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Roberto's report (long)

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Roberto's report (long)

Tom G | Dec 9, 2002 11:49 AM

After wanting to do so for many years, my wife and i finally got to Roberto's near Arthur Avenue this weekend (it's at 186th and Belmont in the Bronx).

It was everything we imagined and more. I was expecting something much less atmospheric. But it is just lovely - when you walk in the front door you are accosted by the amazing smells coming out of the kitchen. the space is lit mostly by candles on the farm tables, with little spots overhead providing a little more light. it is a welcoming room - lots of joyful conversation.

we got there at a little after 6pm on saturday and found a parking spot almost right out front. we were told there would be a little wait, so we went next door to the bar. the bar was a little less atmospheric - lots of green neon making people look rather like aliens - and bartendresses straight out of goodfellas. but the wine was flowing and outside was cold, so we were happy.

in less than 20 minutes the maitre d' popped his head in and said our table was ready. it was a small table for the four of us (we brought some friends), but we figured we'd manage. without our prompting, however, the maitre d' suggested that maybe we would be more comfortable at a table that was opening up across the room...we quickly accepted.

starting with the bread, the food was wonderful...and, boy was the bread good...

appetizers: clams & mussels, cold antipasto platter, baked scamorza...all wonderfully prepared and very tasty...

i had ordered a penne alla vodka for us all to share, and when it wasn't brought out with the appetizers, i was surprised...thought that had forgotten it...they had most certainly not forgotten it, but rather brought it out as a seperate course between the appetizers and the entrees - as a very italian primi...and it was quite good, could have used a little more flavor however...

i had a pollo caprese as my entree...wonderful tomatoes in a time when they are hard to come by...tasty chicken...wife had pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe - said it was one of the best ever, and this is a favorite dish of hers...friends had veal, and farfalle pesto - both wonderfully tasty...

desserts were a tiramisu (nothing to write home about) and some sort of strawberry, lady finger, caramel concoction which was amazing...

i highly recommend this place...while it wasn't cheap, it was certainly worth the trip from manhattan.

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