Arthur Avenue - where to go?
I am heading up to Arthur Avenue this weekend for the first time I was wondering what places are a must to check out for some good food.
We, I can't speak the the area restaurants, though I admit a soft spot for a plate of linguine and fried calamari with spicy tomato sauce at Umberto's...not sophisticated, but enjoyable.
The one provision place I suggest among all others is Calabria Pork Store. Great sausage, really nice olives, and above all, the salumi. If you go nowhere else, if you go for no other reason, go for one of the flat soppresattas hanging from the ceiling. Specify if you want it on the firmer or softer side (softer, IMHO), and look out.
Check Rosnegarten's column in the place below for a real "Ode to Calabria"
Tietel's for good sharp provolone. Used to be closed on Saturday's, but I think they now have a bunch of "shabbas goy" opening up the place for the Sabbath. Don't like their olives, though.
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/500367 - good thread, and has a map.
Here are the places I like to go to, but there are lots that I've not tried:
Inside the Retail Market:
Mike's - guanciale, pancetta, mortadella, ricotta salata, this amazing sardinian cheese (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/505354), good sausages, and their house olive oil is excellent.
Market on the other side of Mike's - no idea what the name is, but they have a huge selection of olive oils, pastas, etc. I buy fruttato there, occasionally a Sardinian olive oil that I like, Sardinian honey, and Strianese brand San Marzanos.
The produce place in the middle has pretty good prices, and I bought 8 oz of roast hazelnuts for $4.00, which was a bargain.
Teitel's - great prices - my friend bought salted cod there.
De Lillo's - I like their pistachio biscotti - not generally a fan of Italian sweets
Randazzo's - sea food, a lot of imported from Italy - I've bought nice sardines there. Always stop and half oysters on the half shell, and the clams on Wed. were some of the best I've ever had anywhere. Also sea urchin.
Borgatti's (sp?) - fresh pasta cut per your specifications, many love their ricotta ravioli (don't like ricotta ravioli myself)
Biancardi - butcher - I bought some of the most tender veal scalloppine (sp?) there this time - see this post for discussions of lines (needed on the weekend!) - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45333... - lots of other great tips on that thread.
If you can - I'd go early ....
we like to eat as Pasquale's Rigoleto which i know gets some no so good reviews here, but we have always had good meals there. does it get loud, yeah, but the pasta is never overcooked. as for shopping, go to the mozarella store on 187th st (can't remember the name) for the freshest mozzarella you will get. I second the Calabria Pork Store, especially if you like soprasata - get the flat kind, mmmm. Also, second Mike's in the retail center - everything is good there, but they have this Madonna cheese that is delicious! enjoy.