Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Good, but not impressive

April 17, 2016

Maria Pia
319 West 51 Street
New York, New York

(212) 765-6463

Good, but uninspired

Maria Pia is a very convenient Italian theater restaurant. The service is prompt and the food is good. You can all the old classics Saltimbocca, Osso Bocca , etc. and they are all done well. There is a good wine list and cocktails are available. What is missing is the new inventive dishes, that make a restaurant very special.

We had the shrimp on pasta with a very nice and slightly spicy tomato sauce and the Osso Bocca with a very wet polenta both were very good. Dinner for two is about $ 100

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Il Principe: An Oasis in an Urban Dessert

April 10, 2016

Il Principe is part of the Hotel Hugo and is located 525 Greenwich, which is less than two years old. The street is basically a UPS operation and as such has little or no pedestrian traffic.  Indeed, at night it is a little scary. In addition it is nearly impossible to approach by car from the south during NYC’s extended rush hour as you have to cross Holland tunnel traffic. There are outside tables, but unless you really love the rubble of large delivery trucks go inside. The lobby dining room is quite a different matter. There are marble floors, finished wood slats on the walls and lots of glass, very nice.

We started off with a Cesare Salad with barely roasted romaine lettuce and shave ptarmigan cheese, not traditional, but very nicely done. Then we had an enormous bowl of fried calamari done perfectly with a tasty, but again non-traditional dip, almost a Russian dressing.  My main courses were Osso Bocco on a creamy polenta. I am an eater, but I took home almost half the meal. We also had lamb chops done expertly.

Dinner for two with a drink and tip is about $ 200

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Why bother?!?

December 18, 2011

Why bother

La Piazza Pizza
229 Prospect Park West

 718 499 0006


La Piazza is a mini chain of pizza shops. As such its seems to have gotten all the disadvantages of a chain and none of the advantages.

Their website simply does not give you the information you need. For example: How many slices does a full pie give you? Are the piazzas round or square? What is the pricing of each?  Also custom pies are nearly impossible to order.

New York Cityprobably has the best pizza in the world, certainly better thanNaplesItaly. La Piazza pizzas are mainly bread, toppings are sparse and unimaginative and without that special Italian flavor.

 At Ditmas Estates LLC, real estate, we believe that your neighborhood, its restaurants, stores and services is as important as the home you buy. 

 A large twelve slice rectangular pie is about $ 40, but why bother.


Undiscovered Talent

August 14, 2011

Papa Gino’s
2935 Newtown AvenueAstoria,NY


I had heard some internet inklings that somewhere in Queens there was this pizza shop that was in fact a special Italian restaurant in disguise. Being curious, we approached the looked like an ordinary slice place to discover something quite special.

 When given our typical three fold paper menu, we noticed risotto and osso buco on the menu. These are not your typical slice place items. We were then greeted by the owner and master chef, Dino Rednic and went with his suggestions.

 First up was fried calamari, usually calamari is rubbery and served with a non-descript canned tomato sauce on the side. This calamari was bathed in an obviously home made sauce with some red onion and done just so.

 The main courses were also very positive surprises. The osso buco was huge and the red sauce finished with rosemary, nice. It was served with a very nice penne bolognese. The shrimp francese had a bright lemon sauce. A stand out was the home made pappardelle with cream and several different types of mushrooms. Almost perfect, but few strands stuck to each other, perhaps there wasn’t enough flour sprinkled when the stands were cut, a minor error.

 Dessert was some very special gelatos. The fig gelato, yes I said fig, was delightful as was the strawberry and both had real fruit in them. The chocolate gelato was made with semi sweet or unsweetened dark chocolate, unusual but addictive.

 Papa Gino’s is undergoing a soft opening, there is a nicely appointed party room and there soon will be a separation of the pizza parlor and the restaurant, just like it is done inRome.

 Dinner for four is approximately $ 120 without wine & tip.

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