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Don Pepe's, the best ethnic restaurant in NYC

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Don Pepe's, the best ethnic restaurant in NYC

astorman | Apr 23, 2001 07:32 PM

Okay the header was an attention grabber but it certainly is among the very best. I have been eating there for almost 25 years and I can only recall one or two meals that weren't spectacular. For those who have never been, this place is the inspiration for both Carmine's in Manhattan as well as La Parma on the Island. I guess inspiration is to kind a word as the other places ripped off the concept from Pepe's.

So after visiting my mother in Bayside last night we headed on over to South Ozone Park and our simple meal of a tossed salad, shrimp marinara (with sauce to die for) a broiled t-bone steak that was as soft and flavorful as anything they serve in Manhattan (besides almost being the size of Manhattan) along with an order of fried peppers and onions was sublime to say the least. I even cheated and brought home an order of their famous Chinese Chicken with sausage (the house version of chicken cacciatorre)and I'm about to sit down and blow through it along with the leftover steak.

Their linguine and clam sauce is a greasy classic that is 10x better than any other version I've ever had. And the lobster dinner with the lobster being poached in tomato sauce and served with clams and mussels is enough food for a small army. When they offer you spaghetti to start and ask you if you want the pasta served with the sauce the lobster was cooked in SAY YES.

Places like Rao's and Dominick's in the Bronx get all the big press but in my opinion Pepe's blows them away. Get in your car and go. This is what red sauce is all about.

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