Arthur Ave restaurants that take reservations?
My wife's birthday is in a couple of weeks, and a few in her (American Italian) family are coming into town to help us celebrate. They've requested Arthur Avenue, which I'm happy to oblige, but I'm wondering if anywhere on Arthur Ave takes reservations. I've been to Roberto's and ZON, and have waited for an hour or so at both b/c of the no-reservations policy; I'm OK with this usually, but my 86-year-old grandmother-in-law probably wouldn't be, so I'm hoping for somewhere with a more humane experience. Any suggestions for a classic Arthur Avenue experience, with good food, that would allow us to reserve? The group probably won't be larger than 6, and maybe just 5, so a private room isn't really an option.
On a CH recommendation, I have enjoyed Tra Di Noi on 187th Street several times now. I think it would fit the bill perfectly.
Roberto's opens at 4 on Saturday and at 5 during the week. My guess is that if you get there near opening time you will not have a problem getting in without a wait. Also, if you are into old fashioned classic red sauce Italian American, I'd recommend Pasquale's Rigolletto. And although it's been *many* years since I've been, I think I do hear some good things recently about Mario's.
True, especially if there's no Yankee game. :)
Normally, if you arrive within the opening hour you can get seated - and the closer to opening, the better. Haven't been to Mario's in quite a while, but per the other poster, we had a nice dinner at Tra Di Noi recently; I still prefer Roberto's, but it's a good option.
Have you eaten at Tra Di Noi?
Our favorite is definitely Roberto's (had an early dinner there a few Mondays ago - we got there at 5:45, and for about a forty-five minutes, had the place to ourselves! Food was excellent as usual, and the service was very attentive, as you might imagine); however, as I mentioned above, we had a good dinner at Tra Di Noi (which another poster in this thread mentioned).
Tra Di Noi
622 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458
Update: we ended up at Pasquale's. Interesting place, which my family loved, but I was more OK with. It's a big, busy place, and felt a bit like the Italian equivalent of one of those Chinese banquet-style restaurants in Chinatown, with a bunch of big parties at big tables, decor only as far as they think it's required, and waiters and bus boys rushing all over the place. Our waiter was brusque at first, but warmed up to us - a lot - when we chatted him up (and finding out that my wife's family is Italian, I'm sure, didn't hurt matters), and the service in general was perfectly efficient.
As for the food: the mozzarella in a caprese salad could have come from a supermarket, and my pasta was a boring mass, but those were certainly the two worst dishes on the table. Three different veal dishes were all excellent, the gnocchi was great as well, and the desserts - it's hard to mess up Italian desserts, and they certainly didn't try. Really superb tiramisu, for one.
There were no "wow" moments like I've had at Roberto's and Zero Otto Nove, but we didn't have to wait an hour for a table, they had free valet parking (which was a heck of an advantage in last week's blizzard), and I can't complain about the overall experience. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't make a point of going on my own, but also pretty sure that I'll go back with the family, happily.