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ISO brooklyn, queens red sauce italians

  • m

old fashioned places with good quality food. family run. neighborhood institutions.

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  1. Had dinner at the Clinton in Whitestone on Friday night.
    I had Veal Parm with Broccoli Garlic & Oil OTS.
    Mrs.K had Eggplant Parm with some linguine.
    Really nice old skool, local place.
    There is usually a wait past 7:00 PM.

    1. Frost, Williamsburg
      Cono & Sons O'Pescatore, Williamsburg
      Queen, Brooklyn Heights
      Piccola Venezia, Astoria

      1 Reply
      1. The Graham Av stop of the L train is a treasure trove. It's an Italian nabe, and just about everyone comes from the tiny town of Teggiano. The patron saint is St Cono, so just about half the restaurants are named Cono or owned by someone named Cono. Cono & Sons O'Pescatore is excellent (or was, I haven't been in years), also Frost, La Locanda, etc. And then Fortunato bakery for dessert!

        7 Replies
        1. re: Brian S

          Is Bamonte's still around?
          That's red sauce Italian if there ever was one.

          1. re: johnk

            I think it's still around. I think it will be around after NYC has long disappeared. I havent eaten there but I've read bad things on this board. Did you have good meals there?

            1. re: Brian S

              have been to bamonte's twice, with the most recent visit being around two years ago. neither of my visits were particularly memorable. while "red sauce italian" as a subcuisine gets bashed in many food circles, and i don't think that's always fair, bamonte's doesn't do anything IMO to dispel the negative perceptions. food was uninspired and surprisingly not cheap for the quality. best thing about the place was the semi-scary (at night) location and the cadillac-and-pinky ring crowd.

              1. re: surly

                I havent been to Bamonte's in over 5 years because everything was all too memorable. And downright bad. Not once, but half a dozen times. I'd avoid it unless you like carelessly done food, overcooked or undercooked, fresh or whatever. I'd add Manducatis to the list, although some folks I trust say that a recent meal there (and yes, Ida was in the kitchen) wasnt very good.

              2. re: Brian S

                The last time I was at Bamontes was probably around the late 70's.
                I went to St. Francis Prep when it was still on N.6th @ Driggs.
                My old man loved Crisci's which I think was on Havemeyer.
                Since we lived in Sunnyside it was a 10 minute trip over there.

                1. re: johnk

                  Crisci's is long gone. I think it was on Lorimer. I liked other places better, but Crisci's had a pretty big and very devoted following.

            2. re: Brian S

              Avoid Bamotes. They are not keeping up with the times. The $$$ you spend there you would think you would get a better plate of food. Menu and chef change is needed.Frost , La Locanda, La Pizzatte. Cono, and Sons. are a better choice.

            3. the Parkside in Corona, Queens. Thoroughly classic menu and clientele.

              1 Reply
              1. re: EFrancis

                Parkside is underated. They also can venture into more northern dishes on occassion. Maybe better than Queen, but then again, it depends on the day. I'm going there tonite!

              2. I have been going to THE QUEEN on Court Street since I was a child. The food is excellent, especially the specials, and it fills all your criteria.

                Another local favorite is LA TRAVIATA. Family run, good food, especially recommend the shrimp dishes, at very reasonable prices.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Fleur

                  As long time Heights residents, I've noticed that Fleur and I usually agree on these things. And on Queen we do. However, La Traviata isnt in the same ballpark as any of the others. Not that I dont eat their food regularly enough; as a matter of fact, this is being typed just after finishing a delivery from them that included a very tasty shrimp parmisan dinner. It's fine for delivery or an inexpensive meal but the ingredients and skill dont come close to Queen, Manducatis, Frost, O'Cono, or Piccola Venezia. Just my opinion. Definitely not a destination.

                  1. re: Steve R

                    I have to agree again, Steve.

                    LA TRAVIATA is not in the same league as THE QUEEN, which IMO, ranks up, there in terms of food, with some of the better, much higher priced Manhattan diningt spots.

                    That being said, for an local, inexpensive, really good Italian meal, I am happy that LA TRAVIATA is right here on Montague Street. I also enjoy seeing the diversity of the diners, something you see nowhere else on the Heights.

                    We don't do takeout, except under the most extreme circumstances. But LA TRAVIATA does a huge takeout business. It is obvious people really like it.

                    Other dishes we really enjoy there are the wonderful salads, the Shrimp Scampi, the Fried Zucchini, the Chicken Scarpariello , and the Pasta Primavera, a great Vegetarian choice.

                    How do you like LE PETIT MARCHE? The Thai restaurant on Montague Street? TAZE, the replacement Turkish for KAPODAKKIA?

                2. not totally classic red sauce spot, a little more refined, but so so delicious - fragole on court street and carroll/1st place.

                  1. two classic red sauce spots in Queens:
                    Parkside in Corona, Queens
                    Don Pepe in South Ozone Park, Queens

                    Both places are great in terms of old school, Goodfellas-feel fare.

                    1. Definitely agree with the Don Pepe & Parkside. I would add Abbracciamento in Rego Park.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Salsiccia Creature

                        Is Parkside touchable these days? My entire family has been native to Corona since my grandfather moved there from the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn in like 1940. They fled like hell when it started falling to pieces, we were actually part of the massive chunk of housing that the city robbed to build that school which was never built. The house my mother grew up in is now a park. So back to Parkside, my family has steered clear of that spot for a while. It used to be mafiatastic and you weren't really supposed to go in if you didn't know them. My relatives would throw a fit if I pointed a camera in the direction of it when I did a recent Corona photography project.

                      2. I tried Acquista Trattoria (Queens on Union Turnpike, right by St John's) for the first time yesterday due to some previous comments on this board. The meal was very good, and relatively inexpensive.

                        1. 'family run' Virtually every restaurant in NYC is run by south Americans, owners are not SA but everybody else is. Even Pakistani and Kosher restaurants.

                          Di Faras, when it it not packed, will do things other than pizza. I do not think anyone there is not related to Di Fara. Maybe at night they sneak non family members in.

                          Mamma Lucia's, 1701 Foster Ave, Brooklyn, NY. One of the last Italian places in a faux Tudor/Germanic style room. Read the 'Murder Machine' description of the Gemini Lounge to understand why that is so special.

                          Laura’s Gourmet Kitchen (1235 Prospect Ave

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Geo8rge

                            Di Fara is 100% family. Two sons and two daughters. The only place in all of New York that would survive a mass exodus of Mexicans and Ecuadorians... oh wait... the shipping companies employ them too...

                          2. Red Rose is the only Italian place that I go to regularly in my native borough. My mother and I can both make just about anything better, but we've known the owner of Red Rose for forever and a half. He treats us nicely and refuses our money half of the time; I like the food there enough to return. By saying Italian, I'm disregarding the God of Food, pizza. Hail Domenico di Marco!

                            1. the obvious one in park slope is Aunt Susie's on 5th ave and Garfield. definitely an institution, they were there before there were any other restaurants on the 5th av. Lots of lasagna and spaghetti w/ meatballs. Get the cold "auntiepasto" for an appetizer.

                              1. Someone mentioned Manducatis and I have to agree. It definitely fits the bill of old fashioned red sauce with great food. I went recently for the first time and was very impressed, I hadn't expected much, what with various comments I've read here. The riccota gnocchi were amazing in Bolognese sauce and everything else was quite good. Even if you aren't a fan of this type of Italian restaurant go for the wine list, their cellar is unbelievable, though not for the budget conscious. I have a hard time thinking of a place in NYC that has the depth and breadth of the classic Italian wines (reds, Barolo, Brunello, Super Tuscans etc) that they have.

                                1. Ferdinando's in Red Hook Brooklyn

                                  Joe's of Avenue U in Gravesend Brooklyn