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Looking for red sauce Italian

spa Dec 10, 2007 11:55 AM

Getting tired of Valentino's (it's just not as good as it used to be) and looking for alternatives for good food with no pretensions. We're especially interested in pasta, seafood, soups. Thanks.

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  1. chowdom RE: spa Dec 10, 2007 02:18 PM

    I was waiting for someone else to say something, I thought it was just me. Last two times we were there the chicken dishes were so salty they were inedible, and a fish dish was prepared with that awful prepared garlic. I really don't get all the glowing reviews. We are happier going to Carlo's, this is not what you are looking for but I think its worth mentioning they have some very good dishes and great arugula salad.

    6 Replies
    1. re: chowdom
      spa RE: chowdom Dec 11, 2007 05:01 AM

      No, I don't think it's just you! And I am interested in a good salad, too. Where is Carlo's?

      I should have pointed out in the title of this thread that I'm looking in Westchester. Sorry about that.

      1. re: spa
        chowdom RE: spa Dec 11, 2007 05:22 AM

        Carlo's is located on Tuckahoe Rd near the corner of Tuckahoe Rd and Central Ave across the street from Roosevelt HS. There is absolutely no ambiance there, unless you are lucky enough to be seated upsairs ( for larger parties or overflow ) If you like fish, the sole franchese is great ( you will get two meals out of it) as are most fish dishes, bf always orders sliced seasoned shell steak. As I mentioned in the last post there are several good dishes on the menu as well as daily specials.

        1. re: chowdom
          addictedtolunch RE: chowdom Dec 12, 2007 06:50 PM

          No ambiance? Not many places left where the place is so laid back you often talk to the people at the table next to you, where the owner is running all over the place making sure things are running well (you'd think after all these years he'd realize he could relax), and where the waitress manages to come across as friendly even though she refuses to smile.

          1. re: addictedtolunch
            chowdom RE: addictedtolunch Dec 13, 2007 11:28 AM

            I like and appreciate Pete as much as any of his regular customers, and I have no complaints regarding the service, as I stated Carlo's is a place with really good food that we frequent often. I wanted Spa to understand it was not the same type of dining experience as Valentino's, everything is relative, it was not my intention to diss Carlo's.

            1. re: chowdom
              addictedtolunch RE: chowdom Dec 13, 2007 05:05 PM

              Cool- I'm just saying the place has a "back in the day in the Bronx" vibe, and that in itself is "ambiance".

              1. re: addictedtolunch
                chowdom RE: addictedtolunch Dec 14, 2007 03:56 AM

                Very true, it is exactly the same as it was in the late 70's ( with the exception of the student body), when I lived in Colonial Heights, attended Roosevelt HS and ate a slice for lunch everyday.

    2. GIOny RE: spa Dec 12, 2007 11:30 AM

      Your right, it's tough to find really good red sauce places anymore. I'm keeping an eye on this thread to see what people recommend. In the meantime Angelina's in Tuckahoe has some good dishes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GIOny
        dolores RE: GIOny Dec 12, 2007 12:31 PM

        Ain't that the truth? With the plethora of them in Westchester, you'd think there would be a 'to die for' red sauce restaurant.

        I still haven't found one.

        1. re: dolores
          chowdom RE: dolores Dec 12, 2007 01:34 PM

          I forgot to mention Reno's Trattoria on Lockwood Avenue, very good.

      2. j
        jeanki RE: spa Dec 12, 2007 03:04 PM

        I like Francesco's in White Plains, old school Italian staples made with care. My only quibble is that the prices went up recently and are a little overpriced, but at least the portions are huge.

        5 Replies
        1. re: jeanki
          dolores RE: jeanki Dec 13, 2007 03:15 AM

          I never liked the 'special service for regulars' vibe I got at Francesco's.

          But I was just reminded of Mamma Francesca's in New Rochelle, another old standby.

          1. re: dolores
            chowdom RE: dolores Dec 13, 2007 04:42 AM

            I concur, I like Mamma Francesca's also.

            1. re: chowdom
              GIOny RE: chowdom Dec 13, 2007 11:31 AM

              Mamma Francesca's is enjoyable. The lasanga is a little to meaty for my taste but the garlic bread is (as Rachel would say) YUMMO!! Good pasta dishes.

            2. re: dolores
              jeanki RE: dolores Dec 13, 2007 08:00 AM

              Strange, I was brand new to them and I had the opposite vibe, that they were very friendly and acted like I WAS a special regular.

              1. re: jeanki
                dolores RE: jeanki Dec 13, 2007 08:11 AM

                jeanki, this was a long while ago. I haven't been there since then.

                Perhaps there were others who stopped going and they have mended their ways.

                I admit, their food was very good. Glad to hear they're better on their attitude now too.

          2. l
            laylag RE: spa Dec 13, 2007 09:31 AM

            Through this board I've recently been made aware of Frank's in Portchester. Only been once but it was quite good. Tried to order take-out from there last weekend and shockingly they are closed on Sundays. Ended up picking up from Fratelli in New Rochelle at the pizza/pasta take-out arm up a few blocks from the restaurant. It was decent but nothing to get excited about. Haven't been to the sit down restaurant but from the looks of the online menu, a little pricey for what I think it is.

            Oh, and once again I'll through in a plug for Pastina's in Hartsdale. They have some of the best, freshest marinara sauce I've had outside someone's home in quite a while.

            1. r
              rpk RE: spa Dec 17, 2007 12:37 PM

              There's a place called Giulio's (53 Park Hill Ave, Yonkers) that I rather liked. On my only visit (5/05), my friends and I were very happy with the clams, oysters, zuppa di pesce, veal parmigian, and spaghetti with meatballs. It's enough out of my way that I've never been back, but that's the only reason.

              1. Passadumkeg RE: spa Mar 2, 2008 02:56 AM

                Covello's on Rt. 35 N in Sayreville/South Amboy? Make their sauce fresh from fresh tomatoes every day. Good seafood.

                1. p
                  pobo RE: spa Mar 2, 2008 07:31 AM

                  I really like Bellucio's in on Milton Rd in Rye. The first Mr. Pobo and I used to go there on Sunday nights for a casual dinner. Great pizza's, pastas, etc. (I really liked the lasagna). I haven't been in a while, though.

                  We also liked Mama Francesco as well. We were quite surprised. It's amazing how there are all these red sauce italian places in Harrison/Mam'k and they are just not any good.

                  1. g
                    gutreactions RE: spa Mar 2, 2008 08:02 AM

                    Chowhounds looking for good red-sauce Italian should not leave out Ernesto's on W. Post Road in White Plains...they are not trendy but quite good at what they do. Great house made marinara sauce...I agree about Mamma Francesca in New Rochelle, good southern Italian, especially now with their fixed price dinners...and what about Spiritoso's on McLean Ave. in Yonkers? By the way, the owners of these restaurants are all from parts of southern Italy, from Calabria to Ischia...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gutreactions
                      dolores RE: gutreactions Mar 2, 2008 09:10 AM

                      I have to agree with Mamma Francesca. Free parking, free bread -- good, crusty Italian bread -- and a decent pour of wine. I can sit where I want, and I get macaroni on the side of my entree.

                      They're still doing fixed price dinners, GR? Wow.

                      Anyone who hasn't been and wants red sauce (gravy) Italian should go, soon.

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