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GODFATHER style Italian restaurant

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avi Oct 17, 2007 09:22 PM

In THE GODFATHER Part I Michael kills a gangster and a corrupt cop in an Italian neighborhood restaurant. You know, small clothed tables, unhurried service, good food, affordable, authentic. That's what I'm seeking for an upcoming visit! Any ideas? Thanks.

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  1. r
    ratatosk RE: avi Oct 18, 2007 12:57 AM

    I think there are a bunch of places like this in Brooklyn, down in the Bensonhurst area, that I haven't been to. Joe's of Ave U springs to mind, and I'm sure there are others. A search through these boards will reveal more information from more knowledgeable folds than myself about such spots. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future I'll be more help with those places. But right now, the best I can recommend to you are Roberto's in the Bronx and Cono & Sons' O'Pescatore in Williamsburg. Actually, let me add Patsy's in East Harlem - I haven't explored their menu much, because their pizza is so good, but everything I've had has been quite good, and the feel and style of the place is about right, I think.

    1. t
      Tay RE: avi Oct 18, 2007 04:14 AM

      New Corner Restaurant in Dyker Hts, Brooklyn pretty much fits this scenario. It's been around forever. Good food, old style atmosphere. It's like walking into my idea of what a 1950's Italian Restaurant must have been like..
      If that doesn't do the trick, try Villa Paradiso on Bath Ave and 20th Ave in Bath Beach,
      Villa Ruggiero(sp?) on 86th St around 23rd Ave,in Bensonhurst or Casa Bella on Cropsey Ave and around 26th Ave in Coney Island. All in Brooklyn.
      Here's New Corner's site

      http://www.newcornerrestaurant.com/

      4 Replies
      1. re: Tay
        JH Jill RE: Tay Oct 19, 2007 10:15 AM

        I'd love to take my Irish/Italian Bronx-born friend to an old Italian place before I put her on the plane back to Chile where she's been living for many years. We would want an early dinner and have a car (with a bit of luggage, maybe I can hide it but it's a hatchback VW Golf). I'm picking her up in Carroll Gardens. I've checked out New Corner's web site and it looks good but perhaps a bit more formal than we are looking for - or do people go there dressed informally? I checked out Joe's of Avenue U and wonder if it's too much just a sandwich shop. We're going tomorrow (Saturday) so I guess they have more specials.

        Given the circumstances, I'd like a delicious place without a real parking problem. Is New Corner the only option? (Also, ordering recommendations, if you have any)

        Thanks,
        Jill

        1. re: JH Jill
          t
          Tay RE: JH Jill Oct 19, 2007 04:53 PM

          JH Jill
          The great thing about all the places I listed is that they are as formal or informal as the customer chooses to make them. It's a matter of personal preference. Unless I am eating at a very casual chain type place, I prefer not to wear jeans when I dine out, but you can with no problem.. As for recc. They have a large, varied menu. I have a weakness for their Frito Misto platter (Basically a platter of assorted fried veggies, mozzarella), etc) One of the few places where they 'shoestring' their fried zucchini...Yummy!
          I usually choose from the daily blackboard specials. They make a Salmon Alfredo over fettucine that rocks.They also do all the classic old school dishes very well. Their portions are very generous, so be prepared to take home some of your dinner. As for parking, the restaurant is located on the ground floor of a private house and opened in something like 1940. It's located in a residential section of Bay Ridge/Dyker Hts and is one of the very few areas where parking is a realistic possibility. If you know anything about the neighborhood, you know how valuable that can be.Just pay attention to the parking signs I would definitely suggest you cover any luggage, though there is very little foot traffic in that specific area. If you get there early enough, you may actually score one of the parallel spots right in front of the restaurant.
          The other restaurants I mentioned are also fine with casual dress, Parking is bit more difficult, but also obtainable.
          Personally, I am not a big fan of Joes' of Ave U, but again, it's a matter of personal preference. I like to be able to converse with my dining companions when dining out, and New Corner, is not noisy.
          Whereever you end up, I hope you have a great meal and that you post your experience.
          ENJOY!

          1. re: JH Jill
            m
            majorette RE: JH Jill Oct 19, 2007 06:31 PM

            Among all the upscale newcomers, you can find good old-school Italian in Carroll Gardens. I spent 8 wonderful years living there; it's one of my all-time favorite neighborhoods. I would still be there if the rising rent didn't price me out. (I'm in Jackson Hts now, so I'm not complaining!)

            Try Casa Rosa on Court Street and I think 1st Place. I like the linguine Casa Rosa. Or head down Court Street toward downtown Brooklyn and try Queen, on Court and Livingston. Their panna cotta is out of this world. There's also Red Rose on Smith and Union. I had a champagne shrimp dish there years ago that I still remember.

            For snacking, try the rice balls at Joe's Superette on Smith Street and 1st Place. There are 3 kinds: rice with mozzerella, chopped meat, and proscuitto with ricotta. He also does potato croquettes. If you Google Joe's Superette, you'll find an NYT article that leads with them. They also make fantastic cold cut sandwiches on hero rolls. I just ask for an Italian hero and let whoever is behind the counter make it his way. The last time I ordered it, it came with pepper ham, fresh mozzerella, proscuitto, salami, provolone, lettuce and tomatos, salt and pepper, and oil. No vinegar, no onions, no peppers?! I was prepared to be disappointed. I wasn't.

            Try Caputo's on Court and 3rd Place for their fresh mozzerella. I used to buy other cheeses there. Their breads and foccacia are good. Other items like olives, oil, etc.

            I love JH, but I miss Brooklyn!

          2. re: Tay
            j
            josh L RE: Tay Oct 24, 2007 08:01 AM

            I'm not personally a big fan of any of the restaurants mentioned on this board. Most of them have not been good for years, and some probably were never good. Maybe I just dont like over sauced, gloppy plates of italian american food served in a tacky environment. I guess I'd reccomend Cono's Pescatore in Williamsburg because they continue to cook in an old world Sicilian style and if you must do the Italian American Godfather thing go to Two Toms, while it wont blow you away they make pretty good pork chops and it is truly one of a kind and worth a visit. I'd also suggest visiting Queen on Court Street which takes old fashioned Italian American food to another level.

          3. h
            HankyT RE: avi Oct 18, 2007 06:05 AM

            Monte's Venetian Room in Carroll Gardens and 2 Toms around the corner from it. Story was the big shots would dine at Monte's while their drivers would eat at 2 Toms. Much debated here but I love 'em both.

            4 Replies
            1. re: HankyT
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              elecsheep9 RE: HankyT Oct 18, 2007 09:31 AM

              Tonio's on 7th Avenue in Park Slope has that same kind of old school red sauce joint vibe.

              1. re: elecsheep9
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                MAW RE: elecsheep9 Nov 16, 2009 11:41 AM

                I love Tonio's!!

                -----
                Tonio's
                306 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

              2. re: HankyT
                prunefeet RE: HankyT Oct 19, 2007 12:04 PM

                Monte's is what you describe except for one important exception...the food is not all that good. I mean it's ok, it's not gross in any way, but not so good either. I still think it's worth it for the vibe. The bartender told me that when Sammy Davis Jr. was in town he used to call them to keep the place open for him...

                1. re: prunefeet
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                  HankyT RE: prunefeet Oct 25, 2007 11:50 AM

                  A lot of posters feel that way, but I have to say I've had a couple of really great meals there. I think they're probably pretty inconsistent.

              3. bobjbkln RE: avi Oct 18, 2007 12:49 PM

                When I think "family" restaurant, I think Pasquale's Rigoberto on Arthur Ave. It may be a bit bigger than you want, but otherwise has all the trappings including some genuine arrests a few years ago. It's also the kind of place where the younger waiters may bus the tables and take your orders, but only the older ones can actually serve your food.

                4 Replies
                1. re: bobjbkln
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                  obob96 RE: bobjbkln Oct 18, 2007 02:14 PM

                  Since you're not really specifying location or borough, some random suggestions on top of those already posted. Bamonte's on Withers St in Greenpoint, where some Sopranos scenes were shot; in Manhattan, Rocco (Thompson St), Gene's ( W 11 St), Monte's (Macdougal St). Haven't been to any recently, but they all have the requisite decor and menu, and have been around, like Bamonte's, forever. Try the veal, it's the best in the city.

                  1. re: obob96
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                    joeyBK RE: obob96 Oct 18, 2007 02:52 PM

                    Alot of restaurants fit that bill in Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge. I'm gonna name a few that don't get as much press as some of the others on the boards: La Palina, Ave O right off of 65th st, Bensonhurst amazing red sauce neopolitan cuisine, Villa Fiorita 18th ave and 78th st, Bensonhurst great sicilian and neoplitan mix and Ponte Vecchio, 4th ave and 88th st, Bay Ridge must try the gnocchi napoletana della casa.

                    1. re: joeyBK
                      t
                      Tay RE: joeyBK Oct 18, 2007 08:54 PM

                      joeybk
                      I love the food at Ponte Vecchio, but you can grow old ( Or psychotic)
                      trying to find parking, especially on a weekend.

                    2. re: obob96
                      prunefeet RE: obob96 Oct 19, 2007 12:05 PM

                      I totally grew up in Rocco's and Gene's! Good call obob96. Have not been to Gene's recently, but the food used to be good and Rocco's is still good. By the way, this is NOT Rocco DeSpirito's place, this is old school.

                  2. Brian S RE: avi Oct 18, 2007 06:54 PM

                    For what it's worth, I believe the scene you are thinking of was filmed in Mario's Restaurant in the Bronx. http://www.mariosrestarthurave.com/

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Brian S
                      Striver RE: Brian S Oct 19, 2007 05:40 AM

                      Mario's is large and noisy, and both the food and atmosphere are better, IMO, at Pasquale's Rigoletto (I agree with bobjbkln's recommendation, above) . Roberto's is the best restaurant in the Belmont neighborhood, but I don't think it's the kind of place the OP is looking for.

                      1. re: Brian S
                        Woodside Al RE: Brian S Oct 19, 2007 06:43 AM

                        The Godfather scene the original poster references was filmed at the (long gone) Luna Restaurant on White Plains Rd. in the Bronx

                        1. re: Woodside Al
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                          tomtibaldi RE: Woodside Al May 19, 2011 09:29 PM

                          Woodside Al...Just read your comments from oct 19, 2007 on Chow. The scene from The Godfather where Pacino does the shooting was Louis restaurant on WHITE PLAINS ROAD and GUN HILL RD in the Bronx. Not Luna restaurant. The red lighted sign in the movie was the same sign in the restaurant. I am 1000% sure. My father Primo Tibaldi who has since passed away was part owner of Louis restaurant and was the chef there for 30 years. I am 55 now and was a jr in high school when the scene was filmed...1972 and was there watching most of the filming. If you want to discuss this further my email is tommytball@aol.com...just wanted to set the record straight.

                        2. re: Brian S
                          h
                          hdmkom RE: Brian S Jan 11, 2010 06:47 PM

                          Louis Italian Restaurant, 3531 White Plains Rd., Bronx, NY...I grew up a block away....

                        3. l
                          lanamonster RE: avi Oct 18, 2007 08:46 PM

                          This is not in brooklyn, but John's Italian on E12th street in manhattan actually really matches this description. The waiter there told me that they filmed some scene in the Sopranos there, due to the atmosphere-inducing table full of drippy candlewax. There is a surprising neighborhood vibe for a place in this area of manhattan.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: lanamonster
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                            obob96 RE: lanamonster Oct 19, 2007 08:19 AM

                            Not so surprising, really: there used to be many micro-Italian neighborhoods in the city, and East 11 and 12 from 3rd to Ave A were strongly Sicilian, accounting for the (now gone) foccacceria on 1st and 11th and scattering of (mostly gone) food shops, Veneiros among them. Clustered around 59th Street east of Third and under the Queensborough Bridge was another--the presence of the bocce-courted Il Vagabondo in E 62 is one last testimonial.

                            1. re: lanamonster
                              JH Jill RE: lanamonster Oct 19, 2007 08:42 AM

                              I never hear anyone mention John's, but when I returned from a summer in Sicily a few years back, that was the only Italian food I tried in New York that tasted good to me. We lived in a village on the sea, north of Catania, and the fish and vegetables over there were so fresh and the pasta dishes so flavorful, that I could barely bring myself to eat Italian here afterwards. I think John's definitely has a lot of Sicilian still.

                              1. re: JH Jill
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                                riverside RE: JH Jill Oct 19, 2007 09:17 PM

                                Do you mean John's of 12th St.?

                                1. re: riverside
                                  JH Jill RE: riverside Oct 20, 2007 12:38 AM

                                  That's the one, East Village. Easy to miss. Not much to look at from the outside, but tasty inside.

                              2. re: lanamonster
                                z
                                zemilideias RE: lanamonster Nov 8, 2009 06:50 PM

                                They opened Johns in the late 80s, early 90s when I was living aroudn the corner--ain't no holdout from old Italian families in the hood like some poster said. It was yuppie from the get go

                                1. re: zemilideias
                                  Up With Olives RE: zemilideias Nov 18, 2009 11:04 AM

                                  Zagats disagrees. It says for John's (E. 12th) "Date Opened:Mar. 1908."

                                  1. re: Up With Olives
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                                    foodwhisperer RE: Up With Olives Aug 9, 2012 11:02 PM

                                    John's is from 1908, the tin ceiling gives it that old feeling . Gene's on W. 11th or 12th is real old too. Ecco on Chambers St has the same feel. Lanza's on 1st Ave. Bamonte's in Greenpoint has had many "Godfather" type movies filmed there,i.e. Prizzi's honor, Soprano's and more, Rao's is perfect but good luck getting in. Mario's and Dominic's on Arthur Ave are perfect. Also the Pines in the Bronx.

                                2. re: lanamonster
                                  shaogo RE: lanamonster Nov 8, 2009 07:02 PM

                                  John's is a very, very good restaurant. I've only been there twice. Both times were remarkable meals. The food is simple and genuine and full of rich flavors.

                                  The drippy candlewax table that's so famous was apparently a thing started when the restaurant either opened or survived a milestone, and it's been building up ever since. It's a little bit of "wild and crazy" in an otherwise very sober, professional setting.

                                  The decor reeks of the kind of effect the OP wants. I highly recommend John's on 12th.

                                3. g
                                  Geo8rge RE: avi Oct 20, 2007 08:54 PM

                                  You should specify which boro. There are places like that all over NYC and even Bayonne NJ.

                                  Also possible in Brooklyn: Mamma Lucia and Laura's Kitchen.

                                  1. h
                                    hopkicker3 RE: avi Oct 21, 2007 01:05 AM

                                    You may want try VESUVIO OF WHITESTONE for authentic Italian Cuisine. The restaurant is in Queens...the Chef is from Salerno...the rooms are intimate...12 02 149th Street.

                                    ilvesuvio.us

                                    1. h
                                      Howard_b2 RE: avi Oct 21, 2007 06:21 PM

                                      You gotta check out Gargiulo's restaurant in Coney Island. Very good food with that ole Brooklyn feel to it.
                                      http://www.gargiulos.com/

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Howard_b2
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                                        dhs RE: Howard_b2 May 15, 2009 11:36 AM

                                        get there at the right time (lunch is when I have seen it) and you can still see food from gargiulo's being walked next door by a waiter to some un-named, un-seen patrons.

                                      2. a
                                        alysonlaurel RE: avi Oct 21, 2007 10:18 PM

                                        Oh man. I have been wanting real Italian food in Brooklyn since I moved here a month ago from North Carolina (where most Italian food is not so good). It looks like I hit the motherlode with this thread!

                                        1. v
                                          Vinny Goombah RE: avi Nov 5, 2007 05:57 AM

                                          One place exactly fills the bill. Try Ferdinando's on Union Street (off the corner of Hicks St.). Same tile floor, same decor, Sicilian dishes, great food, great service. Been there since 1904. Hardly changed since then.

                                          1. RickTheClamBellyFan RE: avi May 11, 2009 07:23 AM

                                            Funny you should mention the McCloskey/Solozzo murder scene in the Godfather. You're looking for a restaurant like that? How about that exact restaurant? I can put you there. It's called John's Italian Restaurant and it's on 12th Street just east of 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. Very good, very southern Italian. Try it. You'll love it. Oh, and by the way, remember when McCloskey says, "Try the veal, it's the best in the city"? Well, the veal there is ONE of the best in the city anyway. My best friend has been a friend of John's for eons, and I have grown fond of this restaurant. Nothing fancy, but just as you described in your request. It's set up a little bit differently from the way it appeared in the movie, but not very differently. Same tablecloths though. Hey, I'll probably see you there!

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
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                                              StheJ RE: RickTheClamBellyFan May 11, 2009 10:06 AM

                                              I've been to John's many times and I can promise you that it is not the restaurant from the Godfather. As to which restaurant it actually is, I have no idea...

                                              1. re: StheJ
                                                Striver RE: StheJ May 11, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                To the best of my knowledge, Woodside Al, who posted to this old thread in 2007(see his entry above), was right. It was the Luna on White Plains Road in the Bronx (which has been gone for quite a while). This assertion has been backed up by some shot location sites on the web (doesn't mean it's true, but there you are).

                                                http://www.jgeoff.com/godfather/gf1/g...

                                                http://www.movie-locations.com/movies...

                                                1. re: Striver
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                                                  addictedtolunch RE: Striver May 11, 2009 04:56 PM

                                                  There actually was an old-style Italian place called Louie's in downtown Yonkers near the Bronx border until a few years ago and some say that was the place it was based on. Yeah, the veal was indeed "best in the city", but the city was Yonkers.

                                                  1. re: Striver
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                                                    zemilideias RE: Striver Nov 8, 2009 06:50 PM

                                                    yeah, man, Luna was deep! Food was OK, but the beehive do's and crooners on a Friday night made it all worthwile!

                                                    1. re: Striver
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                                                      moshulupkwy RE: Striver Nov 19, 2009 01:14 PM

                                                      I knew the owner of the "Godfather" resturant. Name was Vinnie Natale (rest in Peace!). He was in the movie ( not the waiter but the one 'ringing up the check". Do not remember if the wife (Dorothy) was in the movie.....anyway I know it was in the Bronx but I never knew the name of the resturant!

                                                      1. re: moshulupkwy
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                                                        hdmkom RE: moshulupkwy Jan 11, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                        Louis, 3531 White Plains Rd,. I grew up a block away, and it was my "neighborhood Italian"

                                                      2. re: Striver
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                                                        hdmkom RE: Striver Jan 11, 2010 06:53 PM

                                                        Louis, 3531 White Plains Rd...Maybe the "corporate name", was Luna, but I'm 55 years of age, grew up a block away from Louis, talked to 3 of my closest pals from the same neighborhood, and not one ever remembers hearing the name "Luna", but we all, clearly, remember , Louis,. The sign from the Godfather being the exact sign in the movie.

                                                      3. re: StheJ
                                                        h
                                                        hdmkom RE: StheJ Jan 11, 2010 06:44 PM

                                                        Louis, White Plains Road, off Gun Hill Rd, Bronx, NY...The 2 train comes rumbling by after Michael shoots Solozzo & McClusky...It's been gone since the 70's

                                                    2. d
                                                      Dr.Faustus RE: avi May 11, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                      Sam's on Court St.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Dr.Faustus
                                                        hambone RE: Dr.Faustus May 24, 2009 05:12 AM

                                                        Sam's has one of the best pizza's on God's green earth but I find the food there disappointing.

                                                        If I were trying to meet the original poster's request, I would suggest Monte's (on Carrol St in Gowanus.) It still looks like it must have when Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack would hang out there after playing Manhattan.

                                                        (And there food is pretty good. Great baked clams. And a good Italian cheesecake.)

                                                        1. re: Dr.Faustus
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                                                          nooyawka RE: Dr.Faustus Sep 14, 2009 11:57 AM

                                                          I second the rec on Sam's. Make friends with Louie. Be nice.

                                                          Here's a video I found after I tried it. Definitely my sentimental favorite.
                                                          http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                          Link to info:
                                                          http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                        2. s
                                                          StheJ RE: avi May 11, 2009 09:56 AM

                                                          I would agree that your best bet is Ferdinandos. (I think part of The Departed was filmed there if that makes any difference) Get the panelle... It is really good.

                                                          I second Monte's for atmosphere and vibe... although I agree with the other posters as to the food.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: StheJ
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                                                            venezuelan RE: StheJ May 12, 2009 06:17 PM

                                                            I def agree with Ferdinandos

                                                          2. bigmackdaddy RE: avi May 12, 2009 03:09 PM

                                                            The food at John's on E. 12th and Monte's on Carroll Street is awful. You're better of eating veal parmigiana at local pizzeria. I'm a big fan of Two Tom's on 3rd Ave by Union St., and Tonio's on 7th Ave by 8th Street. Tommasso on 86th Street by 14th Ave if I feel like spending a tad more. I'm sure there will be counter-points to my recs. Actually, and I know I sound like a skipping record, DiFara Pizzeria has very good Italian dishes, limited as they are. The veal, meatball and other plates are pretty damned good. You'll have to settle for a small & dingy table as opposed to a diner. Or, you can always go take-out.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: bigmackdaddy
                                                              bigmackdaddy RE: bigmackdaddy May 14, 2009 05:03 PM

                                                              I completely forgot about Florio's. It's in Manhattan and has NYC Grandfather status for its cigar bar but, when it comes to Godfather like atmosphere and good red sauce food Florio's has it in spades.

                                                              1. re: bigmackdaddy
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                                                                howster RE: bigmackdaddy May 14, 2009 08:34 PM

                                                                Im suprised no one mentioned Bemontes

                                                                1. re: howster
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                                                                  Brklynbobby RE: howster May 15, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                  I'm surprised nobody mentioned Embers Steak House in Bay Ridge. It's the most godfatheresque of all. They have the real thing hanging out there.

                                                                  1. re: Brklynbobby
                                                                    Bob Martinez RE: Brklynbobby May 15, 2009 11:46 AM

                                                                    "I'm surprised nobody mentioned Embers Steak House in Bay Ridge."

                                                                    Probably because the thread is titled "GODFATHER style *Italian* restaurants."

                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez
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                                                                      Tay RE: Bob Martinez May 15, 2009 03:26 PM

                                                                      So much for the whole Diplomat thing, :-)

                                                                  2. re: howster
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                                                                    dark knight RE: howster May 23, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                                    @Howster - Someone did mention Bamonte's earlier.

                                                              2. m
                                                                montoya040 RE: avi May 23, 2009 04:20 PM

                                                                Clinton Restaurant on Clintonville street and 10th ave. in Whitestone, Queens. It's owned by two older Italian sisters and the food is amazing. Also, the vibe is just as you described it.

                                                                1. b
                                                                  BigGuy RE: avi Sep 12, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                  Ralphs on 9th Avenue at 56th Street.

                                                                  1. k
                                                                    k_brklyn RE: avi Sep 12, 2009 07:24 PM

                                                                    Try Lanza in the East Village.

                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                    1. re: k_brklyn
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                                                                      victoria060 RE: k_brklyn Nov 17, 2009 05:23 AM

                                                                      The restaurant scene in the Godfather was filmed in Louis's Restaurant on White Plains Road in the Bronx. I had my high school graduation party there. My family ate there at least once a week. When the owner died his son Vinny took over the restaurant. Vinny had a part in the restaurant scene. When ever Vinny took your dinner order he always said " eat, drink and order what ever you like there's no charge" he would pause for a few seconds and then say " only cash' and then he would laugh loudly. It was the best.

                                                                      1. re: victoria060
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                                                                        hdmkom RE: victoria060 Jan 11, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                        THANK YOU!
                                                                        I have been trying to "prove", online, that this was Louis, and NOT Luna...I grew up in The Gun Hill Projects a block away, and ate there numerous times as a kid. No one I know remembers it being anything but, Louis. People find "facts" in cyberspace, and run with them...

                                                                        1. re: hdmkom
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                                                                          tomtibaldi RE: hdmkom May 19, 2011 09:42 PM

                                                                          HDMKOM who are you? I grew up in the Gun Hill projects 3445 Holland Ave and I am 55 yrs old also and my dad was Primo Tibaldi chef and part owner of Louis restaurant where the Pacino scene in The godfather was shot. I was there for the filming and my fathers partner Vinny Natale was the waiter in the movie who takes the check to the cash register. I grew up in that restaurant and it kills me to see people saying it was filmed in a place called Luna..a rumor started 30 + years ago which is untrue. The restaurant looked in real life just as it did in the movie...right down to the old-time tablecloths. I challenge ANYONE who contests the truth of this statement to contact me and I would be happy to discuss this in person...Tommytball@aol.com

                                                                          1. re: tomtibaldi
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                                                                            louisnatalesfamily RE: tomtibaldi Aug 5, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                                            Hi Tommy - YOU sir are absolutely correct! My name is Lisa, and I am Louis Natale's great grand daughter. I never chime in on these things but the depate has been going for years -even decades now, and the family of Luna's restaurant just wanted to cash in on the story. My Dad and Mom remember Primo Tibaldi (your Dad) and how he was Chef and part owner of Louis' Italian Amreican Restaurant. My Great Grandfather lived until 98 years old, smoking his cigars and with a glass of scotch every night, and had a full head of silver white hair to the end. Vinny, his son was in the movie but with no credit as he was off to the side of the bar. My grandmother and much of my family were also extras and were bussed to Staten Island to film some scenes, paid a few dollars each and given a boxed lunch. Memories that eventually brought my Dad and Mom from the Grand Concourse Bronx, to Staten Island to raise our family. Louis' daughter Dot lived with him until he passed, just off Villa Ave. and my Father's parents lived below them in a 3 story. Below them were my Uncle's Carmine and Enzio who had a little candy store that my Grandma owned. Ciro's restaurant (my Uncle) was down the corner. My parents had nice things to say about your Dad, Primo, and they never had a clue this legacy would be what iti is today, or that others would try to create stories "Luna's" to profit from it.
                                                                            Regardless, thanks for the walk down memory lane! God bless your family - and perhaps we will chat offline.
                                                                            Cheers, Lisa Margherita

                                                                            1. re: louisnatalesfamily
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                                                                              moshulupkwy RE: louisnatalesfamily Aug 13, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                              Hi Lisa: I have posted earlier about Louis Natale. We lived in the same bldg (on east 206th street)
                                                                              My Mom, Margie, and Dorothy were best friends and spent much time vacationing in Florida together!

                                                                              Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

                                                                              1. re: louisnatalesfamily
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                                                                                godfather57 RE: louisnatalesfamily Nov 28, 2013 08:50 PM

                                                                                Hi check out my recent post to this debate about Louis.
                                                                                You will find it interesting.
                                                                                Thanks

                                                                              2. re: tomtibaldi
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                                                                                foodwhisperer RE: tomtibaldi Aug 9, 2012 11:07 PM

                                                                                Thanks Tommy for some interesting facts and setting the record straight. Thanks Lisa for some good reading as well. It's good to get the "real" story.

                                                                                1. re: tomtibaldi
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                                                                                  godfather57 RE: tomtibaldi Nov 28, 2013 08:52 PM

                                                                                  Check out my recent post.
                                                                                  Thanks

                                                                              3. re: victoria060
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                                                                                louisnatalesfamily RE: victoria060 Dec 22, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                                Yes you are right! It has been improperly associated with the Luna Restaurant who had been for decades trying to cash in on the GodFather connection....

                                                                                NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the classic film “The Godfather.”
                                                                                In one of the most iconic scenes in movie history, Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, whacks Solozzo and corrupt police Capt. McCluskey in Louie’s Restaurant on White Plains Road in the Bronx.
                                                                                Director Francis Ford Coppola originally wanted to film the scene at Mario’s Restaurant on Arthur Avenue, since the eatery was mentioned in Mario Puzo’s novel, but filmed at Louis Italian American Restaurant instead.
                                                                                It seems like an offer one couldn’t refuse but owner Mario Migliucci politely declined.
                                                                                His son, Joe Migliucci, said his father wanted his restaurant to be known for its food, not for a fictional murder.
                                                                                The family has not once regretted the decision, even though “The Godfather” became one of the most acclaimed films of all time .
                                                                                “We’re still in business, we’re going on our 93rd year,” Migliucci said. “So what does it tell you? Did it hurt us? No.”
                                                                                It was sad to see, but the movie was eventually shot at Louis Italian American Restaurant on White Plains Road near Gunhill Road, Bronx NY. which closed down shortly after the Godfather shoot.

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                                                                              godfather57 RE: avi Nov 28, 2013 08:16 PM

                                                                              This is to put an end to the debate about Louis Italian American Restaurant in the Bronx.
                                                                              Yes, that is the restaurant in the Godfather and it is called Louis.....Restaurant.
                                                                              I have the actual menu and liquor menu from the actual restaurant. Dated 1923.
                                                                              And yes the veal dish is there.
                                                                              The address is 3531 White Plains Ave. Bronx NY near Gun Hill Road Station as stated on the menu.
                                                                              So everyone who insists on this Luna bs should stop the bs and just accept what is actually fact. That Louis Italian American Restaurant was real and was the place stated in the film.
                                                                              One more note....watch the film and look at the address above the door it starts out with the numbers 35 as in 3531 White Plains Ave.
                                                                              By the way thats what they called White Plains Road back in the day. It was White Plains Avenue.
                                                                              Like I said I am most likely the only one on the planet with the original menu.
                                                                              Just lucky I guess.

                                                                               
                                                                              18 Replies
                                                                              1. re: godfather57
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                                                                                foodwhisperer RE: godfather57 Nov 28, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                                Pretty cool looking menu. I'd frame it and hang it on your wall, it seems very collectible.
                                                                                Other restaurants of that type perhaps Dominic's ( Bronx), The Pines, The Pawlding ( not sure if that one is still around on Morris Park),, also in Brooklyn Bamonte's is a favorite for filming Soprano's, Prizzi's honor and more.

                                                                                1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                                  godfather57 RE: foodwhisperer Nov 28, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                                                  Thanks, I also have the liquor menu,1923 prices.
                                                                                  Yeah they are framed. My wife and I are big Godfather fans and when I bought the menu I didnt even realize what I had until we watched the movie and it hit us. We put 2 and 2 together and were like....oh my god we have the actual menu from the actual restaurant.
                                                                                  Needless to say we were excited but could not find any info about the place or owners or anything.
                                                                                  So tonight we are watching the trilogy on tv and I started searching again and found this site with the actual family members talking about the restaurant.
                                                                                  Very cool.
                                                                                  Hope this will put to rest all the Luna stuff that is just not true.

                                                                                  1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                                    godfather57 RE: foodwhisperer Nov 28, 2013 08:39 PM

                                                                                    Thought you would like this.......

                                                                                     
                                                                                  2. re: godfather57
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                                                                                    victoria060 RE: godfather57 Dec 17, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                    Exactly what I've been saying had my high school graduation party there in 1968. It was the best, the veal, spaghetti with white mushroom sauce and the broccoli rabe was the absolute best!!!!!!!

                                                                                    1. re: victoria060
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                                                                                      tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                      FINALLY PROOF! We finally have the proof we needed to set the record straight about Louis Restaurant. I said in earlier contributions to this blog that my late father Primo Tibaldi was chief chef and part owner of Louis Restaurant when the memorable scene from "The Godfather" was filmed there. I watched from behind the scenes with a few of my chosen 8th grade friends as the scene was filmed before our eyes (we were behind a barricade separated from the actors but well in front of the other onlookers). This of course was the famous shooting scene featuring Al Pacino (Micheal Corleone). Last month (November 2013) I was contacted by a gentleman named Mark Solano. Mark informed me that he had two original menus from Louis Restaurant, a food menu and a drink menu both dating back to 1923. Amazingly I found out that I live only twenty minutes from Mark. We arranged a meeting at his house and I saw these amazing menus, both in mint condition! I offered to purchase these menus from Mark and he refused to accept my money. After seeing family pictures of Louis Restaurant and being convinced I was legitimately Primo's son, Mark did an amazing thing, he gifted both menus to me and my family. Mark said he felt the menus had finally found their "rightful place". What can I say.? I was overwhelmed by Mark's kindness. Mark Solano you are a wonderful man and Mark, I know my father is smiling down at us from heaven enjoying this whole thing. Thank you from myself, my family and my friends who "grew up" at Louis Restaurant in the Bronx. The Restaurant has been gone for over 30 years but will never be forgotten and is seen by millions every time The Godfather movie is shown. God Bless, Tom Tibaldi Tommytball@aol.com

                                                                                       
                                                                                      1. re: tomtibaldi
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                                                                                        godfather57 RE: tomtibaldi Dec 18, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                                                        Dear Tom, I want to thank you for your kind words.

                                                                                        It was my privilege and honor to be able to reunite you and your family with a long lost piece of family history.

                                                                                        I truly hope that all who read this blog will finally recognize LOUIS' ITALIAN AMERICAN RESTAURANT as being the true and only location of the filming of the scene in which Michael Corleone shoots his two victims in the GODFATHER MOVIE.

                                                                                        I also would like to say what a honor it was to meet you in person. You are a true gentleman and friend.

                                                                                        As a true fan of the GODFATHER MOVIE it is a honor to be linked in a small way to your family history and my favorite movie.

                                                                                        God Bless you Tom, the Tibaldi Family and especially your Father Primo.

                                                                                        Mark and Shirley Solano

                                                                                        1. re: godfather57
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                                                                                          louisnatalesfamily RE: godfather57 Dec 22, 2013 04:40 AM

                                                                                          Dear Tom, Mark and Shirley,

                                                                                          Thank you all for the memories you have brought back to my family as well. The gift of the menus from Mark to Tom was really special, and Tom - thank you so very much for sharing with me and my family!! I will share with the family over the holidays as we are flying up North to visit. I wish the restaurant lasted along side it's legacy with the GodFather movie. My Great Grandfather Louis and Primo were great friends and hard workers and had a really special family place. Not sure what happened after my Great Uncle Vinnie stepped in, God love him and RIP, but the legacy met an early demise after. This was my Great Grandfather Louis as I remember him (less the cigar and Scotch lol).

                                                                                           
                                                                                          1. re: godfather57
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                                                                                            louisnatalesfamily RE: godfather57 Dec 22, 2013 04:44 AM

                                                                                            a photo from the late 60's of my Mom and Grandpa Louis...and perhaps my first meeting of him :)

                                                                                             
                                                                                        2. re: victoria060
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                                                                                          tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:27 PM

                                                                                          More pictures

                                                                                           
                                                                                          1. re: victoria060
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                                                                                            tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                                            Menu front

                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. re: victoria060
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                                                                                              tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:32 PM

                                                                                              Inside menu

                                                                                               
                                                                                              1. re: victoria060
                                                                                                t
                                                                                                tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                                                                Drink menu

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                1. re: victoria060
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                                                                                                  tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:37 PM

                                                                                                  Menu cover

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  1. re: victoria060
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:47 PM

                                                                                                    Mark (black shirt) and Tom with the menu for Louis Restaurant.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: victoria060
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                                                                                                      tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:49 PM

                                                                                                      Mark and Tom menu close up.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      1. re: tomtibaldi
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                                                                                                        foodwhisperer RE: tomtibaldi Dec 18, 2013 07:51 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks for the nice posts and great pictures. I never heard of a cocktail name "Bronx", Manhattan I've heard of. So that was pretty interesting. I like the prices on that menu. As an aside, I heard ( not sure if it's true) from my friend , whose father is from Sicily, that in the scene where they were sitting in the car, just before they say "leave the gun, take the cannolis",,,, they say something in Sicilian. What I was told is they said " who farted".

                                                                                                      2. re: victoria060
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                                        Early Photo of Louis Restaurant

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        1. re: victoria060
                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                          tomtibaldi RE: victoria060 Dec 17, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                                                          Early photo

                                                                                                           
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                                                                                                        louisnatalesfamily RE: avi Dec 22, 2013 04:22 AM

                                                                                                        NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the classic film “The Godfather.”
                                                                                                        In one of the most iconic scenes in movie history, Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, whacks Solozzo and corrupt police Capt. McCluskey in Louie’s Restaurant on White Plains Road in the Bronx.
                                                                                                        Director Francis Ford Coppola originally wanted to film the scene at Mario’s Restaurant on Arthur Avenue, since the eatery was mentioned in Mario Puzo’s novel, but filmed at Louis Italian American Restaurant instead.
                                                                                                        It seems like an offer one couldn’t refuse but owner Mario Migliucci politely declined.
                                                                                                        His son, Joe Migliucci, said his father wanted his restaurant to be known for its food, not for a fictional murder.
                                                                                                        The family has not once regretted the decision, even though “The Godfather” became one of the most acclaimed films of all time .
                                                                                                        “We’re still in business, we’re going on our 93rd year,” Migliucci said. “So what does it tell you? Did it hurt us? No.”
                                                                                                        It was sad to see, but the movie was eventually shot at Louis Italian American Restaurant on White Plains Road near Gunhill Road, Bronx NY. Which closed down shortly after the Godfather shoot.

                                                                                                        1. l
                                                                                                          louisnatalesfamily RE: avi Dec 22, 2013 04:26 AM

                                                                                                          Louis' Italian American

                                                                                                           
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