Friday, December 19, 2008

La Piazzetta, Brooklyn (Williamsburg)

Brooklyn has literally hundreds of Italian restaurants spread out over its many neighborhoods, with some, of course, better than others. And La Piazzetta, Restaurant and Bar, which makes its home in the Williamsburg neighborhood of the borough (right next to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway) appears to be one of the really good ones.

La Piazzetta is located in a close-knit old-Brooklyn neighborhood that isn't quite as quirky or offbeat as some of the other parts of Williamsburg, which has become an artist colony of sorts. The interior is cozy and romantic, with a nice mix of exposed brick and greenery in the dining area. The menu features mostly Northern Italian cuisine, with such dishes as tubettini with onions, mushrooms, and squash, risotto with shrimp, sauteed pork tenderloin, and braised lamb shank. A number of soups, salads, appetizers, and sides are also offered, including butternut squash soup, seafood salad, and grilled mini pizzas.

If you have been to La Piazzetta in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, please tell us about it by posting a comment here. Thank you!

Here is the address for La Piazzetta:
La Piazzetta Restaurant and Bar
442 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn (Williamsburg), NY, 11211

The phone number is:
(718) 349-1627

And here is the Web site for La Piazzetta:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roberto's, Bronx (Belmont)

Not all of the best Italian restaurants in New York City are located in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Take, for example, Roberto's in the Belmont section of the Bronx (also known as Arthur Avenue, Fordham, and Little Italy). If this classic Italian dining spot were located in Manhattan, it would probably be much better known. But relatively few out-of-towners visit the Bronx, even though it has some incredibly interesting sections, particularly the heavily-Italian Belmont neighborhood.

Roberto's is old-Italian at its best, from the cozy and seductive atmosphere to the professional staff to the wide variety of foods offered. The menu includes such standbys as pasta e fagioli, calamari, antipasto, penne alla vodka, linguini with clams, chicken alla caprese, and veal scallopine. But there is much more on the menu as well, including lesser-known dishes such as grilled rabbit and pasta in zucchini sauce. Prices are about what you would expect, with many dishes being around $15 to $25.

If you have been to Roberto's in the Little Italy section of the Bronx, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for Roberto's:
603 Crescent Avenue
Bronx (Belmont), NY, 10458

The phone number is:
(718) 733-9503

And here is the Web site for Roberto's:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, Queens (Long Island City)

The Astoria neighborhood within the Long Island City section of Queens is a bustling area that is home to countless restaurants, including a number of Greek dining spots as well as some Eastern and Central European restaurants. In the latter category is a Czech restaurant on 24th Avenue that has the last original outdoor beer garden in the six boroughs of New York. The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, as it is known, is an historic landmark that has been around since the early 1900s, and oozes history from every nook and cranny.

The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden consists of an indoor restaurant and bar in addition to the outdoor beer garden. The menu consists of a variety of traditional Czech dishes, including chicken crepes, chicken schnitzel, goulash and dumplings, Pirogies, and potato pancakes. And, of course, the place has a huge beer list, including a number of microbrews.

If you have been to Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in the Long Island City section of Queens, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden:
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
2919 24th Avenue
Queens (Long Island City), NY, 11435

The phone number is:
(718) 274-4925

And here is the Web site for the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Puttanesca, Manhattan (Hell's Kitchen)

Hell's Kitchen might sound scary to people from out of town, but it is no longer the tough, gritty neighborhood (and yes, at times scary) place that it used to be. But while there has been some gentrification, Hell's Kitchen hasn't become the "in" place that neighborhoods such as TriBeCa and NoHo turned into. So it remains a secret place in some ways, with a lot of interesting points of interest as well as shops and restaurants that visitors to New York may never see, even though it is within sight of the Theatre District.

One of the many restaurants in Hell's Kitchen that is more known to the locals than tourists and business travelers is an Italian dining spot called Puttanesca. It may not be the best Italian restaurant in New York, but it is a solid, reasonably priced red-sauce joint that has a wide variety of dishes, including all kinds of pastas, plus veal, chicken, seafood, and steak dishes. The atmosphere is attractive with chandeliers, exposed brick, and rounded archways, and there is a pretty good amount of room in the restaurant

If you have been to Puttanesca in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for Puttanesca:
859 Ninth Avenue
Manhattan, NY, 10019

The phone number is:
(212) 581-4177

And here is the Web site for Puttanesca:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mumbles Restaurant, Manhattan (Gramercy/Union Square)

Sometimes folks who are visiting Manhattan (or who live there!) just want to go to a completely unpretentious, reasonably-priced restaurant without having to resort to a takeout place or a noisy college hangout. And while Manhattan has plenty of every kind of restaurant imaginable, including low-key, unflashy dining spots, sometimes it is difficult to find one if you don't know where they are. So get a good restaurant guide, talk to locals, and, for those who happen to be in the Gramercy Park/Union Square area, read on, as one of these restaurants does exist in this part of Manhattan; it is a restaurant with an odd name (Mumbles) and it certainly certainly seems to fit this category.

Mumbles Restaurant is a fairly spacious place that has a candlelit dining area, a bar, and an outdoor terrace for the warmer months. The menu is a mix of comfort food, slightly upscale bistro dishes, and Italian and American cuisine, including French onion soup, quesadillas, chicken francese, Chilean sea bass, meatloaf, crab cakes, cheese ravioli, and pizza.

If you have been to Mumbles Restaurant in Manhattan, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for Mumbles Restaurant:
Mumbles Restaurant
179 3rd Avenue
Manhattan, NY, 10003

The phone number is:
(212) 477-6066

And here is the Web site for Mumbles Restaurant:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Liman Restaurant, Brooklyn (Sheepshead Bay)

The Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn is an interesting neighborhood with great water views, quiet side streets, and a downtown area that feels like a small town in some ways. But few would call Sheepshead Bay a true restaurant destination, especially compared with other sections of Brooklyn. Yes, there are some cozy neighborhood spots, but for diners looking for a wide variety of places to eat, neighborhoods closer to Manhattan such as Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Carroll Gardens might be better options.

If you do happen to be in Sheepshead Bay, however, there are a handful of choices that locals and visitors alike tend to frequent; one of these is a Turkish seafood restaurant called Liman. Located right on the bay, the restaurant combines interesting dishes with outdoor dining in warmer months to make for a terrific overall experience. Some of the items on the menu include eggplant salad, pan-fried anchovies, lentil soup, royal durado, baked flounder, Turkish meatballs, and octopus casserole. The wine list at Liman is impressive, with options available from Turkey and the Republic of Georgia, as well as several other countries.

If you have been to Liman Restaurant in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, please tell us about it by posting a comment here. Thank you!

Here is the address for Liman Restaurant:
Liman Restaurant
2710 Emmons Avenue
Brooklyn (Sheepshead Bay), NY, 11235
(718) 769-3322

And here is the Web site for Liman Restaurant:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Liebman's Deli, Bronx (Riverdale)

Have you ever been to Riverdale? Unless you live in New York (and even then it's not a guarantee), you probably have never heard of the place. Riverdale is a part of New York that feels nothing like the rest of the city. Indeed, parts of this Bronx neighborhood feel more like Westchester County or Southwestern Connecticut with its large homes, elegant shops, and tree-shaded streets. But Riverdale is also home to some remnants of old-school New York, including a delicatessen called Liebman's that is an institution of sorts to locals in this wealthy neighborhood.

Liebman's Deli is perhaps only three blocks from the busy Henry Hudson Parkway, but the vast majority of folks on that road probably don't even know of its existence. It is a throwback of a place that has been around since the early 1950s, serving Kosher dishes that are the epitome of comfort food. Items such as knishes, potato pancakes, kasha varnishkas, gefilte fish, nova, pickled herring, tongue, pastrami, corned beef, and much, much more can be ordered here. Add to this relatively easy parking and moderate prices (compared to delis in Manhattan), and you have yourself a deli lover's dream in the upper reaches of the Bronx.

If you have been to Liebman's Deli in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, please tell us about it by posting a comment here. Thank you!

Here is the address for Liebman's Deli:
Liebman's Deli
552 West 235th Street
Brooklyn (Riverdale), NY, 10463

The phone number is:
(718) 548-4534

And here is the Web site for Liebman's Deli: