Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place

Page: 123 > Showing page 1 of 3
Author
leethebard
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6265
  • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
  • Location: brick, NJ
  • Status: offline
2008/06/26 07:07:00 (permalink)

Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place

This was a hard(impossible) one for me. Being Italian,I'd never order any of those at an "old-style"(I assume that means REAL)Italian restaurant. We make all of that at home often. I always go for something that is a bit more unusual and creative from the chef...standards like these wonderful dishes,I make at home!!!
Any "FBI's have the same problem with this forum topic????
#1

86 Replies Related Threads

    MetroplexJim
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4060
    • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
    • Location: McKinney, TX
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 07:50:49 (permalink)
    By "Old Style" do you mean a red sauce joint like we had back in the '50's where the most popular items were lasagne and spaghetti & meatballs?

    If so, bring on the lasagne served in those little metal ramekins with plenty of garlic bread on the side.
    #2
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6265
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 07:58:22 (permalink)
    I assume "old style" means a real Italian restaurant with Italians running it, where the menu goes beyond the Typical "American" favorites...perhaps something more than southern Italian and Italian-American standards...thus something more interesting than what is listed...that's why I said it was hard for me to choose.I love them all,don't get me wrong,but since so many Italian-Americans make these standards often,We rarely(at least this one) order them out...I'd prefer a less traditional dish!!!!
    #3
    Ciaoman
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 375
    • Joined: 2006/05/02 13:16:00
    • Location: Killingworth, CT
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 08:37:24 (permalink)
    I've read that there's really no such thing as "Italian" cuisine. That's because it is so regional in nature. There's Neapolitan, Roman, Venetian, Sicilian, Milanese, etc., etc. In this country, the food of Italy is typically Neapolitan or Sicilian because the vast majority of Italians that came to the US came from these poorer regions looking for work. The food that evolved here became Italian-American. I agree with leethbard: the real stuff--regional Italian food--is great to order in restaurants if you can find one that does it well.
    #4
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6265
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 08:43:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ciaoman

    I've read that there's really no such thing as "Italian" cuisine. That's because it is so regional in nature. There's Neapolitan, Roman, Venetian, Sicilian, Milanese, etc., etc. In this country, the food of Italy is typically Neapolitan or Sicilian because the vast majority of Italians that came to the US came from these poorer regions looking for work. The food that evolved here became Italian-American. I agree with leethbard: the real stuff--regional Italian food--is great to order in restaurants if you can find one that does it well.



    And that's why I've got to go beyond the standard pizzareia Italian food...or the commercial places...Mostly what they sell are the dishes from southern Italy, Napoli, and their variations...No doubt enjoyable...but there is so much to be had other than the great red pasta dishes and the Chicken/veal dishes those places sell, and as I said,we make those standards often, and I want to try a more unusual dish.
    #5
    Davydd
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6360
    • Joined: 2005/04/24 12:15:00
    • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 09:23:18 (permalink)
    You all underscore why I chose garlic bread. Can't go wrong there.
    #6
    tiki
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4140
    • Joined: 2003/07/07 18:31:00
    • Location: Rentiesville, OK
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 09:58:49 (permalink)
    Being from a VERY Italian family, i almost never eat in Italian places--mostly because the "standard" menu in these places is SO limited and i can often cook it better at home---and my all time favorite old style place is in Boston---the European---my grandfather would take me there as a kid and ordered in Italian so i never knew what we were getting till they brought it---but every now and then i find a place with some regional specialties that i did NOT grow up eating and then i get to go on a culinary adventure--which is usually only in some other ethnic place. That said---if i find myself in one of these "Old style" places the i dont know i usually opt for seafood, veal scallopini or eggplant Parm----oh----and i avoid Tiramisu for dessert like the plague!!!!!----although my wife ---who is Viennese and NOT Italian---thinks it is wonderful! Italians do NOT eat sweets for dessert!!! Everyone knows that is for snacking with a good cup of espresso!!! Fruit and cheese is dessert!!!!
    #7
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1350
    • Joined: 2000/07/12 11:09:00
    • Location: Robbinsville, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 10:42:36 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim has it right. That is what we meant.
    #8
    fattybomatty
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1017
    • Joined: 2008/04/10 19:32:00
    • Location: North Plainfield, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 12:05:41 (permalink)
    I'm only half-italian, but it was hard for me to answer too because I usually just make those things at home and go for many of the shellfish and other dishes I wouldn't normally make.

    I went with Garlic Bread because I lump all those other dishes together, but a really good "old-style Italian" place has great garlic cheese bread.
    #9
    Scorereader
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5550
    • Joined: 2005/08/04 13:09:00
    • Location: Crofton, MD
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 12:23:33 (permalink)
    I grew up in Syracuse, where there's a really good Italian restaurant just about everywhere. Then, I moved south. First to NC, then to DC, where really good Italian is hard to find. Thankfully, there's Filomena in Georgetown. A little upscale for the mom and pop places I grew up on, but the food and the handmade pasta is excellent. At Filomena, since the pasta is handmade onsite, you simply must get the pasta. But, for Aunt Josie's in Syracuse, I go for the meatballs. They're to die for. So, what I order, often depends on the restaurant, even though many restaurants have a similar menu.
    #10
    divefl
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1671
    • Joined: 2007/03/23 21:53:00
    • Location: washington, DC
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 12:45:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Davydd

    You all underscore why I chose garlic bread. Can't go wrong there.


    I like the garlic knots.

    I read it as red sauce joint. Old style usually means old standard in America on this site, not what is the oldest dish ever made in Italy. So, going for something unusual would never qualify as it's not a standard. That's how I read it anyway. I would have wanted to vote for Eggplant Parm. I never have time to bread all the slices then layer...too much work.
    #11
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5068
    • Joined: 2006/04/15 23:17:00
    • Location: "Big D"
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 12:46:32 (permalink)
    I really miss the old "mom & pop" "red sauce" Italian restaurants I grew up with on Long Island during the 50's. There's nothing like them in Dallas. So, I have to be content to make all my all time favorite Italian dishes at home.
    I don't mind because, what I make, is much better than what is being served in today's "Italian" restaurants. Which, btw, are usually owned by, non-Italians and cooked by, non-Italians. Has anyone else noticed that aspect of Italian restaurants today?
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 18387
    • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 13:34:51 (permalink)
    I can't help but thing that old style Italian clearly refers to a red-sauce place that never did have, and still doesn't have, anything but the American-Italian dishes such as those listed in the survey.
    #13
    lleechef
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6767
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 13:35:44 (permalink)
    My favorite old-style Italian place is at my mother's house. God bless her, she's nearly 81 but good Lord, can she cook! And bake! When I'm there I get to be the "prep cook" because she likes to have me quickly slice and dice, but get out of the way when the actual cooking starts!
    #14
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5068
    • Joined: 2006/04/15 23:17:00
    • Location: "Big D"
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 13:57:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    I can't help but thing that old style Italian clearly refers to a red-sauce place that never did have, and still doesn't have, anything but the American-Italian dishes such as those listed in the survey.


    Regardless, those are the dishes I grew up eating at all of those old "mom & pop" restaurants.
    I love them.
    #15
    JoeEats
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 45
    • Joined: 2004/03/31 16:43:00
    • Location: Riverside, RI
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 14:09:06 (permalink)
    My family's "old-style" Italian place (I would call it Napolitano-American) served all those dishes, plus Pizza in upstate NY. No, it's not true Italian regional cuisine, but it WAS the first "European" cuisine served in restaurants on these shores. When properly executed, it is still good eating. I'm with lee, llee and tiki, I make better at home. But I still miss the spaghetti and meatballs that my mom would serve at the restaurant.
    #16
    stricken_detective
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2330
    • Joined: 2004/03/10 23:51:00
    • Location: the 262
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 14:24:38 (permalink)
    I chose spaghetti & meatballs because if they screw that up, I won't be visiting them again.

    And yeah I really can & do make any & all of that at home, so I usually go for the stuff I would not make at home such as angel hair with a creamy tomato sauce & shark & artichoke hearts & shrimps. Mmmmm, but that was not @ a mom & pop place.

    And yes, the best Italian cooking happens at my grandparents home.

    Just gonna throw this out there, we never ate garlic bread with our meals, always a good italian bread, maybe butter, but never with garlic. I think it might be b/c my Gram doesn't like garlic? But to me it tastes better with plain bread.
    #17
    joerogo
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4524
    • Joined: 2006/01/17 17:33:00
    • Location: Pittston, PA
    • Status: online
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 14:41:19 (permalink)
    I measure a place by the Antipasto. I love a restaurant that puts as much effort in the Antipasto as they do the entrees. Italian cured hams, dried sausage, roasted vegetables, cheese, frittata, assorted hot and sweet peppers, bread, etc.

    The choices usually match which part of the "Old World" the owner/chef of the "Old Style" restaurant is from. The same holds true for the Vino. In a Silician restaurant I drink Silician wine.

    After the Antipasto I go right for whatever pasta is homemade with red sauce.
    #18
    AndreaB
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1303
    • Joined: 2004/12/06 14:11:00
    • Location: Versailles, KY
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 14:48:08 (permalink)
    I too went with the spaghetti and meatballs because if they can't get that right the other dishes probably aren't worth trying. Plus, I love well made spaghetti and meatballs --- it's always been a comfort food.

    Andrea
    #19
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6265
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 20:12:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by stricken_detective

    I chose spaghetti & meatballs because if they screw that up, I won't be visiting them again.

    And yeah I really can & do make any & all of that at home, so I usually go for the stuff I would not make at home such as angel hair with a creamy tomato sauce & shark & artichoke hearts & shrimps. Mmmmm, but that was not @ a mom & pop place.

    And yes, the best Italian cooking happens at my grandparents home.

    Just gonna throw this out there, we never ate garlic bread with our meals, always a good italian bread, maybe butter, but never with garlic. I think it might be b/c my Gram doesn't like garlic? But to me it tastes better with plain bread.





    Yes...yes...yes...I 100% agree with each point..and yes,never,never had Garlic bread at any Italian meal..not my home or any of my Italian relatives...uhheard of in the 50's and 60's!!!!
    #20
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6265
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 20:18:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bruce Bilmes & Sue Boyle

    MetroplexJim has it right. That is what we meant.


    Bruce and Sue, I understood the question...My original comment was simply that,I, as an Italian would never order any one of those dishes at an Italian restaurant because I could make every one better, or at least to the taste we grew up with...so many places make "gravy" too sweet for most Italians taste!!! Sometimes I think good sauce(gravy) is simply a personal taste...it can be made so different...like cheese cake...so many different tastes!
    #21
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5068
    • Joined: 2006/04/15 23:17:00
    • Location: "Big D"
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 20:25:19 (permalink)
    We were always served garlic bread (extra cost at some places) in the Italian restaurants I grew up with in the 50's and 60's in the NYC area.
    My "test" dish was always my favorite, veal parmigiana. If I didn't like their veal parm, I never went back.
    Another dish I really loved was, zuppa de clam or, clams posillipo. I'm sure I have spelled that wrong. I couldn't eat that clam dish without garlic bread!
    #22
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5068
    • Joined: 2006/04/15 23:17:00
    • Location: "Big D"
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 20:30:26 (permalink)
    This topic is driving me crazy for Italian food! The kind we're talking about here. Oh, well, at least I have a nice roast chicken in the oven stuffed with lemons, garlic and rubbed inside and out with (Sicilian) EVOO and Italian herbs.
    #23
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6265
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 22:24:52 (permalink)
    Now that's Italian too!!!!
    #24
    uncledaveyo
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 599
    • Joined: 2006/07/03 13:14:00
    • Location: Northern California
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 22:29:07 (permalink)
    I thought ravioli should have been a choice. That would have been my vote.
    #25
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6265
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 22:34:50 (permalink)
    I was surprised too it wasn't on the list...it is often my daughter's choice when we're eating in a fancy place....her tastes are less eclectic than dad's!
    #26
    TwoJays
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 200
    • Joined: 2006/08/05 11:01:00
    • Location: Norwood, MA
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/26 23:32:35 (permalink)
    The first place I thought of when reading this thread was "Mario's" in Lexington, MA. We used to go there years ago when I was a kid and I think I always had Ravioli w/ meatballs. And I can still taste that sauce today.

    I'm with you, uncledaveyo - ravioli.
    #27
    Jimeats
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3175
    • Joined: 2005/08/15 20:02:00
    • Location: Ipswich Ma
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/27 08:04:03 (permalink)
    I eat a lot of Italian, both at home and out.
    I can't have a roast on a Sunday without a contorno of pasta of some sort.
    I enjoy old school red sauce joints on occasion.
    What seperates them from being very good or indeferent is the pasta.
    Is it made on premise?
    I like trying the sauce or gravey just to see how it measures up to others.
    Here in Boston and the surrounding area we are rich with many many places to choose from. Many of these cuchinas or ristorantes will have different sauces for different dishes.
    The gravey for a bowl of tripe can be very different from that of a bowl of pasta.
    I can't say I've ever seen garlic bread offered as a menu item though, at least the places I frequent.
    The latest rage is bread with olive oil for dipping, that seems to be fairly common. Ciao Jim
    #28
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6265
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/27 09:10:45 (permalink)
    The dipping oil is all the rage now. I remember dipping crusty bread in seasoned olive oil years ago in Italy...thanks to places like Carrabba's it is spreading across america...much better than butter,healthier and tastier. Many places sell tins of various combinations of spices...or better make your own. Great way to add "spice" to your meal!!!
    #29
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5068
    • Joined: 2006/04/15 23:17:00
    • Location: "Big D"
    • Status: offline
    RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place 2008/06/27 09:26:52 (permalink)
    When I was in Italy with a small group last November, the waiters in the various restaurants told us they had to laugh when the Americans asked for olive oil to dip their bread. They told us, "Italians never do that".
    Nor, do they ask you if you want pepper or grated cheese on your food. Those are all "American Italian" inventions.
    #30
    Page: 123 > Showing page 1 of 3
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1