The scene: Anton’s Hair Design salon
The discussion: Reasonably priced Italian food
The participants: Carmine (left), a custodian from Dyker Heights. His wife Joan, a word-processing manager at a law firm. Colette, salon co-owner. Rosemarie, Colette’s mother, salon co-owner.
Joan: My favorite is a tossup between La Villa and Spumoni Gardens. La Villa’s rice balls are off the hook. The calamari is off the hook.
Carmine: I tell you, I never order a meatball sandwich. The first time I ate a meatball sandwich since I’m a kid was at La Villa. Was that good!
Joan: La Villa has the edge because you bring your own wine.
Colette (below, with Joan): Yeah, I go to the wine store next to Costco, because you can get a $13.99 bottle of Yellowtail for only $9.99. But I like Spumoni Gardens because of the portion sizes.
Rosemarie (below): The pear salad there is out of this world. But oh my God you can never get in there with those lines no matter when you go. I love Fiorentino‘s on Avenue U and McDonald. The food is excellent and they give you a glass of wine with your meal—a nice, big glass. I like to get the chicken oregonata. You can put it over salad or broccoli rabe.
Joan: Why would you order chicken when you go out? I never do. We eat it every frickin’ night. What about Gino’s at Fifth Avenue and 75th? Oh my God the food is excellent. It’s like a pizza restaurant with a restaurant in the back. And the portions are big enough you could share. You know what else? Ferdinando’s makes the best pannelis in town. Made with ground chickpeas and deep fried. Oh my god.
Carmine: The Italians, they eat a lot.
La Villa, 261 5th Ave. (between 1st & Carroll streets), 718-499-9888
Spumoni Gardens, 2725 86th St. (between 10th St & 11th avenues) 718-372-8400
Fiorentino’s, 311 Ave. U (between Mcdonald Avenue & West Street), 718-372-1445
Gino’s, 74-14 Fifth Ave., between 74th Street & Bay Ridge Parkway, 718-748-1698
Ferdinando’s Focacceria Restaurant, 151 Union St. between Columbia and Henry streets,
Anton’s Hair Design, 327 Ocean Parkway betwen Beverley Road and Avenue C, 718-871-2512