Great Vodka Sauce???
I've been jonesing for a great vodka sauce for years. 10-12 years ago, the Cornelia Street Cafe had this amazing dish, tagliarini in a vodka sauce. I hate people who order the same dish over and over in a restaurant. But for 2-3 years, I couldn't bring myself to order anything else there because I loved it so much. Then, of course, CSC changed chefs and changed menus and the vodka sauce came off. Sigh.
For a few years I tried vodka sauce (usually served as penne vodka) at restaurant after restaurant and was bitterly disappointed again and again. It was too creamy, rather than tomatoey; or too spicy, or not spicy enough, or otherwise bland. I simply gave up, refusing for the past few years to even try any longer.
But a friend had me over for dinner and served this, reawakening my interest. So this is the crowd to ask: where can I find fabulous vodka sauce in NYC???
I haven't been there in a couple of years, but Pasta del Giorno on Austin St. in Forest Hills used to have (and I hope still has) wonderful Penne ala Vodka. Like you, I would go there intending to try something new, but could never bring myself to pass up that vodka sauce. I don't get to that neighborhood as much anymore, and have been continually disappointed when trying vodka sauce other places. If you go, let me know what you think.
I really dig the fusilli alla vodka at Three of Cups down in the east village. I don't even know what makes it so special, but i can't get past it.
Also, Angels on 62nd and 1st gives theirs a cool spin... it's more oil than cream based, served with whole chunks of tomatoes and prosciutto. And they serve you enough to feed three!