locations around the Boston area and New England—one right in the heart of Allston. Happily, the Cambridge Street location loses nothing in translation. Situated between a commuter rail line and a busy intersection, it may not boast the charm of the North End’s cobblestone streets, but it still maintains the flagship’s traditional Italian flair.
Regina’s is much more than a local pizzeria. We were seated promptly when we stopped by on a recent Thursday night for the weekly Stump! trivia. The eatery features live music every Friday (the dueling pianos are a popular act), DJs or live music most Saturdays, and “paint night” every other Wednesday, where you’re advised to “grab a drink, grab a brush and let the fun begin!” The night we went, the crowd grew as the night went on, creating a lively vibe for the trivia Q&A. Upbeat background music and good lighting created a lively atmosphere. The dining room has plenty of tables (beware of the rumble of passing commuter trains if you’re sitting in the back room), but the bar is the best option for a night out. No matter what night you visit, the under-21 crowd is always welcome and there’s never a cover charge.
If you’re looking for a good drink, Regina’s covers all the bases. While the draft beer selection isn’t as extensive as other Allston hangouts, there are over a dozen options, ranging from Narraganset to Stella Artois. There is also a wide selection of bottled beers and specialty cocktails. Try one of the Italian-themed drinks, such as the Italian Lemonade ($7), made with San Pellegrino Limonata, Limoncello, Absolut citron vodka, and Sugar in the Raw.
The alcohol selection may not blow you away, but the pizza definitely will. All pizzas are baked in an open brick oven that’s visible as soon as you enter. The menu features a whole page of specialty pizzas, but guests are encouraged to create their own. A small pie can feed two, but could just as easily be a special indulgence for one. We tried two pizzas: the Capriciosa (small, $11.99), made with sliced prosciutto, fresh mushrooms, ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and tomato sauce, and the Meatball Pomodoro Fresco (small, $11.99), sliced meatballs, marinated tomatoes, mozzarella, Romano, Parmesan, and garlic sauce. Both were garnished with fresh basil.
The pizza crusts were baked to a crispy perfection, giving a crunch to every bite. The combination of cheeses provided great texture and added a flavor that complemented the signature sauces. The Meatball Pomodoro’s garlic sauce could have been overwhelming, but paired well with the fresh basil. Overall, the two pizzas were examples of great Italian pizza making.
If pizza isn’t your favorite Italian cuisine, don’t worry. Regina Pizzeria offers many staples, among them traditional calzones ($11.99) and an eggplant Parmesan sandwich ($8.99), hand-breaded eggplant slices with Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella, baked with marinara sauce and served on a toasted roll. A good bet is any of the choices from the menu’s specialties section, including chicken Parmesan over penne ($15.99) and shrimp scampi served over penne in a garlic and white wine basil sauce ($17.99). The restaurant also gives traditional bar food an Italian twist. The antipasto platter ($10.99), which serves about three people, comes with pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, provolone, marinated artichoke hearts, various marinated vegetables, and balsamic dressing. Be sure to try one of the classic Italian desserts, such as cannolis ($4.95), tiramisu ($5.95), and limoncello gelato ($4.50).
And for those craving a Regina’s pizza, but wishing to forgo the nightlife, take-out and delivery are available.
Regina Pizzeria, 353 Cambridge St., Allston, is open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and accepts all major credit cards. By public transportation, take an MBTA Green Line B trolley to Harvard Avenue or the number 57 bus to Harvard Avenue and walk about five minutes to the intersection of Harvard and Cambridge Street. A full menu can be found here. Other nearby Regina Pizzeria locations: 1330 Boylston Street in the Fenway, 226 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and the flagship restaurant at 11½ Thacher St. in the North End.
This is part of a series featuring Boston nightlife venues of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the Comment section below.
Kat Sorensen can be reached at email@example.com.+ Comments