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Oct 16, 2005 04:21 PM

Best red sauce/ Italian

  • r

SF Food chow going to New York for Thanksgiving week.
Manhatton board send me over here. I grew up eating every Sunday at my grandmother's house (100% Italian - don't know how she she cooked for 20 every Sunday). Someone gave me Rao's cookbook and my grandmother's red sauce is very similar to their 'gravy.' I'm looking for the best down home, Italian restaurant in the area. Someone suggested Robertos in the Bronx. I image that's a ways from mid-manhatton. Any other suggestions? Is Roberto's the place, and is it worth the trip? Thanks in advance.

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  1. The QUEEN on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights is excellent.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Fleur

      I agree with Queen as #1 choice in Brooklyn. However, just to give you some more options:

      Piccolo Venezia (Queens): lots of write ups here; has the old school "look/feel" as well.

      Bamonte's(Williamsburg, Bklyn): I think it's way past it's prime, but it has its defenders. If nothing else, it sure looks the part.

      Manducatis (LIC, Queens): When Ida's in the kitchen, this is real good old style with a great wine list.

      All of the above require some travelling from Manhattan. Has anyone recommended that you try to score a reservation to Il Mulino in the West Village? It's THE best (if you have a deep wallet) and, if you're in a good hotel, they may be able to pull strings. Another decent choice (not up there with Il Mulino, but as good as any of the others except Queen, in my opinion) is Piccolo Angelo (Hudson & Jane Sts) in Manhattan. The owner is kinda "love him or hate him" but the food's really quite good.

      1. re: Steve R.

        Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll check 'em out.

        1. re: Roofus B

          Bear in mind that Queen in Brooklyn is right over the bridge from Manhattan--across the street from Borough Hall--its where all the pols and attorneys eat--so its convenient to Manhattan types.

          1. re: Bill

            Cool. So after taking the family to see the statue of liberty, we just cross the bridge and get some pasta!
            Thanks mucho. We've got Strip House on the first night. Keens for thanksgiving our last night. And, Queen in between! I can't find a web site for these guys? Do I need a reservation? I love this site!

            1. re: Roofus B

              The website leaves a bit to be desired, but:

        2. re: Steve R.

          yes pic ven is an old skool type of place , but it is not a red sauce type of place

        3. re: Fleur

          I also endorse the Queen. There are two sides to the menu - one is classic "red sauce", and the other a listing of generally more sophisticated specials. Both are great. Don't miss the homemade mozzarella.

          1. re: MichaelZ

            Sorry didn't mean to confuse you; Roberto's is not really a red sauce place, though it is very Italian family. Pasquale's Rigoletto on Arthur Ave. (Bronx Little Italy) is really classic red sauce place, loud, lots of food, and where only the waiter of a certain status (and age) are actually allowed to serve the food. Dominick's a few doors down is a bit quirky (no menus, no listed prices, etc. but very homey. Much more convenient to Manhattan in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, there are a number of places including the aforementioned Bamonte's, Cono's O'Pescatore and the CH favorite Frost. All have been around for many years and are classics. You can find the addresses on Citysearch.

            1. re: bobjbkln

              Damn, I keep forgetting about Frost. Thanks for the reminder -- I've never been there.

              1. re: bobjbkln

                If you go to Dominicks, yes, it's quirky--remember, trust the old school waiter who's allowed to serve you and listen to him. If you dont the food can be up and down. If you do you can feast

          2. Roberto's is very good, but it is not what would be considered a "red sauce" restaurant. The best of that type in the Belmont section of the Bronx - and very old school - is Dominick's, which features family-style service, no real menus (you confer with the waiter), and classic "NYC Southern Italian" dishes (a food category of its own).

            1. Yes, go to Queen. I doubt you will be sorry! Aside from the wonderful food, I really like Queen because the tables are not that close together, you have a good amount of space for NYC.

              1. I found the dinerish frost to be overrated, aim still waiting to try cono's. Also has anyone actually been to rao's and do they have an idea on how to get a table, is it really as hard as legend has it? The only person ive ever actually heard give a first hand account was Howard Stern.