A Bronx Tale
My husband and I have always considered this quaint cafe our spot. It's perfect for a pint and a big bowl of rice pudding (ask for it warmed up with a touch of cinnamon). Most of the servers (and a good portion of the patrons) are Irish, so you'll hear great jokes, great accents and great music every visit. And with their added space, it's even more of a good thing.
Pasquale's is at the end of Arthur Ave, but it's worth the walk. Savor all the sights, sounds and smells of the real Little Italy during your walk, and daydream about the bruschetta you'll get as soon as you're seated. Friendly service is met with only the freshest ingredients. Entrees are wonderful, but I can't stay away from simple pasta dishes like the fettuccine alfredo or bolognese. If you sit in the larger back room, you'll be surrounded by a mural of Arthur Avenue, complete with local legends painted in. And save room for dessert. You'll see the display case when you walk in, and you won't be disappointed when it arrives at your table.
Note: Portions are incredibly generous and valet parking is available.
Wow! Although I went to Fordham in the Bronx, I never had the occasion to visit Roberto's until my husband and I took a week off to relax and try places we've never been to. This was the highlight of our vacation by far.
As others have said, Roberto's doesn't take reservations, but we went on a weekday for lunch at around 1:00 p.m. Even so, there was a healthy crowd of locals and power-lunchers (and one old Italian guy nursing a bottle of wine all by himself).
Although everything looked tasty, we asked our waiter to let the chef make whatever he wanted so we could experience a traditional, multi-course Italian meal (our only limitation was no seafood, because the hubby doesn't like it).
To start: Fantastic bread, accompanied by Roberto's homemade olive oil
Antipasti: Grilled artichoke, asparagus, eggplant and mushrooms topped with truffle oil and fresh melted cheese (let it be known that my husband doesn't normally like any of the ingredients listed above, but said it was one of the best appetizers he's ever had)
Pasta: Some kind of amazing twirly noodle with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and delicious pesto sauce
Entree: Beer-battered rib eye steak topped with peppers
Dessert: Chocolate lava cake -- I had to take a pic. of the description, which reads, "Warm chocolate cake exterior bellies a creamy, melted chocolate core ready to explode" -- need I say more?
We also enjoyed wine and the perfect attentive service of our waiter. At the end of our meal, we found out that Roberto himself made our food and he came upstairs to say hello and personally thank us for stopping by. He's got an old-world charm and many stories about food and family from his Salerno, Italy upbringing.
Now, I've never been to Babbo, but I heard one of the guys behind us saying that the food, service and ambiance at Roberto's "blew it away" -- quite a claim, and while I can't substantiate it, I can say this was easily the best lunch we've ever had. If only I had two hours and $100 (our total bill, which was really quite reasonable, including four glasses of wine) to waste away on lunch everyday. Every New Yorker owes it to themselves to have a meal here. Molto bene!
No points for ambiance (blame it on the constant arcade games and rowdy Manhattan College / Horace Mann students which are staples) but you can't beat the stuffed chicken slice -- SOOO GOOD. Crunchy on the outside, gooey, cheesy, and tender on the inside, with a big side of sauce. And for the size, you basically get two slices for the price of one. Not much for a dining experience but the food is one of a kind.
I used to go to the Bronx Zoo a few times a year, as it was free one day every week to Fordham students, and the Fordham Rose Hill campus is essentially across the street.
I'm going to stay out of the legitimate moral controversy others have explored, because regardless, I must admit that I've always had fun visiting zoos. I'm from the D.C. area originally, and the zoo there is free (it's owned by the Smithsonian). But the Bronx Zoo is worth plunking down a few bucks for. My favorite part is the Congo exhibit, which is just awesome. You basically feel like the animals are all around you (and their entertaining / idiosyncratic behavior really reminds you how closely related we are to monkeys in the scheme of things).
One annoying thing: some of the exhibits (including the Congo, if I recall correctly) have an additional fee, which is on top of the admission.
So next time you're bored on a weekend, get thee into a car, local subway, bus or Metro North and up to the Bronx Zoo. Let your inner child come out for the day. And please -- don't leave until you've hit up one of the amazing restaurants on nearby Arthur Ave., NYC's original Little Italy.
Cheap prices, friendly service, quality 'za, incredibly generous pasta servings (I recommend the penne alla vodka) and lots of free garlic bread sticks (which they make out of leftover 'za dough).
Nothing fancy about Salvatore's, but the great food will fill you up and bring a smile to your face!
Roberto Paciullo (Roberto's) has opened another restaurant in the heart of Little Italy in the Bronx. The brick oven pizzas (around $13 for individual pies) are spectacular, with a wide variety of pastas, entrees, desserts and wines as well. Ingredients are incredibly fresh. It's a little pricier than some of the neighboring Arthur Ave. establishments, but their service and ambiance make for a wonderful dining experience if you're willing to make the uptown trek.
Note: No website yet, and they only take reservations for large groups.
Some people think that the Bronx is only good for its baseball, graffiti and bona fide Arthur Ave. Italian cuisine. Oh, and obv., because I live there. But who knew that the Bronx is also home to such a lovely oasis of plants, vistas and woodsy trails?
Nestled into the Riverdale / Fieldston section of the Boogie-down (a.k.a "Mansion-ville"), you won't find anything remotely scary about Wave Hill, except perhaps the preponderance of blue-haired ladies wandering around. But they're harmless -- just stay out of their way when they're looking for birds. They seemed pretty serious about that.
Come to Wave Hill to waste a day walking around and lounging on the greens (28 acres). You'll find great views of the Hudson, a beautiful greenhouse, a cafe, a gorgeous little pond (with bullfrogs and coy fish) and countless private areas (chairs, lounges, gazebos, patios, etc). for sitting, smooching or just relaxing.
Rachel D. has it right -- this is an ideal spot to impress a date about your NYC know-how. And I'd go on to say that it would be incredibly romantic for a proposal -- or even a wedding (their Web site has more info. on that option). I'm going to have to make a "places to propose" list one day soon!
Downsides: I should have looked the place up first on Yelp, because the admission ($6) was not prominent on their Web site, leading my husband and I to run 2.5 mi from our apartment one day with nothing in our pockets, making us S.O.L. when we arrived the first time. My sweating, panting and fussing did nothing to convince the gate attendant, either :-( And the noise / view nearby Fieldston school parking lot doesn't add to the ambiance from some parts of the park. One additional FYI: they also say no alcohol, but I'm pretty sure you'd be fine with a cooler and red cups. Classy, I know.
Bottom line: There aren't many places in NYC where you can go on a date, drop $20 (including transit and snacks) and have such a fun, unique city experience. Wait for the next sunny day, and see what the Bronx has to offer!
Arturo's is 20 steps from my apartment (right next to the downtown entrance of the 225th St. 1 train). You may find yourself shopping at our local Target one afternoon and craving some quality 'za, in which case, Arturo's slices will hit the spot. It's a tiny restaurant with about five booths (we usually just pick up our food), but the pizza is not bad at all. Occasionally I find the dough slightly undercooked, but I guess that's a matter of personal preference.
Admittedly, Arturo's doesn't hold a candle to Broadway Joe's or any place on Arthrur Ave., but it definitely gets the job done (I've served it to out-of-towners to give them a fair taste of "real NY pizza"). Arturo himself is a bit of a flirt but he's totally harmless and just adds some character to the joint. Jordan H. is also right about the freebies when you place a large order, which are nice bonuses to this quality local pizza place. And I occasionally stop by here on the way home from work to get some fresh-made warm garlic bread to go with dinner...yum!
A pizza place in the Bronx called Goodfellas -- NO WAY! :-)
Goodfellas is good stuff, and they always have decent discounts going on. I've never eaten there (it's a small place with a few seats inside), but the delivery comes quickly and is hot upon arrival. Thumbs up for another quality pizza place in my neck of the woods.
PS: Goodfellas is across the street from An Beal Bocht (see my review), which is one of my favorite bars. So if you come up here for one, it would be easy to visit the other.
This place has lots of...flowers!
I went to Fordham, which is right across the street, but I sadly never took advantage of the Bronx Botanical Garden as an undergrad. Such a shame, because I believe if you have a student ID, you can run there for free, and it's a perfect place for that. Lots of space (really, it's huge)! And whether you like running / walking on concrete, trails, flat surfaces or hills, it's all here. You'll also find lots of plants and trees (in case the whole "garden" thing didn't clue you in), waterfalls, a mill, picnic spots and even some odd-looking modern art structures, courtesy of the Met.
We came during our week off on a Wednesday which means it's FREE -- woo-hoo! That said, it was also pretty packed with children on field trips who were obviously ready for summer vk. Between the kids running in every which way and the car horns blaring in at times from nearby Fordham Rd., we were still able to enjoy our otherwise serene surroundings and get in a nice walk.
I just wasn't blown away. Nothing wrong with the place per se, but perhaps I don't have an overdeveloped appreciation for horticulture. It was still definitely a fun and FREE way to spend a Wednesday morning. It's probably better to come with a gal pal as opposed to your guy (mine has that "seen one flower, seen 'em all" mentality ;-)
Anyway, I plan to return this winter to take in the train, lights and CHOCOLATE show during the holidays. Mmm...chocolate!!!
Decent diner experience. The food here is all pretty good, and definitely filling. Can't go wrong with the breakfast selections, which hit the spot. Don't veer off too much with something like seafood or steak -- this just isn't the place for that kind of fare.
Sundays can get very crowded, but the service is friendly and efficient, and they'll get you seated as soon as they can. Not to say that it's perfect. We've been left waiting for drinks, and once, after specifically requesting hot chocolate with milk, I was greeted with a watery disappointment instead.
Enjoy this place for what it is, and appreciate the large amounts of food you can consume for the low cost (extra tip: students get a 10% discount if you show ID).
Best burger in the Bronx ***
The hubby and I came in on a recent Saturday night and stuffed ourselves with buffalo wings and burgers. Both really knocked our socks off!
The place itself is pretty divey, but as others have said, it's not aspiring to be anything else. After looking at a wall photo that had to be 10 years old, we noticed that at least three out of seven of the guys in the picture were seated at the bar that evening -- talk about regulars!
***HOWEVER, Pipers wasn't perfect by any means. Aside from the seedy decor, our fellow patrons' loud, lowbrow conversations were off-color at best and downright offensive at times (homophobic insults / "jokes" directed at each other). Could have definitely done without that.
Another annoying part of the experience: after enjoying our burgers, we looked at the bill and realized that I was charged an additional $1.25 for lettuce and tomato -- seriously?! For an otherwise reasonably-priced place, this seemed like inexplicable nickel-and-diming (or should I say, dollar-and-quartering). The fries were also nothing special, but we were almost too stuffed to notice.
For the overall quality of the bar food, I'd be inclined to give PK five stars. But the unappealing conversations overheard that evening, paired with so-so service (and jacked-up condiment pricing) left us less than thrilled.
UPDATE: We did come back for Sunday brunch (12-3) a few weeks ago, and enjoyed every sip and bite. For $16, you get a huge portion of the breakfast / lunch of your choice, and UNLIMITED mimosas, champagne, bloody marys or beer. The crowd was much more family-friendly as well.
The HUGE salads were excellent. You fill out a little check list (a la Cosi but many more options in terms of toppings / dressings), and the generous portions also come with crepe-like wraps for stuffing. I dare people who aren't salad fans to eat one of these and say they're not full.
Our waitress admitted she was new and it definitely showed, but she was sweet so we didn't mind. And the ambiance was humorous but tasteless the night I went -- song selections included a remix of Christina Aguilera's "Come On Over" and Boyz II Men's "On Bended Knee" (seriously). But to be fair, this place isn't about the atmosphere anyway. It's about the pub food and fun times.
Like most people, overtly rude customer service really gets on my nerves. I've made the mistake of shopping here on weekends (i.e. -- discount feeding frenzy). Now, I definitely get that working there is probably stressful and not all that fun at times like these. But I experience near road-rage emotions (given that I'm a car-less city girl) while cruising through the aisles looking for something / someone to help me. Racks are in utter disarray, employees are nowhere to be found, and if one does turn up, he or she is just as likely to joke / curse with fellow employees rather than acknowledge your presence, point you in the wrong direction, or simply reply "I don't know; that's not my department," before turning back to their previous conversation. Really? Thaaanks.
I make quick trips here on weeknights when the aisles are more fully-stocked with goods and less crowded with screaming children. But I do so begrudgingly and I'm always anxious to leave. Sorry, TarJ -- I know you're one of the few NYC locations, but would it kill you to find a few employees who take a little pride in themselves and the work they do?
Here's how I sum it up:
We all know that the Bronx isn't exactly known for its first-class sushi. Fortunately, Yokohama delivers on the quality side. I didn't experience Maria's qualms about the food itself. I recommend the Jasper roll (shrimp tempura, crab, spicy mayo). I can't speak to the in-restaurant experience, and I've had no problem with the carryout. So why only two stars?
One time, only half my ordered showed up. I called to request the rest over the phone, but they would only offer me a credit for the next time until I politely insisted they bring the remainder of my dinner (basic English-speaking phone operators are also are not a given, which added to my frustration).
Several times, delivery has taken a long time (over an hour and I live five minutes away). Although the food itself is great, I've been very disappointed more than once by the poor delivery. So enjoy the tasty sushi, but only order out if you dare!
Listes mises à jour récemment par Kathleen R.
Some have food, some are fancy, but they're all fun in their own way...