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Sep 19, 2004 05:32 PM

Favorite Mafia Hangout

  • t

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

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  1. Dazies on Queens Blvd in Sunnyside.

    1. 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

        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

          He's talking about Two Toms.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            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

              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

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

        2. re: Midwood Mike

          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

            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

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

            Two Toms
            255 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          3. s
            Scott Berkman

            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

              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. Mafia???

              No such thing!

              1. b
                bob oppedisano

                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

                  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

                    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.