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Favorite Mafia Hangout

Terry Jones Sep 19, 2004 05:32 PM

I am searching for a regular wiseguy joint with good food. Please advise..........and take the cannoli!

  1. t
    TomChowhound Aug 31, 2010 07:27 AM

    I've heard Embers Steakhouse (3rd Ave around 93rd St, Bay Ridge) mentioned as such a place on this board. The last time I went there was probably 15 years ago with my father. There was a group of a half dozen men in suits at a table adjoining ours and my father mentioned one of them had just been made.

    I didn't know how he knew that as I didn't notice anything in particular about them; but my father did know some of those of those guys peripherally through some business connections. There was also a bar/nightclub that reopened on the west side of 4th Ave in the 90s in Bay Ridge that was noted as a wiseguy hangout. The name escapes me at the moment.

    The steak at Embers was very good, and at a much more reaonable price than those of the Peter Luger type place. The mashed potato pie side is very nice too. It came with a sprinkling of just a few peas, so if you want a vegtable, you'd have to order it separately I guess.

    1. v
      venezuelan Apr 25, 2010 04:53 PM

      Don't know if there's any truth to it but I've heard that Parkside Restaurant in Corona is/was a well known spot.
      Also about 2 summers ago mass indictments took place and I believe they picked one guy up at Marco Polo on Court street.

      1 Reply
      1. re: venezuelan
        Bob Martinez Apr 25, 2010 06:16 PM

        "Don't know if there's any truth to it but I've heard that Parkside Restaurant in Corona is/was a well known spot."



        Parkside Restaurant
        355 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

      2. bigmackdaddy Apr 22, 2010 06:26 PM

        I believe Monte's is closed. I wasn't a fan of their food. I do however like Tommaso on 86th Street between 14th & 15th Aves in Brooklyn. It was one of Paul Castellano's favorite places.

        1464 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11228

        1 Reply
        1. re: bigmackdaddy
          Bob Martinez Apr 23, 2010 11:16 AM

          Right. Monte's has actually been closed for 2 years. The restaurant itself is still there - no one has taken over the space. Who knows? It might come back to life.

        2. h
          hanover Sep 21, 2004 09:26 PM

          Sadly, CasaBlanca in Maspeth, which was owned by indicted gang-leader Joseph Massino, closed.


          Like most Bonanno wiseguys, Joe D’Amico often dined at Massino’s Maspeth eatery, CasaBlanca. It was usually a win win situation: The boss was happy and D’Amico left satisfied.

          One Sunday night, however, a major crisis developed when D’Amico ordered a veal chop and Massino’s brother John, who worked at the restaurant, brought him a steak instead. Sources say D’Amico promptly stabbed the steak, left the knife there, and placed a napkin over it."

          1 Reply
          1. re: hanover
            TomChowhound Aug 31, 2010 07:37 AM

            I think a lot of those guys are hot heads with big egos, and not much patience.

          2. b
            bobjbkln Sep 20, 2004 11:13 PM

            There are still some interesting places in the Bronx. I believe that one of the owners of Pasquale's Rigoletto was indicted (and maybe convicted, I lost track) on racketeering charges just a few years ago. And then there is always Joe and Joe's (pronounced JoJo's) on Bruckner Blvd. I ate there on a Sunday about 15 years ago. As we were finishing our dinner, a waiter came up to us (and everyone else) and informed us that our dinner was on the house, but that we would have to leave immediately as they need the place for a "special" party. I would hazard that it is not that different today.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bobjbkln
              David Sep 23, 2004 10:09 AM

              Joe and Joes closed about two months ago

              1. re: David
                bobjbkln Sep 23, 2004 11:19 AM

                Wow, sorry to hear that. It cetainly was a Bronx fixture.

            2. b
              bothrops_asper Sep 20, 2004 11:10 PM


              lasagna sandwiches. and they take care of your parking tickets too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bothrops_asper
                shrimpbird Sep 21, 2004 11:45 AM

                Wait - lasagna sandwiches??? I'm thrilled and horified equally...can you describe this little item??

              2. t
                thesteiner Sep 20, 2004 02:43 PM

                I'm surprised that noone mentioned Don Pepe's on Lefferts Blvd, by Kennedy Airport. You instantly think you walked onto the set of Goodfellas. In actuality, the book Wiseguy, from which the movie was based, had a funny scene in Don Pepe's, involving the Boss, played by Paul Sorvino. In regards to the food, family style portions read off a big blackboard. Wine, either red or white served in no-label bottles. All in all, you'll have a good time, just people watching.

                1. b
                  bob oppedisano Sep 20, 2004 12:05 PM

                  Having grown up 3 blocks from Two Toms in the 50s/60s, when wiseguys did in fact hang around between numbers runs, you're more lilkely to find such folks in Staten Island, Bergen County, or along the North Shore of Long Island these days: Il Mulino rather than Ferdinando's Focacceria. Today, of course, in nabes like Carroll Gardens or the low fringe of the Slope, diners are more soul-patched art students than gel coiffed gingerilla guys.

                  Not to make too much of it, though, but it's a little annoying to have posters automatically conflate old time Italian-American life with the Mafia, or to assume the nonnas at Gargiulio's must be crime mamas. Nuff said.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bob oppedisano
                    Scott Berkman Sep 20, 2004 12:28 PM

                    It's hardly an assumtion. It's a perception. The perception of that milleu. Obviously no one is going to these places actually expecting to see real mafiosi, should they exist, wandering in and out. But it is a remarkable place that presents that perception, as closely as a movie set. That alone is worth the price of a meal. And having spent my whole life in Brooklyn, and having had hundreds of meals at Gargiulo's, please take my word when I tell you that some of them really are.

                    1. re: Scott Berkman
                      bob oppedisano Sep 20, 2004 01:37 PM

                      Not one doubts that some are, and always have been: my family went to Gargiulo's and Monte's for generations, and, yes, I can spot those guys, too.
                      What rubs me the wrong way is the conclusion that all women who look like Livia must have sons like Livia; or that the only perceptual frame of reference for men in dark suits in a neighborhood Italian restaurant is that of the capo and his soldiers. Those men could have included my Sicilian uncle, a tool and die maker, or my Calabrese father, who worked for the Air Force, sitting down in the back of Gargiulo's, under the fig tree (long gone), eating linguini and clams.
                      If one changes the frame, one changes the picture.

                  2. d
                    David Sep 20, 2004 11:33 AM


                    No such thing!

                    1. s
                      Scott Berkman Sep 20, 2004 11:17 AM

                      My favorite is always Garguilo's. The scene is full of Soprano's-esque moments. Extended Italian familys celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. Elderly Livia types having Sunday dinner with their parish priest after mass. Carmela and the girls at lunch after the salon. And best of all, that group of men in suits slipping into the private catering room behind the main dining room for an extended late weekday lunch meeting. Although there has been much disagreement over the food, I love it. Ask for their home made bread. Try the grilled shrimp over arugala - it's not on the menu. Get the zabaglione for dessert - they serve it warm. Good luck with the tombola!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Scott Berkman
                        wino&iknow Sep 20, 2004 12:04 PM

                        Try Joe's of Ave. U also for the "soldier types" they can be more entertaining than the capos. Joe's is a cafeteria-style restaurant with genuine home-made italian favorites and an armada of young russian waitresses with no manners at all. I love it!

                        Then go to Cafe Milleluci on 18th Ave for an espresso and you have seen it all!

                      2. m
                        Midwood Mike Sep 20, 2004 01:34 AM

                        My memory is failing me, but maybe someone else can finish this thought: On 3rd Av in Brooklyn, near Union St (close to the Brooklyn Casket Company), there's at least one place (on a corner) that's strictly old-time. There may also be a second red sauce joint on one of the streets off third (maybe on Carroll St). This (these) place(s) go back to the days when Carroll Gardens was still called South Brooklyn.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Midwood Mike
                          ChrisZ Sep 20, 2004 08:31 AM

                          Are you speaking of Monte's. Good red sauce place. City search has them listed at 451 Carrol Street, I believe the cross street is 3rd

                          1. re: ChrisZ
                            Bob Martinez Sep 20, 2004 09:30 AM

                            He's talking about Two Toms.

                            1. re: Bob Martinez
                              caledonia Sep 21, 2004 11:09 AM

                              he also mentioned the place on carrol near 3rd, which is monte's. long wait for food but the atmosphere is totally worth it.

                              1. re: caledonia
                                TomS Sep 21, 2004 11:51 AM

                                Areo's on 85th & 3rd in Bay Ridge...Guys with lots of gold, diamonds and tans...Girls with lots of the aforementioned, plus silicone...

                                1. re: TomS
                                  Cathy Elton Sep 23, 2004 01:54 PM

                                  Yes, Areo - plus the food is really great there.

                          2. re: Midwood Mike
                            shrimpbird Sep 20, 2004 11:20 AM

                            Yep, he's talking about Two Toms. I live across the street, and we witness some pretty interesting stuff out the window. Actually, a lot of cops and firemen hang out there. From what I hear, the chops and steaks are fantastic (and pricey, tho the place looks like a dump) but the red sauce stuff is wretched. Never been myself.

                            1. re: shrimpbird
                              KRS Sep 21, 2004 10:56 AM

                              Two Toms is dreadful. Their "famous" pork shops are 1-1/2 lb. each, and impossible to cut even with a serrated knife. Went there once, and never again.

                              Marco Polo on Court Street is full of guys arriving in limos -- a sort of Brooklyn F.illi Ponte. I've never been there, but have heard that the food is inferior.

                              Your best bet is Embers, 9519 3rd Avenue near the foot of the Verrazano Bridge. Full of frumpy "outer boros" people with a nice sprinkling of brassy blonds and guys with heavy tans, heavy gold jewelry and half-unbuttoned shirts showing chest hair.

                              The wine is to die from, not to die for, but they serve strong drinks and a really, really good 60 oz. porterhouse for "two" (enough for four). The potato pie is excellent, with plenty of prosciutto. The other red meat courses are also good, but everything else is dull. Still, more than worth it for that porterhouse.

                            2. re: Midwood Mike
                              jimmyc185 Apr 21, 2010 09:23 AM

                              The place is Two Toms on 3rd ave across between president and carroll

                              Two Toms
                              255 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                            3. h
                              hungrygrrl Sep 19, 2004 06:18 PM

                              Dazies on Queens Blvd in Sunnyside.

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