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Jan 15, 2000 01:24 PM

Peter's Market

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We now breathe sleep and eat more easily. This area (Flushing Bayside) has suffered a dearth of great Italian products (sure, there are plenty of mozzarella makers -using bland American milk tough - who stock cans of tomatoes, imported major brand pastas, low-end olive oils). We were shocked by Peter's Market (33-35 Francis Lewis Blvd.), a former butcher who has added a large section of superior olive oils (dated with year and month!), rarely seen organic pastas, wonderfully homemade breads, wild boar sausage, good cheeses (a rarity for Queens). We will soon try their squid ink sauce for pasta (black thick liquid extracted from seppie - cuttlefish, with seasonings). Their meat counter has great osso buco cuts, homemade sausages (haven't tried them yet) and many prepared foods.We will ask them for guanciale (pig cheek) to make amatriciana sauce. Of the prepared foods the fried chicken cutlets had a wonderful herbal seasoning with sesamse seeds. They also make Sicilian arancini (rice balls) stuffed with ground meat, pine nuts, raisins and peas - merely good: would that a Roman version - suppli al telefono- appear, stuffed with mozzarella, which resemble phone cords.

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  1. Thanks for the post. Do you know Durso's on 182nd St. How do you think they compare?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jeff Heller

      Durso's is Italian-American; Peter's is Italian. Depends what mood you are in, but the former abounds and the latter is a precious rarity.

      1. re: Allan Evans

        Grazi Mille! I'd be interested to know your picks for best (authentic, regional) Italian restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens. It would seem, with all the Italian communities here, we would have the edge over Manhattan. Am I kidding myself?

        1. re: Jeff Heller

          So far, we have only found truth and wuthenticity at Manducatis in Long Island City, but this is sporadic. When their entrees use ingredients they have personally brought back from Italy or are based on vine-ripened tomatoes bottled by Chef Ida, you can experience a good Italian meal. Otherwise it is far better and easier to do it at home. Just obtain a superb olive oil, and shop for the best (organic if possible) ingredients. Too many factors prevent authenticity from appearing. One is that most Italian-Americans enjoy a cuisine that has developed from having lived here for generations and the availability over the decades of different ingredients. Occasionally you might find an exception, limited to one dish. Many friends have boasted how they could easily open a place that would put to shame the others, but doing so is fraught with expenses, leases, regulations, suppliers, and unfortunately, a public not willing to favor the more authentic dishes over those which characterize Italian food here. Who would eat a polenta made from wheat, flavored with grape-must syrup (frascarelli: a dish occuring in Apicius' book as Pulces)? My wife's family eat it as a treat in Le Marche. Much more can be said on this, but if yoyu locate something, please advise. One place which is reminiscent of Siciliy is Ferdinando's in Red Hook Brooklyn.