Spork Rating: 5
- Neighborhood: South End
- Cuisine: Italian
- Price: Splurge. Appetizers $8-14, entrees $19-31
- Hours: 5pm-11pm or later; Sat & Sun brunch 10am-3pm
- Reservations: Yes, via phone, their website and OpenTable.
- Recommended For Dining With: Infants, toddlers, kids
Cinquecento, which translates to “500” in Italian, doesn’t offer much information on what lies inside these brick when you view it from Harrison Avenue. But find your way down the walkway to the left and you’ll arrive in a hidden courtyard (home to one of Boston’s better al fresco dining spaces) and be greeted by the 2 story modern glass facade of Cinquecento. Inside and you’ll notice the modern, industrial decor, beautifully lit staircase and the gleaming bar at the top of the stairs. Ascend to the 2nd floor and you’ll be greeted by this kid-friendly Italian restaurant’s helpful, smiling and very stylish staff. The dining room stretches beyond, with creatively lit bottles of Aperol adding pops of color to the tables and cozy leather booths filling the open space. On any given night this place will be hopping, thanks to Aquitaine Group’s tasty food, well-managed service and welcoming vibe.
Bonus–like its sister restaurant Gaslight, Cinquecento has free parking. Yup, that’s right…free parking in the city.
Really great. The staff is helpful and welcoming, offering up stroller storage, high chairs and smiles. In warmer months, the outdoor patio is a fantastic family-friendly dining option, offering a little extra room, fresh air and some green space for kids who want to get up and move around. The main dining room is generally lively enough to drown out rambunctious kiddie noise, and depending on the time of night there’s often many kids of all ages at this kid-friendly Italian restaurant.
Clean, traditional Roman flavors abound, letting the fresh ingredients shine. You’ll find antipasti (starters), Zuppa e Ensalte (soups and salads), Salumi (Italian cured meats), Paste (pastas), Pesce e Carne (meat and seafood dishes), Contorini (sides) and Piata di Giorno (rotating nightly specials). The cocktails list offers creative flavor combinations and the wine list provides a great selection, with an appropriately heavy focus on Italian wines. Favorites include:
- Branzino con Scarola Brasate e Funghi (Mediterranean sea bass)
- Burrata salad
- The Myer Bello cocktail
- Cozze in Brodo (mussels)
There’s no kid’s menu at this kid-friendly Italian restaurant, but the chef can easily whip up (and often hand delivers) a number of Soups and sides are also good options for the kids, as are ½ portions of the main pasta selections.
- Boston Ballet
- South End Historical District
- Boston Center for the Arts
- Boston Medical Center
- Easy entrance/access for strollers
- Changing tables
- Stroller storage
- High chairs
- T accessible
- T accessible by 2 lines: The Orange Line’s Back Bay stop is a 10 minute walk; the Silver Line’s SL4 bus drops you 2 blocks away at the Union Park stop.
- Free parking is available in the adjacent parking lot. The entrance a few doors down from 500 Harrison, on your right is driving towards E. Berkeley St. (look for the sign). Just tell the attendant that you’re there for Cinquecento and they’ll direct you to an open spot.