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old Italian Restaurant in Syracuse

years ago (late 1970s) my brother and I ate at an Italian restaurant in Syracuse. I believe that the restaurant was on Erie Blvd, but I am not sure. Anyway, I distinctly remember waiting in the bar for a table to come open. the entire bar was decorated with posters from Frank Sinatra movies, and the juke box only had Frank Sinatra songs on it. If my memory is correct, the cuisine was traditional "red sauce Italian."

does anybody remember this restaurant's name and/or location? is it still in existence? thanks!

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  1. Delmonico's maybe? That's on Erie Blvd. Oh- but it hasn't been around since the 70's, but maybe it was under a different name back then. They have lots of Frank and Rat pack memorabilia and the walls are covered in Italian celeb caricatures. They only play Frank and Dean. Mostly red sauce and steaks on the menu.

    1. I think you are describing the old Grimaldi's Restaurant. Unfortunately, it is no more. Delmonico's is O.K. There really aren't any great Italian places left in Syracuse. There are still several good places in Utica and Rome, if you are just traveling through.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jimmyg

        I think there are quite a few decent Italian places in Syracuse!
        Check out this post for more recommendations: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        A newer place that I've also enjoyed that wasn't mentioned is Gentile's on Burnet: http://www.gentilesrestaurant.com/

        1. re: Jimmyg

          Thanks for the memory jog. I consulted my brother and the name was indeed Grimaldi's. I drove down Erie Blvd. this morning and saw Delmonico's but the building did not look like what i remembered from the 1970s. I stayed at a motel near carrier Circle and saw a restaurant named grimaldi's at Luna Park. is this any relation to the old Grimaldi's on Erie Blvd.?

        2. I've had halfway decent Italian food at Pastabilities in downtown Syracuse, however, I was more or less blown away by some of the Italian dishes they had right around the corner at a place called BC...A little more high-end, but good nonetheless.

          1. I stand by my original post. The last time I ate at Angotti's, the sauce was nothing more than watered down tomato paste. Dominick's is big portions, but the food is nothing to write home about. Francesca's is expensive ingredients, not well prepared. I have not found a single "Italian" restaurant in Syracuse that uses a decent ricotta chese that doesn't run out of the manicotti, lasagna, ravioli or what have you. Compared to Utica, the Italian in Syracuse sucks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jimmyg

              I agree about Utica (I grew up in Herkimer) having the better Italian. However, I just moved back to Syracuse after living in Ithaca for awhile and, if we can leave Utica out of it for a moment, Syracuse is a wonderland of Italian possibilities compared to Ithaca.

            2. Changing cities, I remember a red sauce Italian place in Rochester that must have been near a golf course or country club that had a lot of celebrity golf pictures and also pictures of entertainers like Sinatra. It was 5-10 years ago. Anyone know the name/location of this place?

              1. How is Grimaldi's in Utica doing? Is Tom still running it?

                1. Oh man. I wish I had not tapped this thread before dinner! I attended Syracuse University in the 1980s and whenever anyone's parents showed up for a weekend, we'd go to Grimaldi's -- as authentic a red sauce Italian restaurant the Northeast has ever known. We'd go, along with Rollie Massimino, half the student section and most everyone else in town.

                  Two-and-a-half hour wait for a table after an SU game completely mitigated by the complimentary garlicky white pizza in the auditorium-size waiting room.

                  Nothing fancy up in the dining room. Honest classics rendered with integrity and love. Then the homemade cannoli, ricotta cheesecake, an espresso with anisette and back into the ankle-deep snow.

                  My recently deceased father used to look for excuses to take the 4 hour drive to the 'Cuse -- just to go eat at Grimmaldi's.

                  Sigh. Fond memories, friends.

                  1. Oh baby.. Grimaldi's was good.. My personal favorite in Syracuse is Aunt Josie's up on N. Salina in "Little Italy". I highly recommend it. Another excellent Italian place is right down the street..Antonio's..more expensive but excellent food.

                    1. does anyone know the name of the greek rest. that was on erie blvd and Thompson rd in the 1980s after you entered the foyer you walked up a short set of stairs and you saw display cases filled with GREEK pastries I tried every where and can not get the answer

                      2 Replies
                        1. Grimaldis and aunt josies

                          Two italian staples of Syracuse.

                          My college days!

                          1. I am looking for another old restaurant in Syracuse. It use to be at close to 317 Montgomery Street, just down the street from the old library. It was a very small place but they had the best Spaghetti in Syracuse at the time. When you walked in the door, there was a huge counter in the back where the chef was and the register.