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Sep 19, 2008 12:27 PM

Italian in great neck/Little neck area?? Help!

Alright - so It's been a year since I move to the great neck/ Little neck area. And I've gotten used to the fact that this is where your taste buds go to die. But there are Italian restaurants every three feet around here (Aunt Bellas, Contis, Grotta, Vespa, etc. etc.), and I can't help thinking - at least ONE of these places has to make killer Italian food - right? They can't all be mediocre - right? Someone give me some good news. I'm looking for something that's at least on par with Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights (great food, homemade pasta, not expensive). So?

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  1. My wife just asked me yesterday what my favorite, best Italian is in the area and I had no answer. Conti's is sometimes excellent, but nothing in the area is outstanding. It is just one big sea of red sauce. You might want to try Trobiano's in Great Neck on Middle Neck Road, they will be featured next week on Kitchen Nightmares so if Gordo straightened them out it might provide an exceptional meal. I went when they first opened and they were no better then all the others.

    2 Replies
    1. re: stuartlafonda

      Thanks for the input. I watched the Trobiano's episode on Hell's Kitchen last night - place was a train wreck. You haven't by any chance tried it yet have you? Even with Ramsey ripping the place a new one I'm hesitant to give it a try...

      1. re: mdog

        I watched as well last night, not much to like about the place. I have not been to the new version yet but it is so close I will be there soon, probably for a Sunday night family meal and will report back.

    2. mdog: you just have to get used to it or drive into the city. I visit my mother in Great Neck about once a month and we are perpetually looking for someplace decent to eat, and I have to tell is pretty grim chow-wise. There is nothing above 'ok' whatsoever. The best I have found are the places on Shore road in Port Washington or Bell blvd, and they are all nothing to post on this site let me tell you. I guess the closest is Parkside in Corona.

      8 Replies
      1. re: NYJewboy

        NYJ, There is a little place, kind of unknown but it has been around a while that serves a decent meal, goes by the name Peter Luger Steakhouse. Give Ethos a try, they serve very good,albeit expensive fish and greek dishes. South side of the train station is a Turkish place called Tulip, and solid sushi is served at Daruma,Zutto and Blue Fin. Overall though you are right, the best thing about Great Neck for a Chowhound is the proximity to Queens, Chowhound heaven.

        1. re: stuartlafonda

          If you read the heading, this guy wanted Italian.

          1. re: NYJewboy

            You wrote" I visit my mother in Great Neck about once a month and we are perpetually looking for someplace decent to eat...", it did not sound as though you were speaking of only Italian food in the area. I read the heading, that is why I wrote about Conti's and Trobianos, Sorry, I was just trying to help a fellow hound (with a tag I find offensive) find "someplace decent to eat" in a place that is "grim chow-wise". I won't bother you again.

            1. re: stuartlafonda

              NYJewboy and LaFonda...Jump on the Cross Island Parkway heading north....get off at the UTOPIA PARKWAY exit and take the service road to 149th Street and make a RIGHT HAND TURN at the CARVEL and on 12th AVenue in WHITESTONE you will be at VESUVIO aka "Da Nicola"...this is the best you will find in Northeast Queens and within 20 minutes of Great Neck...If you are bringing a party of 4 or more call ahead ..(718 767 4730) and let Nick know you are CHOWHOUNDER'S...Go for the regional dishes Chef and his Mom will not disappoint you...Trust Me!!!

              1. re: hopkicker3

                I love the original family restaurant on Bell and still go there quite often but although the food is top notch the setting is still hard core pizzaria. When they opened the new place in Whitestone I went and hoped for the same or better food in a nicer setting which is what you get although service is still pretty bad. It is not in Little Neck/Great Neck so I didn't think about it but it I wish it was as it would be a great place to have nearby for family meals. Not a destination restaurant but a good choice if you are close by.


                1. re: hopkicker3

                  Is this the same as the Bell blvd Vesuvio?

                  1. re: NYJewboy

                    How about Il Baco on Northern Blvd.

                    1. re: NYJewboy

             is run by the same is their second restaurant...and Mr. LAFONDA service has improved and it is worth a revisit!!!!

          2. Iavarone Brothers at the Lake Success Shopping Center has pretty good Italian food. They're my favorite on Long Island. You can view their menu here (


            Iavarone Brothers - The Backroom Trattoria
            New Hyde Park

            1. No love for Giordino's on Northern and Little Neck Pkwy I think it is? It's been a go to fav of mine for a few years now. They even have nutella ravioli's for desert, they might have even been fried. it's been a while since I've sat for a meal there as I always seem to go takeout.
              The people who own Giordino's also own Russo's on the Bay, so needless to say you'd hope the quality of the food is comparable.

              I live in Bayside and this is my spot I runto for Italian food. Not Vesuvio's sitdown restaurant or their pizzaria which family friends of mine owned before it became Il Vesuvio's, and I certainly don't waste my time waiting for the subpar Cascarino's on Bell either.

              1. I'm not particularly fond of Italian food, and I agree that the Italian restaurants in Great Neck just aren't that great. On the rare occasiosn when I want Italian, or when everyone I'm with wants Italian, I like La Rotonda on Bond Street (not the cafe on Middleneck Road, which is overpriced).. They have some good salads and pasta dishes,and they make a great chicken balsamico. I've heard good things about Antoninos on Northern Blvd. and East Shore Road, but it looks like a glorified pizza place. These aren't destination places, but if you live in town and don't want to drive far, they might fit the bill.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LloydG

                  Antonino's is great. Glorified pizza place? yeah, but they make a great homemade vinegarette for salad's that still has to be one of the best salad dressings i've ever had, the fam agrees.

                  Their Brushetta Chicken hero is top notch and their Franchaise is probably my fav out of all the different places I've had it at.