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Feb 3, 1999 06:18 PM

ITALIAN: Is there anything like the real thing?

  • d

I have been here only 5 years but I still have not
found Italian (especially the pasta) in New York that
is close to the real thing in Italy.

I am not talking about all of the
"Italian/American" places littered around the

I have tried Felidia's and a number of places like

There are a lot of places that taste good but this is
not the same as the real thing.

I am imagining something like in the movie "The Big

Can it really exist? Any suggestions?

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  1. j
    John Knoesel

    Have you ever been to Manducati's in Long Island City?

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Knoesel
      stephen kaye

      I eat at manducatti's every so often, to take a break from my regular and my favorite, piccola venezia. John, I know you're a fan also.

      1. re: stephen kaye
        John Knoesel

        Hey SK,
        It's funny, I had to drop off a client at the Citibank
        building in LIC yesterday and showed him Manducati's.
        He lives in Chelsea, but that's only 20 minutes on the
        E or F to there.
        Any chowhound within shouting distance ( You all know
        what I mean ) should go.
        Regards, JK

        1. re: John Knoesel

          Shrimp a la Ida (Ida Manducati) is terrific.

          1. re: Joe D.

            ...and their linguine bolognese is magnificent.

            I've done nothing but crave for it the past 2 weeks.
            They've been on vacation, but I do believe they are

    2. j
      Josh Mittleman

      Which Real Thing are you looking for? Italy has at
      least a dozen different major cuisines, with thousands
      of local variations. (Anyone who has eaten in both
      Florence and Pisa will tell you than "Tuscan" is about
      as useful a label as "French".) Many of them can be
      found in NY and the surrounding area, but our local
      Italian population has also developed its own
      variations, every bit as valid and authentic as the
      food back home. Jim's book recommends a few places
      that offer authentic renditions of some styles.

      Now, there are dishes I've never seen in the US, at
      least partly because the ingredients don't exist here.
      I would love to find someplace to get real carcioffi
      alla romana, but it would require a source for Italian
      artichokes, which are completely different from the
      ones we have here.

      One of my favorite places where I've found the food
      fairly true to the Roman style, and reasonably priced,
      is La Giara, on 3rd Ave. between 33rd and 34th.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Josh Mittleman
        John Knoesel

        Hey Josh,
        Okay man, tell us more.
        What do you recommend for us chowhounds?
        Thanks, JK

        1. re: John Knoesel
          Josh Mittleman

          I posted one recommendation; but I never claimed to be
          an expert on Italian regional cuisines. I just know
          enough to know that "authentic Italian" is too broad a
          category to allow useful replies.

          I can say that I've never eaten authentic Florentine
          cooking anywhere in the US. Has anyone else?

          1. re: Josh Mittleman
            John Knoesel

            Hey Josh,
            I meant tell us more about La Giara!
            Thanks, JK

            1. re: John Knoesel
              Josh Mittleman

              Oh, that. Sorry.

              La Giara is a nice place. I've been comfortable there
              dressed casually and more formally, and the food covers
              the same range: From really good brick-oven pizza to
              excellent risotto and fish baked in a salt crust. They
              have a nice wine list, perhaps a list pricey, but
              suited to the food.

                1. re: John Knoesel
                  Michele Fuchs

                  I also recommend La a matter of fact I
                  believe I posted the recommendation on this site when
                  they first opened.

                  Brick oven and everything...really cute and good
                  service. Good wine list and moderate pricing.


        2. re: Josh Mittleman

          >I've had them at Lattanzi in the theatre
          district. Roman/Jewish dishes are their specialty.

          1. re: Okrent

            I mean the artichokes, sorry.

        3. well I don't know about the real thing except to say if you want the real thing you have to make it yourself.I do know however of a place called Frascottis, it's in the village. I think on the corner of Grove and 7th. They have the best Penne Vodka. It's not a fancy place and it's very small but the Penne Vodka is Delish!!!!

          1. Go to Bar Pitti, on Sixth Avenue above Houston. Trust me, I lived in Italy for a year. This is the real thing.