When you think Italian food in Boston, you immediately think of the North End. It's full of culture, vibrant people, and great food, especially at Carmelina's. If you're not up for the trek to the North End from Boston University, Carlos Cucina Italiana in Allston is just as good.

It may not be in the city's Italian mecca, but it's serving up all the authentic flavors found at your favorite North End joints. 

bread, chocolate, milk, dairy product, sweet, cream
Katie Zizmor

One of the great things about an Italian restaurant in the free bread, but Carlos Cucina Italiana takes it up a notch with some incredible olive oil. 

When the olive oil is dope, you know it's the real deal.

It was so light and full of flavor, and the olives soaking made the flavor even more pronounced. 

We tried two of their pasta dishes that might just have made us never want to leave our Boston University neighborhood again. 

Gnocchi alla Sorentina

chickpeas, sauce, meat, vegetable, gnocchi
Katie Zizmor

Calling myself a gnocchi enthusiast would be an understatement because I'm always on the search for a great plate of beautiful pasta dumplings. Carlos Cucina Italiana served up a hot plate of excellent gnocchi and I definitely recommend the trip just for these guys. 

These lovely pillows of potato were smothered in a hot tomato sauce, and my plate was clean shortly after I took my first bite. 

Pasta Patrizia

risotto, legume, rice, meat, parsley, mushroom, vegetable
Katie Zizmor

At Carlos Cucina Italiana, fresh fusilli pasta is a must try on the menu. It's mixed with a light white wine sauce, hearty mushrooms, thinly sliced carrots, and salty capers. 

Not only is the food classic Italian, it's reasonably priced. If you're looking for the classic North End style of cooking but not the excursion, make sure you head over to Carlos Cucina Italiana.