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Real Eyetalian

I have some friends visiting from down south and wanted to go to a real Italian joint - maybe in the outer bouroughs. I am kinda sick of small Italian plates and upscale locales. Maybe something with red checkered table clothes that actually serves good food. I was thinking Max's or something along those lines but welcome any suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. I am absolutely not in a position to talk about the vast majority of Italian in NYC -- but I know that a local place for me called Mediterraneo (2nd and 66th) serves me big plates of pasta, so I have another meal the next day, and their eggplant ragu just hits some spot in me that makes me so happy. It gets loud and filled with all sorts, from babies to yuppies, and everyone is there to nosh. If it is anywhere near where you and your friends are staying, it might work out. I make no claims of true authenticity, except for the heavily accented waiters at times!

    I know that Menupages has wildly mixed reviews, but so far I have never had a problem. Good luck!

    1. Ferdinando's Focacceria Ristorante in Carol Gardens came to mind first. (check out http://nymag.com/nymetro/food/guides/..., noting, in part that it is a "homey, nearly century-old Sicilian café on a preserved-in-time strip of Union Street"


      Sam's on Court Street is also good old-school (red sauce) italian. http://menupages.com/restaurantdetail...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mike11201

        Agree on Ferdinando's, but disagree on Sam's. Unless you’re ordering Sam’s pizza, which we like, I’d stay away from their entrees which do not impress us at all.

        1. re: peachesmarch

          Cono & Son O'Pescatore... definitely. Exactly what you are looking for. I love a traditional spaghetti & meatballs. This is the spot.

        2. I have been scolded for referring to this place as a mere 'red sauce' joint, but I think Queen on court st would be just the ticket.

          1 Reply
          1. re: NYJewboy

            Another vote for The Queen. I disagree though, with the poster who recommended Sam's on Court Street. They make terrific pizza, and the occasional serviceable dinner dish. But I would never go there for a special occasion dinner.

          2. peachesmarch, the outa boroughs are loaded with dees joints...for real 'Eyetalian' how can you leave out Arthur Ave. in da Bronx...search the many posts on this board for choices.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gutreactions

              Ditto on the Arthur Ave suggestion. I'm not terribly up on what's best these days but Dominick's would probably fit the bill.

            2. Trattoria L'Incontro or Picollo Venezia, both in Astoria.

              5 Replies
              1. re: phantomdoc

                Yeah, I second Picollo Venezia. Time honored. I went there for my 14th birthday.

                1. re: NYJewboy

                  While very good, both Piccola Venezia and Trattoria L'Incontro are not red sauce restaurants based on their menu, although (especially PV), they have the feel of a red sauce place. In addition to Cono and Sons, I would recommend Frost in Williamsburgh. While there are better high end places (Roberto's, Zero Otto Nove)on Arthur Ave., I think Pasquale's Rigoletto is the most Real Eyetalian restaurant in NYC. Lastly while Ferndinando's is definitely authentic, note that it serves only Sicialian specialties and closes early (8 PM?)

                  Ferdinando's Focacceria
                  151 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                  Pasquale's Rigoletto
                  2311 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

                  Piccola Venezia
                  42-01 28th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

                  193 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                  Cono & Sons O'Pescatore
                  301 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                  1. re: bobjbkln

                    Ferdinando's is now open later on Fridays and Saturdays. I think until 10pm.

                    1. re: bobjbkln

                      Agreed that L'Incontro and PV are definitely NOT red sauce joints (but both awesome). I would recommend Manducatis in LIC if you are looking for Western Queens red sauce. It has the great food and vibe of an old school NYC Italian American eatery.

                      1. re: Astoria Lurker

                        Once brought visitors from Israel to Piccolo Venezia. The comment was "The best food we have ever had in our lives". Pretty much a safe bet that the meal will impress even the less than sophisticated as well as the experienced. Make it a slam dunk.

                2. piccola vnezia astoria, robertos bronx/arthur ave