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Jul 4, 2014 02:54 PM

NYer Revisits NYC after long exile!

Just back from Manhattan and damn, I scored some great meals. An impeccable cherry cheese knish at Yonah Schimmel's (unfortunately the fotos may have been lost), a Sicilian and a margherita slice with pepperoni at Prince St Pizza, which replaced Original Ray's(photos and video may have been lost) and awe inspiring Neapolitan Margherita w/sausage, Prosciutto & arugula, prosciutto, mushroom & truffle oil pie at Don Antonio's(owned by Roberto Caporuscio of Keste fame) though apparently his award winning daughter,Georgia, is the real boss!

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  1. I love Don Antonio's.
    Their deep-fried calzone with pork rinds and the rotolo are like guilty pleasures.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Hey Ipsedixit, i had the fried pizza but it was the least fave of the 4 we devoured...tasty but too thick and rich for my palette! on the other hand, the other 3 and the fried ball of bucatini w/beschamel was of interplanetary quality!

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Thank you so much for the tip about Don Antonio as I was unfamiliar with it and I'm going to be staying in the neighborhood for the next three days.

        "Awe-inspiring" is just what I need as I have had such uninspiring food on this trip to New York (including at Eleven Madison Park and 15 East) that I was beginning to wonder if there were still any good restaurants left in NYC. Can't wait to try Don Antonio's.

        8 Replies
        1. re: omotosando

          As EMP and 15 East are some of my favorites, I'm curious to hear about your experiences there.

          1. re: omotosando

            I had a great margherita w/sausage added pie, prosciutto w/mushrooms and truffle oil excellent...the fried pizza seemed a bit too rich and def too thick for me..and if they have the fried bucatini balls w/beschamel, get it!

            1. re: omotosando

              I'm not one of the 15 east zealots on this board but if you were disappointed in that meal you probably don't get sushi. Which is ok.

              11 Madison park on the other hand is good food but bizarrely overrated service. I guess maybe I don't like ass kissers

              1. re: MVNYC

                Yea - I find it hard to be a zealot about any place, since people have different tastes. There are certainly restaurants that get a lot of love on this board which I found totally underwhelming.

                I just like to hear the minority report on such things.

                1. re: MVNYC

                  I think I get sushi. I have had many meals prepared by Masa Takayama and I have dined extensively in Japan. I will post later about 15 East, but basically I would say that anyone who thinks it is good doesn't get sushi and doesn't get what Japanese dining is all about.

                  1. re: omotosando

                    I'm in Japan a few times a year. 15 East would probably be a 1 star in Tokyo when Masa serving directly you at the counter. When he's away or at a table, probably department store quality.

                    1. re: Shirang

                      Department store quality is an excellent way to describe 15 East. I will write more when I have time. When I wrote about chef Masa, I was not referring to the chef at 15 East, but to Masa Takayama, who is the chef at Masa at Time Warner, and in response to the person who thought I might not have appreciated how wonderful 15 East is because I was unfamiliar with sushi.

                      1. re: omotosando

                        Pretty much most NYC places will serve department store quality sushi when sitting at the dining room or head chef is not running shop, thats the way it is. Blame it on the mentoring process of just observing instead of being taught. To clarify I didnt mean say a 1 star in Tokyo is bad, I would eat at any 1 star or 3.5+ tabelog over any 3 star sushiya in the US including Masa.

              2. I was really hoping for a great meal at Don Antonio to redeem my recent dismal NYC dining experiences, but alas it was not to be.

                Perhaps I ordered wrong, but the margherita with mushrooms was underwhelming. The crust was soggy and the tomato sauce was too sweet and the pizza was bland, so the overwhelming flavor note was sugar. The mushrooms tasted like they were out of a can or from Costco. We are not talking farm to table here.

                The benches were hard and there were several children screaming at the top of their lungs while their parents ignored them in favor of stuffing pizza into their faces. What's not to like? Plenty.

                I used to think that NYC was the dining capital of the world, but based on my recent experiences, I'm wondering if the City can no longer sustain good food. Perhaps the rising rents means everything goes to the landlord and nothing for the food. Sad but true, but a meal I had in Albany in May blows away anything I have recently had in the City.

                Oh how I miss Un Pizza Napoleanta, whose chef fled NYC.

                14 Replies
                1. re: omotosando

                  Maybe you should have done some research on the board and tried one of the several hundred wonderful restaurants here.

                  1. re: Peter Cuce

                    Actually my research on this Board let me to the dreadful 15 East as well as to several of the other restaurants I did not enjoy.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      have you had any decent meals in new york city?

                      1. re: debinqueens

                        If the roasted chicken at Eataly counts, then yes. Of course we are only talking about the last 2 trips. One can't eat everywhere on a trip, especially if eating is not the sole purpose of the trip, and it just seems like I have struck out on the last two trips.

                        1. re: omotosando

                          Now, this is funny. Because I don't think I've ever really had anything all that memorable at Eataly.

                          Some good things, but nothing I would find all that memorable.

                          And I would take a pizza from Don Antonio's over the ones at La Pizza.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            It is the chickens at Eataly that are memorable. I didn't say anything about any of the other take out, and I have not tried any of the sit down restaurants there. I challenge you to find a better roasted chicken than at Eataly. It is the platonic ideal of chicken. It is perfect.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Re: "Eataly",

                              I just can't get past the gimmicky name.

                              It's just *so* damned corny-- like the kind of name an Italian-American family run suburban New Jersey pizza joint would name itself.

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                Actually, Eataly is an Italian chain that opened a branch in the U.S. and I'm guessing the name sounds fun in Italian, just like Spanglish or the like.

                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                  "Corny?" You want to know from corny? There's a new place near me that trades on its proximity to Herald Square by calling itself "The Harold." That has to be in a gag-worthy class of corny all its own. :O~

                      2. re: omotosando

                        Wow, thats amazing how 2 people can have so completely different experiences...crust was soggy? maybe youve never had a Neapolitan pizza...if thats the case, Don Antonio aint for you....cant speak about the mushrooms, i never order them on pizza but the sauce is in no way too sugary! thats hard to believe. So it goes...

                        1. re: lapizzamaven

                          Yes I have had Neapolitan pizza at the late great Un Pizza Napoleanta in the East Village, as well as at Sotto in Los Angeles. I'm a bit pizzaed out for this trip, but the search will continue on another trip.

                          1. re: omotosando

                            Maybe you should go to Prince Street Pizza!

                        2. The blueberry cheese knish at Yonah Schimmel's is also a big treat. Yummy!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ZaZa

                            (The blueberry cheese was my reply to OP). Omotosando, maybe you were distracted on this trip. I truly hope you enjoy your next visit to NY.