Louis Seafood, a Throgs Neck landmark that turns 60 this year, does fried calamari with an uncommonly light hand. No thick breading, no semolina, no cornmeal—just the barest dusting of flour. “This makes them very light, almost puffy,” observes Cheese Boy. “They might look unappealingly pale at first, but don’t be fooled. The taste is fantastic.”

In Brooklyn, there’s another first-rate version at Baci & Abbracci: fat rings and tentacles in ultrathin batter, perfectly cooked and served with lemons and a light pesto dip, noodles reports.

This year-old restaurant has won over even skeptical, often-disappointed Williamsburg hounds with simple, assured northern Italian cooking. Some recent hits: tilapia cooked in cherry tomatoes; house-made pappardelle with lamb ragù; beet and goat cheese gnocchi with arugula in cheese sauce; grilled scallops, calamari, and shrimp (served with white bean salad); and a knockout starter of blanched prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, laid over melted Taleggio and run briefly under the broiler. “A true gem,” corvin declares. “I am seriously considering giving Williamsburg more benefit and less doubt.”

Louis Seafood Restaurant [Bronx]
3478 E. Tremont Avenue (near Otis), Bronx

Baci & Abbracci [Williamsburg]
204 Grand Street (between Bedford and Driggs), Brooklyn

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