Review By: Stefanie Parks –
Dave had spent a lot of time making dinner plans for my birthday. He had three or four choices, had called a ton of places a month in advance, and then Hurricane Sandy struck and took out all of lower Manhattan, including all of the places Dave had made a reservation at. We thought of a couple back-up’s on the Upper West Side to try, but nothing we were THAT excited about.
Dave went for a run the Friday night before my birthday and came back with a brilliant new plan (he always comes back from his runs with great new plans for us!). We would go to Arthur Ave. in the Bronx and find a great Italian place for dinner. It was perfect. The Bronx is the one neighborhood that we haven’t really explored and I really couldn’t think of anything that I’d rather do. In fact, I was more excited about this than any of the downtown restaurants that we’d talked about going to (sorry guys!).
We had looked up “the best Italian restaurant in Little Italy in the Bronx” and made a reservation at the place that came up as number one. But, of course, we would check out all of our other options before committing. We walked up and down Arthur Ave. and as soon as we saw Dominick’s, we knew that our other place would be left in the dust. It didn’t even stand a chance.
Dominick’s was the only place on the street that literally had a line out the door. And then we walked in and the smell is what really sealed the deal. We asked if we could put our name down and come back in an hour. We walked around the rest of the area to make sure we weren’t missing any other hidden gems, but like I said, once we saw and smelled Dominick’s, our mind was made up.
But, we did decide that we’d stop in another place that we saw along the way on our way home and pick up a calzone for Sunday night dinner.
So, at 8:30 we sat down at Dominick’s. The place had cleared out a little bit, but it was still crowded when we walked in. We sat down and asked for a couple of menus and the waiter told us that they don’t do menus, we could walk up and look at the one hanging on the wall if we wanted to.
We started with a bottle of their house red and a huge loaf of their homemade bread dipped in olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The bread was so good, I literally had to move the plate to the other side of the table to stop myself from eating the whole thing.
We ordered baked clams and a stuffed artichoke for our appetizers. Both of these dishes were amazing. They each had the same sort of stuffing in them, and it was so delicious. And, both dishes were huge too. Again, we had to move them to the other side of the table to stop ourselves from eating the whole thing.
For our main course, we ordered linguini with sausage and a meatball and chicken parmesan. Linguini isn’t one of my favorite types of pasta, so I usually don’t order it, but it seemed like their specialty, so we went with it. And I’m glad we did. The pasta was great, the sauce was great, and both the meatball and sausage were great too. Surprisingly though, I liked the meatball much better than the sausage (and I say surprisingly because I LOVE sausage). As good as the pasta was though, the chicken parm was even better. It came with two huge pieces of chicken and even more linguini. The chicken was moist, the breading was crispy, and there was a perfect amount of cheese on top. We could hardly even finish one of the pieces of chicken on the plate. So yes, we were taking home leftovers to go with our calzone!
Once we finished our meal and had a minute to digest, our waiter came over and asked if we wanted espresso. Well, why not. It was my birthday after all and I wanted to stay up as late as possible. He brought out our espressos and asked if we wanted to add some Sambuca. We figured that this would be a few extra dollars, but again, what the hell, it was my birthday. So, he brought over the Sambuca, poured some into each of our glasses, and then left the whole bottle on the table. How generous!
Finally, when we had finished our espressos (and three or four more shots of Sambuca), we asked for the check. Our waiter came over with a piece of paper that had no menu items listed, but just said $95. Cash only.
We thought that the bill would be at least $130 or $140, but hey, $95… We’ll take it!
What an amazing meal. And even more amazingly, Dave posted a picture of me with the food on Facebook and several people commented by saying “You’re at Dominick’s!!” We have no idea how they knew, but clearly, we picked a winner!