Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Jan 13, 2005 08:01 PM

Armondo's in Jackson Heights

  • m

I passed by this place the other looks like it might be good. Has anybody ever eaten there?

Mr. Cutlets

74-27 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Prithee kind sir, upon what byway doth this waystation lie? - Ferdinand Canchito

    4 Replies
    1. re: Canchito

      on corner of 75 st and 37 av

      1. re: fedex guy
        david sprague

        it's actually very good -- as long as you steer completely clear of anything involving red sauce. they do a particularly good job with fish and their clam sauces (as well as the clam appetizers) are nice. pay attention to the specials, too; they're usually pretty interesting (had a bufala mozz/asparagus dish a couple weeks back that was awesome). small, but interesting wine list, with a lot of things from emilia-romagna, where the owner is from.

        1. re: david sprague

          I haven't been there in over a year, but I second the opinion on the clams--usually pretty yummy. They also used to do a grilled squid appetizer as a special sometimes and it was delicious. The quality of the food is very inconsistent though, red sauce is not as good as it should be, and the prices are high for a nabe place. I will say the service was always excellent.

          1. re: david sprague

            Since you're recommending, I'll try it. I live just two blocks from Armondo's but have avoided it based on a negative comment made by a neighbor. The do not order red sauce also applies to Luigi's which is vile. Thanks for posting.

      2. Can't say I reccomend this place. Prices are way too high, their brunch is boring (terrible omelet!) and I've never eaten anything there that I can't make better myself. Their pasta disshes are very disapointing. Luigi's is fine, but what with the mid 20's dishes in an Italian restauraunt that is simply not that great?

        1. THEIR broiled lamb chop, numero uno!

          1. Stay away from Armondo's if you want or know good Italian food. I grew up near Arthur Avenue and 187th Street in the Bronx, which is a mecca for real Italian cuisine. So when I was taken to Armondo's recently, I found the food there to be totally pedestrian. It's basically one step up from Chef Boyardee in a can. Jackson Heights has so many other wonderful eateries (Indian, Colombian, Peruvian, Thai...) that it's a pure waste of time and money to go to Armondo's. The restaurant basically caters to a tired white crowd in an otherwise ethnically rich neighborhood, and the people who go there have no spirit of adventure when it comes to eating. For shame!

            24 Replies
            1. re: wdlr

              I went twice, once for lunch and again for dinner and will never return. The prices are very high considering the quality. The regulars won't travel to the much better Italian places in Astoria. I don't know of any Italians who eat at this place. It's the only Italian in JH's. I order (take out) Chicken Marsala from Ricky's across the Street. It's quite good so is the Picatta and Francese. All three dishes $9.95 and for a very large portion with one side.

              1. re: Mike V

                Actually there's another Italian place on Northern between 73rd and 74th -- I've never been's there (and looks like it's been there since time began).

                1. re: jennsch

                  The place on Northern is actually Istrian, though they do feign Italian-ness.

                  Agreed Armondo's is overpriced and very underwhelming.

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    Is the place on Northern any good?

                    1. re: jennsch

                      I went once years ago and it seemed sort of musty. Not bad, just sort of a place-holder. However I've since heard some mildly good things, so maybe I ordered wrong. I ought to go back. Best Istrian in NYC right now is Fianona's 1635 Hillside Ave in New Hyde Park, fwiw.

                      1. re: Jim Leff

                        Trieste is definitely on the musty side, but that's never been an impediment to the chow for me. always seen it as one of those places that proves the adage about judging a book by its cover. good pastas and seafoods, usually a surprise or two lurking among the specials...

                        1. re: david sprague

                          Been to Trieste a couple of times. Nothing special but found it a cut above Armando's, Cavalier or Sir Vino's when it came to the old style Italian food--piccata/francese and other chicken/veal dishes of that ilk. Adequate wine list. Has nudged out Peter's on the non-Latin/ASEAN (horrifyingly limited) rotation, mostly because of multiple service problems on a couple of occasions at Peter's.

                          1. re: kodiak

                            Armondo's is definitely over-rated. Jackson Heights could use a good Italian restaurant. My wife and I went there once and found the food to be on par with Olive Garden. Not very tasty at all. I spent a while studying in Northern Italy where the food is amazing, fresh and cheap, so maybe I'm picky. I didn't find the vegetable selection to be authentic at all and the sauces were just average. Nothing tasted fresh. I wouldn't recommend it at all.

                            1. re: spanishfish

                              Armondo's is a very good traditional Italian-American-style restaurant; it should not be judged by inappropriate criteria. One of its most appealing aspects is its quiet and civilized dining atmosphere, which is becoming increasingly hard to find.

                              1. re: hortusinurbe

                                I'd say its quietness is its only appealing aspect.


                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                  I can't speak for others, but Armondo's, as one of those admirable bastions that constitute the heart and soul of historic Jackson Heights, deserves and receives my enthusiastic and loyal patronage.

                                  1. re: hortusinurbe

                                    Agreed on the historic thing, too. Y'know, I don't think we disagree at all on this place. But I don't think the food's delicious. And in my skewed sensibility, that's just fatal! :)

                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                      But I have had excellent meals there. And from my perspective, that fact -- in addition to its atmosphere and service, which are at least as important to a dining experience as the food cooked and served -- is more than enough reason to praise and support it.

                    2. re: Jim Leff

                      Since the city for which this restaurant is named - Trieste - is itself on Italian soil, this distinction seems a bit captious; perhaps "Northern Italian" would suffice?

                      1. re: hortusinurbe

                        I'm just curious, for those of you who think this is a good restaurant, exactly why do you think this? On my numerous trips to Italy, I was never served broccoli and carrots as my vegetable with my dish (but at Armondo's I was). The sauces were "so so". In general it reminds me of the suburban Italian restaurants I used to go to in the Midwest. What exactly is "Italian American" about it; that they serve broccoli and carrots? I've traveled extensively in the Aemilia Romagna region, and this restaurant is not a prime example of Aemilia Romagna cuisine. For good examples of that, go to Via Emilia in the Flatiron District, not great, but better than Armondo's.

                        1. re: spanishfish

                          A restaurant needn't be authentic to be worthy. Deliciousness is deliciousness, period.

                          But Armondo's, in my opinion, is neither authentic nor delicious. It is, however, quiet and relaxing (both unusual qualities for the nabe), and a vestige of times past in Jackson Heights.

                          1. re: spanishfish

                            Perhaps your comment that "it reminds me of the suburban Italian restaurants I used to go to in the Midwest" is most telling. It should! Restaurants such as Armondo's are most appropriately, fairly and wisely judged within the context of traditional Italian-American cuisine as it developed in this country over the past century -- a cuisine that has its own distinctive traditions and characteristics, including textures, flavors, sauces and accompaniments -- not by the false and unreasonable criterion of adherence to some current Italian standard. This tendency could be compared, in cinematic terms, to the pitfall of judging movies of the 1930s or '40s outside their historical-cultural framework, as if they had been made within our own sociopolitical context. Personally, I like both Armondo's and Park Side (in Corona) as typical examples of their genre.

                            1. re: hortusinurbe

                              I suppose we should agree to disagree.

                              1. re: spanishfish

                                Here, as in every field of criticism, there is a universal principle to be followed: context is everything.

                                1. re: hortusinurbe

                                  Agreed. But the context of this particular site is an unusual and specific one: screw other does it TASTE?

                                  It might make your opinions clearer if you'd be careful to note your context when praising a place for reasons other than pure deliciousness (perhaps that would have clarified your recent raves about Starbucks and Jahn's?).

                                  1. re: Jim Leff

                                    It seems that I mistakenly understood the context of the discussion in this forum -- as opposed to the general principle of context, which applies to criticism in any field -- to be restaurant criticism, in which many factors besides the taste of the food served by an establishment are equally important subjects for consideration. And I'm sorry if I somehow made you angry!

                                    In my defense, however, I must add that in my postings about Jahn's, I did make very clear that the things I like about it are its atmosphere and the fact that it belongs to "old" Jackson Heights.

                                    1. re: hortusinurbe

                                      Not angry at all! Nor do you need to defend yourself. I'm just trying to shed light on this impasse.

                              2. re: hortusinurbe

                                What's especially good at Armondo's? Any standout specialties? Anything best avoided?

                                1. re: squid kun

                                  i've been eating at armondo's since moving into jackson heights about 11 years ago, and i've seen it go through ups and downs. my former girlfriend and i went in for the first time because we wanted to go somewhere 'nice' without making much effort -- and since we lived on 75th street at the time, it couldn't have been more convenient. for the first few years, we were regulars, but around the time they redecorated, they changed focus a little, and gussy up the menu with things that were beyond the chef's reach.

                                  that said, i've found them to be on their game again in the last few months. i'd steer well clear of anything involving red sauce, but recommend most of the seafood preparations. the specials are usually reliable as well -- and jerry, the host, is gracious and welcoming as can be.

                  2. While not exactly in Jackson Heights, Sapori D'ischia has reasonably good if not authentic Italian food.

                    5515 37th Ave
                    Woodside, NY 11377

                    If Armdondo's serves food that is "Italian-American" then it shouldn't bill itself as an Italian restaurant but rather as Italian influenced so as not to confuse people looking for authentic Italian in preparation and otherwise. Regarding the "atmosphere" whilst dining, personally I couldn't give a hoot if I had to wipe my hands on my slacks as long as the food is good, consistently, and I'm not ripped off. But paying $23 for salmon?? Come on.

                    Sapori d'Ischia
                    55-15 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11377