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your favorite italian restaurants in Brooklyn

  • m

especially Bensonhurst but any nabe OK.

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  1. Gargiulo's, Joe's of Avenue U (sicilian actually), Bamonte's, Fiorentino's, Ferdinando's Focaccierria (also sicilian), and especially CATENE DELI (though not a restaurant just about the most delicious old school brooklyn italian around- ravioli with the little meatballs, perfect chicken parm spicy, stuffed peppers, sausage and peppers, chicken catch', oh i'm so hungry... enjoy fb

    2 Replies
    1. re: frankbooth

      Hey FrankBooth (one of my all time favorite film villians, btw)
      Is Sicilian not considered Italian? I often see it clarified like you did.
      Gotta get to Catene. I've seen you rave about it before. What are their hours? I went on a weekday afternooon once and they were fechada. What's up?

      1. re: HankyT

        well, i only specified sicilian because the styles of food are pretty different, in a way. for instance, sicilians eat much more seafood than, let's say, in toscana or roma. octopus, mussels, seafood are the staples. very little meat in sicily (i believe it is generally poorer and so you just don't go for steaks in sicily, not enough local meat). places like ferdinando's and joe's of ave u feature sicilian specialities like panele sandwiches (fried chickpea fritters with ricotta and parmigianno) and octopus salad. pasta con sarde (pasta with sardines) and such are mainly sicilian dishes. fairly different styles, though obviously related.
        as for Catene, well it's my favorite italian deli in the states, absolutely great, but daytime hours- they are open till 4 pm monday through saturday, closed sunday. it's just a very very delicious family run old school american italian deli (the owner took over from his father, they moved over one storefront many years ago). great guys in there, take great pride in the quality of their food, spotlessly clean, just delicious. i'd give anything for a chicken parm from there right now... enjoy fb

    2. what frank said...

      also, fiorentinos on ave u, la trattoria on ave u (but declining), al di la, noodle pudding.

      1. Mark, you wanted bensonhurst, well u gotta lotta choices in the nabe for great italian, sicilian fare and why not let a neighborhood paesan like myself guide u: europa (65th and 20th ave - outta this world brick oven pizza), il colosseo (18th ave and 77th), joe's of ave U (ave U and mcdonald ave), villa paradiso (20th ave and bath ave - very underrated neopolitan cuisine) la casa bella (26th ave and cropsey ave), tommaso's (86th street and 14th ave) la palina (ave O right off 65th st) among many others

        8 Replies
        1. re: joeyBK

          Collaro's of McDonald Avenue, Fiorentino's, Garguilios, New Corner and Gran Torino in Mill Basin. also Villa Borghese on 24th Ave...

          1. re: nyebaby37

            Collaro's??? I had to check the date on your post to see if it was a time warp. Collaro's has been gone for 20 years, hasn't it? My favorite local Italian place from the late '60s through the mid 80's, one owner died and the other migrated to Florida. The place that's there now (McDonald off Quenton, under the train) isn't named Collaro's & has been horrible the 2-3 times I've been there in the past 15 years. Am I missing something?

            1. re: Steve R

              Steve R.
              You know, I thought exactly the same thing when I saw Collaro's listed as a recc!. I think my grandparents used to take us there when we were little kids. I think some posters might have just mentioned any and all B'klyn Italian restaurants they recall. I tried looking up Collaro's and found a page long time Outer Borough Chow Hounds might enjoy.

              http://www.geocities.com/buddychai2/B...

              1. re: Tay

                Thanks for the post. By the way, the Collaro's in your link was on Coney Island Ave off Kings Hiway. Different place and no relationship to the one on McDonald Ave. However, I think the person who did that list also confused the 2, since it was the one on McDonald Ave that was legendary, not this other one (or the brief lived one on Ocean Pkway and Ave L, no relationship either). Thanks for the link.

                1. re: Steve R

                  You know, I vaguely recall some sort of family "debate"
                  (My Mom, insisted our family never "argued"...Yeah right!)
                  about some other 'pretender' Collaro's, and that my Dad insisted the McDonald's Collaro's was the only one as far as he was concerned...

                  1. re: Steve R

                    I didnt confuse anything. You asked for favorites and Collaro's WAS one of mine, have fond memories of it. Im old, what can i say! YES the one from 20 years ago on McDonald Avenue. LOL

                    1. re: nyebaby37

                      This whole thread has been like an amazing blast from the past. I grew up in Brighton Beach in the '70's and '80's but haven't lived in the City since then. Most of these restaurants are the ones we went to every Friday night. Dad would get a bug about one, that would be our regular place for a few years then it would be off to another for a few more years.

                      I learned how to cook by copying Joe's dishes at La Trattoria and I'm still trying to find a pork bracciole that tastes anything like Collaro's. And we still visit Garguilio's when we visit the family. Good to know the old-time favorites are still around.

            2. re: joeyBK

              il colosseo is one of our favorite places, always great service and food. They also have good brick oven pizza. Lately, they same to be a little less adventurous with their seafood specials. I don't know if it is bad timing on my part or a change in chef.

            3. You have gotten some really great recc from your fellow CH'ers. I would have to second New Corner (Dyker Hts) and Casa Bella Villa Borghese,(B'hurst) & Garguilo's (CI) There used to be a place on 86th St bet bay Pkwy and 23 rd Ave that was wonderful but I don't know if it still exists

              4 Replies
              1. re: Tay

                yep, it's still there if you are referring to villa ruggiero.

                1. re: ericalloyd

                  ericalloyd
                  Yes! That's it! Villa Ruggiero. We used to eat there when I was a kid. Great family times. Someone told me Ruggiero was not the family name but the name of a town in Italy that had some historical WWll connection. Have you eaten there? If so was it still good?
                  Thanks!

                  1. re: Tay

                    tay, sorry to tell you but villa ruggiero was recently shuttered due to some illegal activity. i heard rumor's they might be opening a larger spot but can't confirm anything.

                    1. re: joeyBK

                      and while we're on the best restaurant topic, how can we leave out gino's focacceria, joe's focacceria palermitana's chief competition for the best panelle, vastedde etc. i've never been to ferdinando's but i can't imagine that it's any better.

              2. Can anyone remember the name of the Italian restaurant in the 70's & 80's on Coney Island avenue that was east of kings highway around avenue x?

                1 Reply
                1. re: kittyndog

                  Was it across the street from the police station and the library? If so, you might mean Roma di Notte. At least I think that was the name. Something di Notte. It was on a corner. I went there a few times with my father but don't remember anything too specific about it. It never became one of our regulars.