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HELP! Need a REAL Italian place in New Haven for this weekend.

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We're from New Haven but haven't lived there in many, many years. My memories are of great mom-and-pop type restaurants with escarole and beans, veal parmigiana, eggplant, great pastas, etc. on the menu. Not frou-frou, not too fancy, just great down home Italian food. Can anybody recommend a place for that in New Haven or East Haven? I'm bringing a group of friends into town to go to Pepe's (they've heard about it for so many years and want to try it) but we need a second place to go for a late lunch on Sunday. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Anastasios on Wooster is just what you described- great food, reasonable, their menu is viewable on line

    1. Right across the street from Pepe's is Tony and Lucille's which is about as Mom & Pop as you get.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chefstu

        Thanks to both of you! I've also gotten a recommendation for Consiglio's, any opinions?

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        Consiglio's Restaurant
        165 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511

        1. re: ljulian

          very good, mostly old school red sauce, with a few innovative twists. Been there for years and stands the test of time in New Haven, which is very picky when it comes to Italian food.

          1. re: ljulian

            I think Consiglios is average- Lorenzos great for a bar to eat pizza at and watch the game- I am still standing by Anastasios- such a hidden gem- one of the best eggplant parms I have ever had. Definetly agree re Adriana's but it will be pricier- go there and you will have the best sauteed veal ever- try the John Dory too (ask for it they always have it but it may not be listed as a special)- it is ITALIAN (not Chilean) sea bass brought in from NY- so tender and fresh you will not even know it is fish!

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            Consiglio's Restaurant
            165 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511

        2. Lorenzo's in West Haven is very good. Traditional red sauce joint with some more innovative dishes. It can be very crowded on the weekends, so you'll need a reservation.

          1. Here's a few..

            Adrianna's on Grand Ave. Very good seafood. Order the Panecotto if you go.
            Geppi's also on Grand Ave.
            Second on Consiglio's. Very good...
            Leon's at Long Wharf does classic Italian dishes. The Varipappa's recipes go back generations. Eddie Jr. is running the place still.

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            Geppi's Restaurant
            113 Grand Ave, New Haven, CT 06513

            Consiglio's Restaurant
            165 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511

            6 Replies
            1. re: awm922

              great recommendations, thanks so much everyone!!! I'll let you know how it goes!

              1. re: awm922

                Geppi's??????
                AFIK it's been out of business for more than a year

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                Geppi's Restaurant
                113 Grand Ave, New Haven, CT 06513

                1. re: bagelman01

                  Too Bad. It was a great restaurant in it's day.

                  1. re: awm922

                    About 23 yeaqrs ago I had a business a bit further west on Grand Ave and I used to dine there and got to know the owners through the Fair Haven Business District Association. Lat ate there about 8 years ago.

                    They just couldn't survive the "bad neighborhood" stigma. No one felt safe coming there at night.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      I still go to Ferraro Foods for business. Always ended up at one of the neighborhood places with Sal Jr. for dinner. Leon's, Adrianna's, Carmen Anthony's, Geppi's, always a good time. Tough neighborhood, but sometimes you have to sacrifice for a good meal.

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                      Geppi's Restaurant
                      113 Grand Ave, New Haven, CT 06513

                      1. re: awm922

                        I agree with Adrianna's, it has an attached parking lot (nice deal with the city to get control of the city owned land). Leon's is less than ordinary, haven't had a good meal from them since they were on Daggett Street (Hamden was fair, Long Wharf worse).

                        There are limits to the amnount of sacrifice I'd make for a good meal. When I had my buisiness on Grand Ave, I was shot at twice, My car and dumpster in the rear parking lot were torched by a drug gang upset that i cooperated with the police.
                        Police were useless in New Haven in those years, chief told me they liked the drug activity conecntrate on my corner, it made it easier for them to keep tabs on it.
                        I'm a New Haven native, born at Grace New Haven Hospital, I'll go to Ferraro's in daylight, but after dark you will not find me on Grand Avenue. There are other fine restaurants in safer areas.

              2. Anniello's in East Haven in Trolley Square is a great place with chicken parm to die for.
                Antonio's in East Haven on Main Street.