Any suggestions on Arthur Avenue?
It has been ages since I have headed to Arthur Avenue for a meal but friends of our suggested it as it is between our homes in LI and CT (sort-of) and I was hoping the hounds could suggest a food good choices. Of course I am looking for fabulous pasta and bread - a carb lovers paradise but I am open to any and all ideas!
zero otto nove trattoria is in a beautifully remodeled storefront (it was once a mcdonalds i believe) that has a small european style white marble bar in front (ballgame on one flatscreen, soccer on the other) and an incredibly evocative (of a small italian town i guess salerno) dining room in back. its very casual and elegant at the same time. the food is earthy italian and mostly provisioned from the stellar old word italian shops on arthur avenue. pork chops with vinegar peppers, ragu, stewed rabbit, whole branzino in cherry tomato sauce, free range chicken cacciatore, homemade pasta, and their red sauce is to die for. the bread is the crusty Arthur Avenue classic that you can't get outside the Bronx served with olive oil and pepper. also they have arguably some of the best creative brick oven pizzas in nyc. the service is spot-on. we love going there for lunch or dinner on our way to or from a yankees game and eating at the bar. as the kitchen is open to the bar but not the dining room, your food is in front of you searingly hot about 10 seconds after it leaves the pan or the brick oven. wonderful italian wines by the glass at very reasonable prices for a very nice pour. it can be whatever you want it to be. a quick pizza and a beer or a slow romantic wine-filled evening over a wonderful multi-course meal. all in all an outstanding experience that i go back for again and again!!! the owner/chef is roberto paciullo of the long famed roberto's restaurant around the corner which is a bit more formal and more expensive. robertos is really really good but zero otto nove is better, less expensive, and most importantly more fun than anything else on or near Arthur Avenue. Incidentally, the first time I went there in the fall of 2007 there was a guy at the bar i said to my wife was trying too hard to cultivate a "chris noth" "mr. big" look and demeanor. only when joe torre walked in the door to join him did i realize he really was chris noth.