Our excellent Arthur Avenue adventure
I finally did something I've long wanted to do while in NYC but have never found the time for on shorter stays. So yesterday, my husband and I got on the subway and rode out to the Fordham Road stop and then hoofed it to Arthur Avenue. Once there, after poking in and out of several shops, we settled on Emilia's for lunch--and it was wonderful. We started w/clams on the half shell, which were as fresh and sweet as we could imagine. My husband had one of the lunch specials--pork braciola stuffed with pine nuts and raisins w/a side of pasta and (a very tasty, viibrant) red sauce (11.95!)--and it was absolutely delicious. Since making the choice between that and veal parmigiana caused him such agony, I went ahead and ordered it (which wasn't on the lunch specials menu), and we were both glad for that decision: this excellent veal parm somehow managed to be light. The complimentary bread that came with a bowl of (ripe!) tomato wedges in olive oil and peppers was also delicious. Even the side of broccoli rabe was about the best we've ever had--tender but not overcooked and heady w/garlic. (Our only regret was that we couldn't order the pork osso buco lunch special too, as it looked fantastic.)
This was old-fashioned Italian-American food at its best, imo. My husband, whose very midwestern parents mostly eschewed Italian food (despite living in SF for many years), has loved all things tomato sauce/parmigiano since he first had pizza (in college!), so the few hours we spent on Arthur Ave. yesterday were his idea of heaven. We stopped for biscotti and espresso in another little shop, and we shopped a bit, buying salami/salumi at the Calabrian pork shop, mozzarella from Casa de Mozzarella, and assorted other goodies along the way. (I should tell you that Tietel Bros. had 28-oz cans of DOC-designated San Marzanos for $2.49; I couldn't believe it, and was tempted to lug a case home with me.)
I want to give a big thanks to all the hounds from whom I took advice and tips after researching these boards. We're so glad we decided to spend half a day on the Arthur Ave. experience; was definitely worth it for us.
Calabria Pork Store
2338 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
Casa Della Mozzarella
604 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458
2372 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
2331 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
DOC is a wine designation, controlled denomination of origin; the OP meant DOP.
Thanks for the update. I spent a morning in the neighborhood myself about a week ago and had a blast. I find the shopkeepers to be very welcoming and the range of products on offer to be just mind-boggling. My usual stops are Borgatti Ravioli (they have DOP tomatoes for under $3 and a very good, well-priced range of dried imported pastas and canned goods); Biancardi; Madonia; and Calandra Cheese, but I am always eager to explore and discover finds that are new to me....thanks again.
2350 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
632 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458
Madonia Brothers Bakery
2348 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
2314 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
As Erica points, out DOP is the controlling standard for foodstuffs--Denominazione d'Origine Protteta, recognized by the EU. San marzano DOP must be tomatoes of this variety grown under certain conditions in delimited areas (Nocera, Agri, and other areas near Vesuvius). There can be non-san marzano varietals grown and canned in these areas, and there are, but they cannot carry the DOP seal.
I love Arthur Avenue too, and I have been going more often since my son is doing some community service with an organization whose office is actually on 187th Street and Arthur Avenue. In fact, we are going today, and I am planning on picking up all my ingredients for my Pizza Rustica that I will make on Friday. It is really like being transported back in time. I love the place and I am glad you got a chance to go, nomadchowwoman!