You have a new Customer.
I read the review of Filho's in the Sunday Boston Globe one week ago. I went to Filho's last Saturday and ordered the soup [sausage] and Lobster Ravioli w/ crab stuffing. Both items were excellent. I have eaten at many fine restaurants over the last 30 years, most times the meals are great, however reality sets in when the bill arrives. The quality of the meal and the reasonable prices at Filho's impressed me. Additionally, the place was clean and bright, and the Employees understand the program. You have a new Customer. Congratulations,
"... Something 'delicious' in an otherwise hectic day."
Onorina Maloney Town Clerk, Groton
Dear Ozzie, Rachel and Staff: Thank you so much for providing the Election Workers with the delicious dinners during the Presidential Primary. You were so kind to take the orders from both locations and arranging delivery. Jenny Cunningham was so sweet dropping off 18 dinners at the High School on Chicopee Row! Everyone was thrilled! We are indeed fortunate to have such a fine restaurant in Groton operated by such friendly and courteous people. Again thank you for including something 'delicious' in an otherwise hectic day. Grazie Mille!
Boston Globe Review
235 Main St., Groton
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11a.m.-8p.m., Friday and Saturday 11a.m.-9p.m., Sunday 4-8p.m. Closed Monday.
Major credit cards accepted
Fully handicapped accessible
On a weekend night, this small trattoria, named after chef-owner Oswaldo Filho, is bustling with customers eager to sample fresh Mediterranean cuisine.
The concept is simple at Filho’s Cucina – order your meal from the counter in front of the open kitchen and choose a seat a t one of the brightly painted tables, or take the food to go. If you want wine or beer with your meal, you may bring your own or buy it from the liquor store next door.
The dining room is painted in sunny maize. The tables are painted like bold Italian ceramics, and the food is served on brightly colored, oversized plates.
Filho has kept the basic menu – separated into soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees – constant since the trattoria opened in April 2002. He stretches his culinary creativity with daily specials that may include filet mignon, stuffed sirloin, and a seafood dish.
We tried the misto griglia ($8.95), a combination of grilled sweet Italian sausages, grilled chicken breast, artichokes, tomatoes, and provolone over mixed greens and washed in a balsamic vinaigrette. The smoky, grilled flavors of the meats added an unexpected earthy element to the hearty salad, which worked as an appetizer to share and could easily be a meal for one.
The ravioli di aragosta ($10.95) are homemade ravioli filled with lobster and crabmeat, served with a sherry cream sauce and topped with sautéed shrimp, fresh basil, and grape tomatoes. This dish is rich and filling. On other visits, we have tried the ravioli di funghi ($8.95), a treat for mushroom lovers, and the ravioli di formaggio ($7.95), topped simply with the house marinara sauce.
The marinara sauce is out of this world. Filho has been working with the same recipe, he says, for more than 20 years. He makes sauce three or four times a day, and its aroma greets customers coming and going.
We also tried veal marsala ($11.95) and pollo piccata ($10.95). The veal was tender and cooked perfectly and the marsala sauce tasted traditional; the chicken was moist and tender and the sauce had just the right amount of lemon tang to it. Both entrees were served with a side of pasta and marinara.
Other menu items include a prosciutto di parma sandwich ($7.50), made of thinly slice prosciutto, roasted red peppers, mixed field of greens, tomatoes, and fresh buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and served on a baguette; and a marinated tuna sandwich ($6.50), marinated in olive oil with capers, olives, tomatoes, garlic, and onions served with mixed greens on grilled focaccia. Linguine alla nonna ($7.95) is topped with artichoke hearts sautéed in garlic and butter with capers, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil, finished in a white wine and lemon sauce.
Two types of lasagna ($9.95) and tortellini ($8.95), pollo parmesan ($10.95), and veal parmesan ($11.95) round out the menu. Unfortunately, there is no children’s menu and no half-orders for smaller appetites.
When you order your dinner at the counter; check out the dessert case. On the night we visited, tiramisu and an assortment of cannoli were offered.
One drawback of Filho’s is that because the dining room is small, getting a table can be tough on a busy night. Parking is similarly chancy. You may be forced to prowl around for a spot on the street – or you may get lucky.
Boston Globe Northwest Dining out section
Worcester Telegram and Gazette Review
Filho’s Cucina in Groton rates a ‘Bravo!’
Article published Nov 23, 2003
By Bill Cory
TELEGRAM & GAZETTE REVIEWER
235 Main Street
Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays, 11a.m. to 8p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11a.m. to 9p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Parking in a small lot and in the street. Good access for the handicapped.
Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard and American Express
Phone: (978) 448-5664
Food: Imaginative Italian
Prices: Low to moderate; entrees $7.95 to $11.95
Pluses: Skilled chef-owners using high-quality ingredients offer superior cuisine at modest prices; dine in or take home
At first glance, it looks like a small take-out restaurant doing a brisk business. But inside Filho’s Cucina are tables for 20 or more and direct access to the Groton Market and its beer and wine inventory next door. Filho’s has a BYOB permit. Wine with your meal is convenient, whether you dine in or take your dinner home.
If too many hungry customers aren’t blocking your view, the first thing you’ll see upon entering is the kitchen, straight ahead and behind the attractive display case of salads and specialties. Limited dining space is off to the left, out of the fray. The interior and even the high ceiling are done in a peachy yellow accented with hand-painted landscapes, archways, bread shelves and grapevines. It’s a trendy, warm and attractive setting.
The appetizers are soups and salads, priced from $3.95 for minestrone or the soup of the day to $8.95 for an antipasto or a salad with chicken, artichokes and sweet sausage. In between are three more salads: field greens with roasted peppers and goat cheese, Caesar and Buffala mozzarella and tomato with basil. We started our $3.65 large bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water and tried to choose.
My guest and I skipped the soup and went for the salads.
The house field greens with romaine, $5.95, are a wonderfully fresh mix, with Gorgonzola cheese and pour-you-own olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We could’ve stopped there and been quite happy, but the salad also offers tomatoes, large mushroom slices, crisped prosciutto bits and homemade croutons. Superb, very bright and fresh, and plenty for two. That would be two normal souls.
Happily, we also tried the antipasto, $8.95, a dazzling display of meats, cheese and salads served on the same fine field greens. We delighted in an abundance of prosciutto, hot ham, sopressata, genoa salami, a wonderful white-and-red bean salad, assorted olives and peppers, and another salad of superior tuna. We haven’t yet visited Italy, but this antipasto is one of the best we’ve tasted since the original Mama Leone’s in New York in the 1950s. The accompanying freshly baked baguette slices were perfectly underbaked, doughy and delicious.
Six entrees are priced at only $7.95 each: penne with broccoli or with spinach; linguini with basil, parsley and marinara, or with artichoke hearts, garlic butter, mushrooms and fresh basil; pasta with any of five sauces; or four-cheese ravioli with marinara. For another dollar, choose sausage and fresh mushrooms in marinara or sautéed chicken with mushrooms and broccolini, each served on a gemeli pasta. Also for $8.95, there’s four-cheese tortellini Alfredo with broccoli and prosciutto, wild mushroom ravioli in cream sauce with mushrooms, basil and roasted peppers, or tortellini with tomatoes and fresh basil in a tomato cream sauce. Two lasagna variations are $9.95 each. Lobster and crabmeat ravioli sautéed in basil, tomatoes and shrimp, is $10.95; chicken piccata, marsala or parmesan is the same price. The costliest entrees are $11.95: four different veal preparations and three of shrimp.
Gamberi Carcioffe – eight medium-sized, plump and perfect shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with basil, capers and artichoke hearts – was a good choice. A sauce of lemon and white wine was subtle, and the combination was delicious.
Much as we enjoyed marsala wine sauce, we usually find it lacking: too much wine, not enough, too little of the alcohol cooked off, overflavoring. There are too may ways to wreck marsala. Our order of chicken marsala was a challenge that Filho’s took in stride. Tender chicken breast sautéed in butter with fresh mushrooms, prosciutto bits and onions and a perfectly balanced marsala sauce, was as good as any we can recall. On the side came a bowl of penne pasta with feisty marinara. Hot stuff, which had us wondering if we’d gotten Fra Diavolo by accident.
The homemade dessert we shared was a cannoli, $2.95. Consistent with the rest of our meal, it was perfection itself. A delicate shell with a simply perfect ricotta filling. My guest, as self-confessed cannoli addict, agreed.
Filho’s Cucina is a refreshing place, attractive and very busy, offering remarkable Italian cooking at very low prices. Our extraordinary dinner for two, with one dessert, cost $41 plus beverages, tax and gratuity.
If you’re in the neighborhood and hungry, Filho’s is the place to stop and dine. You’ll find yourself planning future trips, passing near enough to Filho’s to make another visit the reasonable thing to do.
Worcester Telegram and Gazette
Catering of Liz and Mike's Wedding
Ellen S. Harde
Ozzie, Rachel and Susan;
Every single thing you served at Liz and Mike's wedding last saturday night was perfect. The chicken was scrumptious, and I could live on several weeks on the salmon and swordfish kabobs. Thanks for making that part of the celebration wonderful.
Very Best, Ellen.
Bob and Lee Carnevale
Mother and father 100% Italian and I have never had better Italian food than at your restaurant! Everyone we have taken there has simply loved it. We will make every Tuesday night our night to eat at the Cucina.
Bob and Lee Carnevale.
I was in town for biz and ate at your restaurant on two occasions. Your service was excellent and Sue was exceptional. She took great care of us and made us feel welcomed. I can assure you we will be talking about the food and hospitality for a long time. I'm looking forward to coming back and visiting. I even asked that we will order some food and you send it to Minnesota. Thank you Sue. Your customer- Jerry
According to Osvaldo Filho, co-owner of Filho’s Cucina with his wife, Rachel, there are two main reason why their restaurant is doing so well during the economic recession. One is that you simply can’t get Italian food at such cost and quality elsewhere in the area. The other is the restaurant’s B.Y.O.B. policy. The food is excellent and the alcohol policy a hidden blessing. While it makes meals strikingly casual, it also gives you access to the wine and craft beer selection at the Groton Market next door. The Groton Market has the largest supply of craft beers I have found outside of Boston, which makes avoiding the 400% mark-up many restaurants charge for beverages all the more appetizing.
Once seated, you are expected to get your own napkins, silverware, and bottle opener, if necessary. Filho's Cucina is loud and slightly chaotic, and, from what I'm told, nearly always crowded. Because of the volume, superficially you would think it would be a terrible place for a date, but Filho’s Cucina has spirit and character in ways that cozier places do not.
My dining companion and I sat kitty corner to each other at one of the densely packed tables. Again, not so romantic. But the food was excellent and we were as happy as could be, even if I developed a slight crick in my neck from trying to manage conversation and eating at the same time. While waiting for the food, I picked up a bottle of Chianti and one of my favorite German doppelbocks, a Weihenstephaner Korbinian, for just under twelve dollars.
We ordered the antipasto (9.95) first. It was zestfully dressed with a mix of cheeses, spring lettuce, beans, tuna, and cured meats. I wasn't tempted to reach for the pepper -- the dish was well seasoned and didn't require tampering.
I ordered the Linguine Putanesca (11.95) and my companion the Gemeli con Pollo (11.95). My pasta was fresh and the sauce was bolder than expected - rich in capers and chilis. I had never tried a gemelli dish before, and that was excellent -- the pasta was so dense and flavorful it tasted meatlike.
Even though we were left to do most of the work for ourselves, the staff were attentive and checked to see if we needed anything at appropriate times.
The food was served in an open kitchen, and I sensed a well-deserved, genuine pride on the part of the cooks. The staff sent us off with a sense of good cheer.
The total, including the wine, came to just over forty-five dollars. While this might seem to push the limits of the Cheap Eats category, I don’t know of any other place in the region where you can buy a bottle of wine, a bottle of top-craft beer, an appetizer, and two entrees for under half a yard. We didn’t have to think about dessert, and had enough leftovers for a second meal.
The Filho’s keep limited hours to support a strong family life outside of work, so make sure to check their website for hours.
Cheap Eats: Filho's Cucina and Groton Market