A new dining adventure (Italian?)
Hey all. So a group of friends of mine and I like to go on these gastronomical tours where we attack a certain foodstuff/neighborhood to find the best of the best, usually leaving us beyond stuffed but spiritually satisfied. Past trips have included Roosevelt Ave./Flushing's Chinatown, Greenpoint for Polish, and Kew Gardens/Brighton Beach for Israeli.
I've turned my attention recently to Italian, which is a much more tricky beast to slay. Unlike the aforementioned, which benefit from freshly replenished immigrant populations serving up the most authentic food possible, I think most Italian neighborhoods haven't seen a new immigrant in about a century :).
Nevertheless, I have a feeling somewhere in the boroughs exists a place or a street or an enclave where we can get truly authentic Italian food- something you'd feel proud serving at a restaurant in Rome or Florence- regionality isn't that important, just the authenticity. I've had so many friends returning from Italy telling me the food was so astoundingly different and out of this world, I'm dying to find some around the city.
I've heard some rumors of an area in the Bronx, but haven't looked much further than that.
So, to all you hounds out there, where should we go? Any particular restaurants? Two things I'm decidedly not looking for: pizza joints or anything in Manhattan. Nothing against either, but we're looking for some real hearty food and we've done the island already- we want to venture into home turf here for cibo Italiano!
Visit Arthur Avenue, a/k/a the Belmont section of the Bronx.
One of the last Italian neighborhoods (increasingly Balkan and Mexican) in the city. Within about a 6 block square area, there are numerous bakeries (Madonia Bros., Addeo's, Terranova), pastry shops (De Lillo, Morrone, Egidio, Artuso, etc.), butchers (Vincent's, Biancardi's, Peter's), delis (Tino's, Casa Della Mozzarella, Mike's), a great pork store (Calabria's), fresh cheese store (Calandra's), outstanding fresh pasta/ravioli (Borgatti's), a liquor store specializing in Italian wine and grappa (Mt. Carmel) and many restaurants (our favorite is Roberto's).
Search the threads, you'll find lots of info.