Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place

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leethebard
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Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 7:07 AM
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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????

MetroplexJim
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 7:50 AM
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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.

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 7:58 AM
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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!!!!

Ciaoman
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 8:37 AM
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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.

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 8:43 AM
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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.

Davydd
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 9:23 AM
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You all underscore why I chose garlic bread. Can't go wrong there.

tiki
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 9:58 AM
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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!!!!

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 10:42 AM
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MetroplexJim has it right. That is what we meant.

fattybomatty
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 12:05 PM
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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.

Scorereader
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 12:23 PM
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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.

divefl
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 12:45 PM
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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.

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 12:46 PM
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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?

Michael Hoffman
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 1:34 PM
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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.

lleechef
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 1:35 PM
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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!

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 1:57 PM
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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.

JoeEats
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 2:09 PM
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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.

stricken_detective
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 2:24 PM
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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.

joerogo
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 2:41 PM
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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.

AndreaB
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 2:48 PM
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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

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 8:12 PM
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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!!!!

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 8:18 PM
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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!

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 8:25 PM
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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!

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 8:30 PM
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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.

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 10:24 PM
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Now that's Italian too!!!!

uncledaveyo
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 10:29 PM
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I thought ravioli should have been a choice. That would have been my vote.

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 10:34 PM
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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!

TwoJays
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Thu, 06/26/08 11:32 PM
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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.

Jimeats
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 8:04 AM
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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

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:10 AM
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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!!!

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:26 AM
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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.

MetroplexJim
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:30 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Bilmes & Sue Boyle

MetroplexJim has it right. That is what we meant.


Thanks. Thought so.

Over the years (I'm 60) I've noticed that many, if not most, "Old-Style Italian places" are owned and operated by Greek immigrants. Anyone have an idea of how this came about?


leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:38 AM
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Intermarrying??????

fabulousoyster
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:39 AM
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To me, Old Style Italian place means Frank Sinatra cuisine, italian foods like from Patsy's Restaurant. North means meat, mushrooms. Middle of Italy means cheeses and veg. South means light and herbacious. I picked Antipasto.

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:40 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by MetroplexJim

quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Bilmes & Sue Boyle

MetroplexJim has it right. That is what we meant.


Thanks. Thought so.

Over the years (I'm 60) I've noticed that many, if not most, "Old-Style Italian places" are owned and operated by Greek immigrants. Anyone have an idea of how this came about?




Here in Dallas, the so-called "red sauce" Italian restaurants and many pizza joints are mostly owned by Albanians and such. Their kitchens are manned by Latino's. And, actually, the food is pretty good for the most part. One in particular, Cafe Amore, with two locations, is impossible to get into on a Friday or Saturday night.

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:41 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by leethebard

Intermarrying??????


Agreed, a good Antipasto is good anywhere!!!...and easily found anyplace!!

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 9:42 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by fabulousoyster

To me, Old Style Italian place means Frank Sinatra cuisine, italian foods like from Patsy's Restaurant. North means meat, mushrooms. Middle of Italy means cheeses and veg. South means light and herbacious. I picked Antipasto.


Yeah!! In Italy!

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 10:02 AM
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I agree...to a point, but there is great Italian food to be had here....don't go commercial...and look for a place run by Italians, preferably places frequented by other Italians!

stricken_detective
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 06/27/08 12:19 PM
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I don't order ravioli out, normally. Nothing is going to compare to my grandmother's (& now it's my grandfather who makes it) filling--meat, cheese, eggs, bread & spinach. Yum. I will order it if something funky like seafood or mushrooms are on the inside.

jaylhorner
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 4:10 AM
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I don't recall seeing garlic bread on the menu when in Italy.

marta
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 8:10 AM
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Leetheberd
I assure you that a true italian can prepare all that dishes (and much more...)without p roblem at home. And all the italian dishes will be better than any other restaurant...
NEVER, NEVER ordered spaghetti, lasagne, ravioli, gnocchi in a restaurant... Only pizza. Why? Unfortunately a brickoven (wood fired) could not be assembled in my kitchen...

Ciao!
A true italian,
marta


Ciaoman
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 9:00 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by jaylhorner

I don't recall seeing garlic bread on the menu when in Italy.


Bruschetta is served all over Italy. It can be had without any topping. Just toasted bread rubbed with a raw clove of garlic. Also, in Tuscany, it's called Fettunta--again, just toasted country bread (toasted typically over a wood fire) and then rubbed with garlic. They don't make a big deal about this stuff as we tend to here (by adding all kinds of toppings, melted cheese, etc.)

hutt
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 9:24 AM
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Being an Italian has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. Anyone who makes the effort and uses a good recipe will turn out the same food.
I suppose African-Americans make the best fried chicken, too?
There's millions of Italians that can't cook to save their lives. It's the individual, not the race or nationality.

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 9:34 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Ciaoman

quote:
Originally posted by jaylhorner

I don't recall seeing garlic bread on the menu when in Italy.


Bruschetta is served all over Italy. It can be had without any topping. Just toasted bread rubbed with a raw clove of garlic. Also, in Tuscany, it's called Fettunta--again, just toasted country bread (toasted typically over a wood fire) and then rubbed with garlic. They don't make a big deal about this stuff as we tend to here (by adding all kinds of toppings, melted cheese, etc.)


Right. I also noticed when I have been to Italy, No"garlic bread" was ever served. But bruschetta was served almost everywhere. And it was, wonderful!

tiki
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 10:42 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by hutt

Being an Italian has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. Anyone who makes the effort and uses a good recipe will turn out the same food.
I suppose African-Americans make the best fried chicken, too?
There's millions of Italians that can't cook to save their lives. It's the individual, not the race or nationality.


I personally wasnt saying that ALL Italians are great cooks when is aid i dont eat in Italian places run by Wasps---i also dont eat in nChinese places where the cook are Irish---or Greek places run by Aussie---its a matter of ETHNICITY---when i eat Ehtnis i mwant to taste the Flaovrs of the Culture and AS A RULE that is hard to capture if you have not LIVED the culture--although it CAN be one can be learned -it is NOT the rule in MOST American food venu-exceptions do exist for sure--i know that i make lots of great Chinese style dishes-Thai-Mexican and lots of others--i also know that my BEST cuiisine is Italian--i grew up with it--i LIVED it---we raised the food--cooked it--served it--etc--BUT i do know ==that if i am out for diner--it is USUALLY better to go to a place --of any ethnicity-that is run run by folks FROM that group---especially if you are ONE OF THEM--AS CHANCES ARE GREAT THAT YOU WILL NOT BE SATISFIED ANYWAY BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW--NOBODY CAN COOK AS GOOD AS "MY GRANDMOTHER"!!! I certainly did not mean to say that only Italians can cook Italian--just that for THIS Italian--if you wqant my MONEY for it--you better be REALLY good---cause i know i can do it myself cheaper than you can serve it to me.

Twinwillow
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 10:45 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by tiki

quote:
Originally posted by hutt

Being an Italian has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. Anyone who makes the effort and uses a good recipe will turn out the same food.
I suppose African-Americans make the best fried chicken, too?
There's millions of Italians that can't cook to save their lives. It's the individual, not the race or nationality.


I personally wasnt saying that ALL Italians are great cooks when is aid i dont eat in Italian places run by Wasps---i also dont eat in nChinese places where the cook are Irish---or Greek places run by Aussie---its a matter of ETHNICITY---when i eat Ehtnis i mwant to taste the Flaovrs of the Culture and AS A RULE that is hard to capture if you have not LIVED the culture--although it CAN be one can be learned -it is NOT the rule in MOST American food venu-exceptions do exist for sure--i know that i make lots of great Chinese style dishes-Thai-Mexican and lots of others--i also know that my BEST cuiisine is Italian--i grew up with it--i LIVED it---we raised the food--cooked it--served it--etc--BUT i do know ==that if i am out for diner--it is USUALLY better to go to a place --of any ethnicity-that is run run by folks FROM that group---especially if you are ONE OF THEM--AS CHANCES ARE GREAT THAT YOU WILL NOT BE SATISFIED ANYWAY BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW--NOBODY CAN COOK AS GOOD AS "MY GRANDMOTHER"!!! I certainly did not mean to say that only Italians can cook Italian--just that for THIS Italian--if you wqant my MONEY for it--you better be REALLY good---cause i know i can do it myself cheaper than you can serve it to me.


tiki~I totally agree with you.

lleechef
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 06/28/08 5:46 PM
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In Boston's North End there is a great little restaurant called Mangia Calamari. Their clams in white sauce (garlic and olive oil) on linguine is absolutely outstanding. It's served in the saute pan it was cooked in. All the other stuff I can make at home. But this dish is truly outstanding, served with thick slices of good crusty Italian bread (no garlic).

danimal15
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 11:23 AM
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Hole in the Wall - Northbrook Illinois. No checks or credit cards, no reservations, menu on a chalkboard, tables uncomfortably close together. It's on a suburban feeder road, but once you're inside, it's like being in an old neighborhood place. The Chicken Vesuvio is excellent, as is the seafood (my favorite is a seafood over fettucini dish with plenty of shrimp, clams and red sauce). They have a salad for two that can't be beat, and plenty of warm bread and olive oil. If you're on the North Shore of Chicago, it's worth a trip. But remember - the place opens at 5, and by 5:30 the wait is probably 40 minutes to an hour, at least on weekends. So either arrive early, or be prepared to bide your time for a while. It's worth it.

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 12:55 PM
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Sounds like a great place....

joerogo
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 3:01 PM
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I was in Myrtle Beach on business and a sales rep offered to take us out to dinner. He said there was a great new Italian place in town. I won't give the name, even though it was about 10-12 years ago.

That day we were watching the local tourist channel on TV and they are interviewing A guy from Texas. Big Cowboy hat, big cigar and big Texas accent. He was talking about a restaurant he just opened. He explained that there wasn't anyplace in town to get a good HiiiTalian meal, so he opened a HiiiTalian restaurant. Sure enough it was the place we were going to that night.

I told the people in my group I had a feeling that our meal was going to suck tonight....I was right.

No problem, we closed the bar that night.

ann peeples
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 5:16 PM
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We still have a wonderful "Italian" section of town here in Milwaukee, where restaurants serve good old fashiond cooked food.I, myself, as of Irish-German descent, have been given a wonderful "Gravy" recipe from one of the grandmas of a guy I dated( His dad owned one of the best Mom and Pop restaurants on the east side-the boys still do, and have kept the original recipe)Point being, every ethnicity in this country has wonderful recipes passed on through the generations( I make a mean beef rouladen that rivals any German restaurant in town)and while this woman taught me how to cook "Italian", she beat me out every time.Nothing wrong with that.

dannybotz
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 5:34 PM
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"Spiritos in Elizabeth N.J." totally old style mom and pop lots of red sauce lots of veal parm, chicken parm, and homemade ravs and meatballs...pizza aint bad either!!!

Rookiecook
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 6:59 PM
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Moving to Lodi (NJ) when 5 years old, this Polack quickly got educated and learned to love both Italian cuisine and its heritage. Though now in Mahwah, my Italian wife of over a third-century keeps me well fed with all types of foods (I need to diet bad). When she was young, she could look out her window and see the NY Italian food establishment often seen on the Food Channel. Her Dad often was allowed behind the counter too! As I kid, I remember buying 5-cent lemon ices (with rind) at a pastry shop just a ½-block from my grammar school. Nearby Garfield (NJ) still has fine Italian fare. Know most of the country has equally great spots. As a kid, Mom often sent me down the street to Barcelona’s to pick up a large 88c pizza, and their bartender often gave me a free soda while I waited! It’s a condo-complex now, but their Garfield location may still be around for one of the best antipastos around, as it was even serving them through my thirties. Pizza-Town USA on 17w in Elmwood Park still has the best pizzas, zeppolies, and calzones around, and nearby Mario’s in Clifton completes my A+ ”old-school Italian.”

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 7:52 PM
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Sounds like you're living in a food paradise,according to this Italian!!!

danimal15
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 10:04 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Ciaoman

quote:
Originally posted by jaylhorner

I don't recall seeing garlic bread on the menu when in Italy.


Bruschetta is served all over Italy. It can be had without any topping. Just toasted bread rubbed with a raw clove of garlic. Also, in Tuscany, it's called Fettunta--again, just toasted country bread (toasted typically over a wood fire) and then rubbed with garlic. They don't make a big deal about this stuff as we tend to here (by adding all kinds of toppings, melted cheese, etc.)


Melted cheese on bruschetta is a travesty.

ScreenBear
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 10:34 PM
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Meatballs and spaghetti.

The Bear

stricken_detective
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Fri, 09/5/08 11:27 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by lleechef

In Boston's North End there is a great little restaurant called Mangia Calamari. Their clams in white sauce (garlic and olive oil) on linguine is absolutely outstanding. It's served in the saute pan it was cooked in. All the other stuff I can make at home. But this dish is truly outstanding, served with thick slices of good crusty Italian bread (no garlic).


My grandmother told my mother that garlic is actually from French cooking, not so much Italian. That's why she doesn't put it in her meatballs, sauce, lasagne, ravs, etc. Is that valid?

& hutt, yeah I have to respectfully disagree with you. My Italian grandparents make the best Italian food, IMHO. And my Italian poppa & stepmomma. My German & French mother is good at many things in the kitchen, but Italian food isn't one of them. Although she does have good ideas, just needs help on the execution.

"HiiiTalian"

^^This & the ever-popular Eye-Talian both make my teeth itch.

leethebard
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Sat, 09/6/08 7:15 AM
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My mom always said do NOT put garlic into the meatball mix...it didn't belong! I still don't. i DO put plenty in with the onions and olive oil to start my sunday gravy...couldn't make sauce without it!

Sonny Funzio
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Tue, 09/9/08 11:56 AM
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My choices at an old style Italian Restaurant ...
I like the veal. I love eggplant.
As far as a dish, if they'll make it for me - or if it's on the menu, which is not very often - I'll order Pasta Cicci (a pasta dish made with cicci peas).
And I always ask if they have homemade Italian breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top of my pasta, whatever I ordered.

Willly
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Tue, 09/9/08 12:02 PM
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Easy -- Mario's in Westport, CT. A true old-style red-sauce place. Prime rib, Lamb chops, Steaks, Pastas, and Martinis.

I get long hots with anchovies and onions, salad with Gorgonzola vinaigrette, and Lamb chops, med rare, with spaghetti on the side. Sometimes I get a meatball with the pasta...

Great place...

wheregreggeats.com
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RE: Your Favorite at an Old-style Italian place - Tue, 09/9/08 1:42 PM
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I enjoy Joe's in Northampton, MA.



Another place around here is the Skyline, in Windsor Locks, CT.




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