Open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. All major credit cards. Reservations. Prices: Pastas at dinner $6.25; other main courses $8 to $13. Main courses at lunch $3.50 to $6.
Old brick and heavy beams are apparently the fashion in Italian restaurants today, and Landini Bros. has carried out the mode beautifully, adding a slate floor and fireplace. Tables are well spaced, lighting is soft, and this is an Italian restaurant of romantic mein. It is a semi-Italian restaurant, if you want to be picky. While the chef and staff are Italian and the menu features veal and seafoods clearly Italian, there is no separate section for pasta; rather, linquine with clam sauce and fettucine Alfredo are hidden among the main courses. Asparagus parmigiana, alone among the appetizers, is Italian. Otherwise, one can have oysters raw or Rockefeller, clams raw or casino, or shrimp cocktail. Main courses range from steak and prime rib to poached squid, most of the preparations simple grills or buttery seafoods.
This is a homestyle restaurant, with waiters that are likely to befriend you, bone your fish and advise you how to reheat the leftovers they have insisted on wrapping. The chef bakes his own excellent Italian bread, dense and crusty. He boldly seasons with red and black pepper, profusely sprinkles olive oil and lemon, perfumes with oregano the hefty portions of meat and seafood. He issues the food hot, and the waiter serves it with dispatch, having already advised you what was freshest that day. If the noodles are too thick and the mussels dry, they are minor notes in a generally satisfying meal. Fresh fish of the day is a good choice, whether rockfish broiled with lemon and herbs or trout Livornaise in tomatoes and capers. Veeal dishes are heavier fare, likely to be less interesting. Although few dishes are outstanding, the food is zesty, and the $8 seafood dishes or the $5 lunch specials are good buys. The wine list, however, is small, and the choice of wines actually available even smaller.
Landini Bros. is a restaurant that grows on you, even during the meal. You may start with asparagus dried out in the reheating, but you are likely to have traded recipes with one of the owners by the end, after eating too much of his homemade bread, and still be justifiably tempted to end with a marvelous zuccotto, the frozen cream studded with nuts and chocolate chips and ladled with bittersweet chocolate sauce. Even the espresso is as good as you are likely to make at home.