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Nov 9, 2008 01:31 PM

L&B Spumoni Gardens

I've eaten at this landmark in Gravesend, Brooklyn for most of my life. Recently, friends told me that things have changed, and it's not the same solid Italian-American food and service which we all remember.

Sad to say, I went there for dinner last night and was TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED. Service was horrible, food took forever to arrive and portions wer extremely skimpy. Some dishese never arrived. The waiter was no where to been seen until he brought the check. Needless to say I left him a very "skimpy" tip.

When we left the restaurant, I said something to the hostess/manager. She told me that others were complaining all night and she didn't understand, because it was not very busy for a Saturday night.

I don't know what's going on, but they're killing a tradition and a once great family business.

I hope they turns things around soon before it's too late.

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  1. I've only been going to Spumoni Gardens for about 3 years. After exploring many items on the menu, almost all of which I found disappointing, why do I keep going back? The Seafood Salad! It's one of the best around. It's a huge bowl of a wide variety of fresh fish including shrimp, scallops, mussels, calamari and some mixed greens. Aside from the square pizza and spumoni, it's the only item I order. If you go for lunch they also have decent hot hero’s. Those items alone are worth the trip, especially in warm weather when you can sit outside.

    1. I have been to L&B a few times for pizza and ice cream but last Tuesday I had my first sit down meal. I had taken the family to the Aquarium and Totonno's was closed so we decided to try it. My experience was similiar to the one you had. The room was practically empty at 5:30 but it took forever to get served, particularly painful when eating with a 6 year old. As for the food, no better then what you get at the local pizzaria. Baked clams were the highlight even at $12. The baked ziti was not baked and swimming in sauce. Chicken Francese was so lip puckering from the lemon I thought of Gordon Ramsey and how he yells at the Chefs to taste the food. Linquini Vongole was full of tasteless clams with very little sauce, the meatball my son had was quite good. I will disagree with one of your observations, the food portions were enormous. The ziti was served on a huge platter and the linquini in something closer to a pail then a bowl. The side of vegetables overflowed a large soup bowl. The bill was close to $100 after all was said and done. I'll stick with the pizza, a nice pre-app while you endure the long wait, and the spumoni.

      4 Replies
      1. re: stuartlafonda

        You pretty much nailed the restaurant part of Spumoni Gardens. Big generous portions of mostly mediocre though edible food at affordable prices. I disagree with the OP's downhill interpretation. The restaurant was never uphill enough to go downhill.

        1. re: pizmet

          " The restaurant was never uphill enough to go downhill"
          Well said. I think you're spot on with your assessment of the food and portion size, although if the OP said his/her portions that visit were skimpy I'm sure they were.
          I'm still not even sure why everyone (including myself) continues to eat their pizza. It's basically sauced with overly salty tomato paste.
          I don't know. Maybe that' thick tomato texture is what we all find so appealing.

          1. re: Tay

            I happen to agree with your assessment of the pizza there as well, but didn't want to bring it up since the OP was mainly discussing the restaurant. I never understood the wide raves their pizza gets, or how it makes so many top pizza lists. It's not awful, not by any means, but to me, there's absolutely nothing so outstanding about it that would justify the exceedingly high praise it often gets.

            By the way, I eat Spumoni Gardens pizza often. Still do. The place is very convenient because it has its' own parking lot, and enough other parking on the same block. The place is run well also. I don't ever remember waiting more than 15 minutes for slices, even on days when the place was crowded. And I'd consider a 15 minute wait at L&B rare by their standards; I can typically get a slice there in less than five minutes, and usually immediately. These are all positives and why I continue to frequent the place. But their pizza, while I would never say is bad, is not great either.

            1. re: pizmet

              I still eat it on occasion, though much less frequently than I used to. and I have to be in the mood for that tomato paste based sauce. As you mentioned, for those of us who drive, parking is always a consideration.
              Instead of L&B's I now get the brick oven margarita pie from Casa Bella on Cropsey and 26th Ave. It's really good., there is street parking available and no crowds. While we're there we always make a stop at Angelo's Bakery on 86th and 25th Ave to pick up their outstanding cheesecake (either ricotta or cream cheese-Both good) and french cream stuffed lobster tails. :-}

      2. L&B is not the best italian restaurant for actual entrees.However somethings they do are excellent. They have excellent Sicilian slices, best rice balls, excellent chocolate mouse cake, hereo's are very good, also very good meatballs and a great red sauce as well as the chicken with mushrooms is very good, sausage and peppers as well. Everything else I would stay away from.

        1. yes, only eat the wonderful pizza which i absolutely love. other than that, the food has always been so-so, but the pizza is the best!

          2 Replies
          1. re: meb903

            I have said time and time again, Italia Pizza at 307 Kings Highway (718) 339-0666‎, which, incidentally, is only a few blocks from L&B, has the best Sicilian pizza I have ever tasted in Brooklyn. Crispy around the edges, lighter than air dough, and very tasty tomato sauce.

            1. re: Brklynbobby

              Having seen your rec previously, I tried...Twice. Maybe I hit it at a bad time but both times there was absolutely nowhere to park!
              Next time I'm going to be in the area, I'm going to order one to go and eat a slice in the car. :-}