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Oct 7, 2008 05:31 PM

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, 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.

      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 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.