Overview: A longstanding establishment in Roslindale’s restaurant scene, Delfino always seems to be bustling. This South Street staple has become a local favorite and an integral part of the village. It offers authentic cuisine, affordable prices, a cozy atmosphere and friendly service, making its neighborhood success unsurprising.
Drinks: A wine list is to be expected at an Italian restaurant and Delfino provides several options. White, red, blush and dessert wines are offered by the glass ($5.25-$10), some of them by the bottle ($19-$75) and half-bottle ($14-$19). Beer (all selections, $4.95), soft drinks and a fully stocked bar of hard liquor and liqueurs are also available.
Antipasti: Delfino offers many standard Italian dishes and serves them up with fresh ingredients and some house made sauces, creams, and concoctions. The fried calamari is served with mixed greens and champagne vinaigrette ($11.95). The caprese is made with hand crafted creamy mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes, and imported prosciutto di Parma ($12.95). A house salad ($5.95) and Caesar salad ($7.95) provide lighter fare for starters.
Entrées: The fresh fish of the day was cod, served with asparagus and fingerling potatoes ($24.95). The menu is slightly different from the one offered on Delfino’s website, but the dishes currently include sirloin au poivre (14 oz. peppercorn crusted steak topped with Roquefort butter, $26.95) and both veal and chicken parmigiana (breaded, topped with mozzarella and marinara, and served with pasta, $18.95/$16.95).
Pasta: What is an Italian restaurant without an extensive list of pasta options? Delfino has an entire menu page dedicated to its pasta dishes. The evening’s special was pumpkin ravioli, (7 pieces drenched in a creamy butter sauce, $18.95) in honor of autumn. The regular menu items include pappardelle (ribbon noodles tossed with shrimp and arugula in pink sauce, $17.95), shrimp and chicken ziti (served with house made pesto, $16.95), and rigatoni boscaiola (Italian sausage, prosciutto, and fresh peas in tomato sauce, $15.95).
Desserts: A few items make the dessert menu, which isn’t a menu so much as a mental list memorized by the waitstaff. Our waitress displayed her impressive memory and gregarious nature while verbally providing dessert options, which included crème brûlée, chocolate bread pudding, and house made tiramisu ($7). Cappuccino, espresso, dessert wines, digestifs and sweet cocktails are available to enjoy with or instead of a solid dessert.
Atmosphere: An air of authenticity and comfort fill the interior of Delfino. The dim lighting makes for a low-key or romantic outing, while the brightly painted frescoes adorning the walls provide boots of color and energy. The space is cozy yet not uncomfortably crowded, allowing for a dining experience that is at once communal and semi-private.
Service: Upbeat, friendly and competent, the staff enhance the overall dining experience. The host greeted us with a genuine, megawatt smile and disarming demeanor. As the face of the venue, he made a pleasant first impression. The waitress was down-to-earth and witty while maintaining a professional aura. Requests are readily met with a smile. It’s all in the details.
754 South Street, Roslindale
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m.; Sunday, 4-9 p.m.
Owner: Stephen Judge
Chef: JoAnne LeBlanc