Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don Pepe's Vesuvio Restaurant. Queens, New York

There is a place in Queens, New York located in kind of an out of the way area around the Aqueduct raceway and Kennedy Airport vicinity called Don Pepe's Vesuvio Restaurant.
If you are from New York’s Boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens then there’s no doubt thst you know of this out of the way, busy as hell popular Italian restaurant.
No, it’s not located in Manhattan, but in Queens, a few blocks from the Aqueduct race track, but very much worth the trip If you want glitz forgetaboutit! If you want a truly memorable meal take some friends and go there take as many as you can as the portions are enormous. There hasn't been a single individual I have taken there through the years that doesn’t rave about it to this day.
This is a cash only establishment that don’t even offer a wine list but the waiter will ask you "white or red" and that’s it. house wines only. Like it or not, it’s not a place to go to if you want to impress your elite friends, but most definitely a place to impress your food loving friends. It is by far the best Italian food you will ever taste in Queens and in many other places as well, I’m sure. There is always a long wait to get in and no reservations are ever accepted. But believe me the wait is well worth it. Bring an enormous appetite. Specialities include baked clams, linguine with clam sauce, the Chicken Scarpariello, on the bone with sausage, onions, bell peppers and whole garlic cloves is a dish piled so high that sometimes you never see the bottom of the plate and it’s not to be missed. If you like Chicken with Sausage and roasted garlic, like I do, this is the place. Roasted Peppers, big cutlets of Sausage, roasted Chicken covered in olive oil and vinegar, served family style. And their house favorite, Veal Don Pepe, is a dish that you’ll order every time you go back. As is the Salad Don Pepe. Just don’t expect anything fancy like the Gramercy Tavern I wrote about in my previous blog, this restaurant is about as warm and inviting as a 7 Eleven, but the food makes up for any lapse in lousy decor. The food is nothing less than outstanding and the service is proffecional, but casual and fun.