Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Aug 19, 2010 05:15 PM

Been to Don Peppe in Ozone Park lately?

I have. For a long lunch (5 people) on Tuesday. Even got to take (and post) pics of my fave foods, which NEVER change:

Baked clams
Linguine with white clam sauce
Veal Don Peppe (Milanese style)
Chicken Scarp (with sausage and peppers added -- the only way to do it)
Side of escarole

Oh, and a couple bottles of house wine (served cold no matter the color).

Love this place.

Don Peppe
135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. you're missing the mussels marinara!

      1. re: janie

        janie, the photos are on my blog. the post is dated august 17 2010.

        sorry for not including a direct link; it's against chowhound policy.


        1. re: Mister Meatball

          what a great entry...thanks for the excellent read, and mouth watering photos...good friend of mine loves the Veal with the tomatoes on it..and also the linguine with clam sauce...Have you eaten at King Umberto in Elmont? They make some killer great stuff as well.....

          1. re: Mister Meatball

            >>sorry for not including a direct link; it's against chowhound policy.

            As I understand it, that's not so. What they don't want is users posting things like "I ate there, read about it on my blog," then steering others away from this site while leaving zero food-related content here. You didn't do that ... though as a Chowhound regular I would've appreciated something more descriptive than the bare-bones list of dishes you offered.

            1. re: squid kun

              Here's the LINK to the Don Peppe story (and pics):

              Hope you're right about this, squid kun. Thanks for the info.

              Janie, thanks for kind words. And no, never been to King Umberto. Will try next time I'm in town.

              Don Peppe
              135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

        2. Thanks for the memories! I've read some rather bad reports on Don Peppe here but your photos certainly make the food look worth the detour! BTW: What is the (cabbage? meatball?) soup on the homepage of your blog?

          Don Peppe
          135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

          2 Replies
          1. re: erica

            Erica, I've been going to Don Peppe a long time (I'm from Brooklyn, but live in Maine now). My experience is that, while some dishes just don't cut it, the ones that do, as with those I mentioned, are stellar. As for the atmosphere, etc, I'm a huge fan still. Always have been. And I've noticed no meaningful changes whatsoever through the years.
            As for my homepage pic, funny, you're the first to ask about it. I'll give you the link, as the dish was my very first post. It's a pork and sauerkraut sauce, which is served over polenta. Very unusual dish. Unbelievably fantastic!. Here's the link:

            Don Peppe
            135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

            1. re: Mister Meatball

              my friend who eats at Don Pepe says exactly the same thing, she and her husband always order the same dishes, the ones you listed ,and they are always consistently the same and excellent.

          2. 1-Get the Linguine Vongole Marechiare. Pink clam sauce. Not on the menu. A whole other level of fantastic. The best there is. Addictive.

            2-I always get the sausage and peppers separate. The chicken stays crispier.

            3-The Lobster Fra Diavolo over Linguini is great.

            4-The best baked clams on the planet.

            5-Veal Don Peppe. Nuff said.

            6-The veal with eggplant is really good.

            7-If they have the stuffed Artichokes, do not miss it.

            8-People love the Chinese Chicken too.

            Been eating there over 30 years. Very consistent.

            Don Peppe
            135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

            4 Replies
              1. re: bigjeff

                At a recent visit, we over ordered not realizing that portions were family style. When the food came we were approached by an older gentleman. He had a winter suntan, open shirt and at least four gold chains. Our festive mood immediately grew somber. In a lovely Brooklyn accent he inquired "Whoes Goin to the Chair". Was this to be our last meal or was our order truly excessive? In any event , we made sure we ate everything. I think of the frivolity and how the scene could have been in the movies. It was wonderful. So was the food.

                1. re: bigjeff

                  Shit, i don't remember but, there is nothing Chinese or Asian influenced in the dish if I am not mistaken.

              2. This was my review from a few months ago

                We are having a good time going through all of the "Old School" Italian offerings that Queens and Brooklyn has to offer. Don Peppe's seems to be in the upper tier of these types of restaurants. We had a terrific meal there last night..

                The room and the building is really nothing to look at .The dark, drab building reminds me of a strip club that might be along the side of Route 1, or Tonnelle Ave, or in some industrial park along a highway.. It's really nothing to look at. The room is just slightly better.. The high ceilings are it's only saving grace.. A really dated shiny wall paper, a bunch of tables holding large parties, a few 4 tops, all in a shmaltzy type room.. But, we are not here to eat the wall paper so, these things can all be looked passed..

                The real exciting thing here is the food.. And there is tons of it .The place is set up for family style eating... No one is going to get their plate and sit down and quietly eat. .The room is boisterous.. Tables of 12, 18, 10 are sitting around sharing large plates of delicious food..

                We started with their famous baked clams.. A very simple offering done perfectly.. Fresh bread crumbs, a little garlic, and some wine.. Broiled clams. .The clams come 13 to an order, out on an oval plate sitting in the wine and garlic sauce..Making a clammy wine bread soup.. Plates of lemon slices, about three worth, are placed on the table.. The clams were really nice. Male waiters serve you using the double spoon technique.. T Great way to start..

                We moved on to the house salad.. Roasted red peppers, chunks of fresh tomatoes, lots of dried oregano, your basic vinegar and oil dressing.. Served in the large wood looking plastic bowls.. A standard in every Italian American home..

                We then moved on to a plate of linguini with clam sauce.. This was stellar, exemplary version.. Huge whole perfectly golden brown cloves of garlic, tons of clams, dressed an al dente plate of linguini.. This was a thing of beauty. .Cheese and red pepper flakes served along side. Our waiter came over and skillfully served us from a huge plate.. A nice little touch...

                We moved on to a simple plate of Shrimp Luciano.. A dozen or so shrimp sitting in a pinkish sauce. Sauce was salty and finished with butter.. The type of dish where you would run the shrimp across the plate and it would take a minute for sauce to come back together covering the white line of the plate.. I was kind of disappointed when the dish arrived as it looked so simple.

                A plate of broccoli rabe might have been two whole bunches worth from a super market.. Cooked perfectly.. Lots more garlick..

                At this point we were stuffed.. we finished with dessert and coffee..

                We ordered a carafe of the house red which came freezing cold in a labeless bottle.. The wine was delicious.. Again, turning my preconceptions on it's ear...

                Chicken Chinese ,Chicken Scarp, Veal Parm, Veal Don Peppe, were flying out of the kitchen.. If we had brought a few more people, we could have tried these things.. Unfortunately, we were too stuffed.. I can't wait to go back..

                Don Peppe
                135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420