Of The Week
Bamonte—Home To Fine Food For 100+ Years
The legendary Bamonte’s Italian Restaurant is a New York tradition. Continuously run by the Bamonte family since 1900, this fine establishment exemplifies the New York immigrant experience as well as demonstrating how a fine restaurant should be run. Great grandfather Pasquale opened his restaurant in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn on a non-descript street in 1900. Today, his grandson, Anthony, along with his three daughters, Lisa, Laura and Nicole, runs Bamonte’s. Lisa preps the kitchen every morning and works the busy dining room at night, while Laura runs her own bakery nearby, and supplies the restaurant with delicious desserts. Nicole helps out as maitre d’. Both the grand dining room and the glass-enclosed kitchen operate like finely tuned machines, turning out hundreds of wonderful meals for guests who dine in a comfortable, old-world-style dining room. No wonder celebrities such as James Gandolfini, Woody Allen, Mike Piazza and Danny DeVito all have visited Bamonte’s.On a recent return visit, I marveled at the consistency of the fabulous food and excellent service provided by tuxedo-clad waiters such as Mario, a distinguished gentleman, who has worked here for 27 years. I must give kudos to the many daily specials whipped up by Lisa and the expert kitchen staff. In fact, some are so popular, they can be ordered by request. By-request specials include linguine with fresh, sweet lump crab meat, bathed in tangy tomato sauce. Marinated shrimp salad is tossed with crunchy celery, olives, garlic and oil. Try a hefty grilled portobello mushroom, grilled and layered with eggplant and red roasted peppers. For a real treat, order a hot antipasto platter, (not on the menu but ideal for sharing). Sample Bamonte’s famous eggplant rollatini, baked clams, shrimp scampi and savory stuffed mushrooms as well. Another house specialty is juicy mussels swimming in garlicky tomato sauce that begs to be soaked up with lots of crusty, warm Italian bread. These are just a few of the appetizer selections.Some of Bamonte’s signature dishes include chicken scarpariello, prepared on or off the bone and sautéed with a heavenly sauce of lemon, butter and white wine ($16.50). There’s also a hearty chicken rollatini with mushrooms and traditional chicken cacciatore. My favorite dish is pork chops sautéed with choice of sweet or hot cherry peppers in a savory sauce. These tender, juicy pork chops can be ordered simply grilled as well. Either way, they’ll melt in your mouth.
The grill renders perfectly cooked veal chops, lamb chops and filet mignon, each served with oven potatoes and freshly sautéed vegetables, including broccoli, escarole or broccoli rabe. A number of fish dishes, including flaky white monkfish oreganata, full of delicious flavor, and flounder stuffed with crabmeat, are available. Seafood fra diavolo remains a house standard, noteworthy for the freshest of seafood and the spicy sauce. Enjoy plump shrimp, prepared scampi, francese and marinara style, in each case using family recipes.Pasta entrees are truly satisfying, and include favorites such as homemade manicotti, ravioli, and the house specialty: fusilli with filetto di pomodoro sauce ($12.50). Tortellini with rich cream sauce and ziti with broccoli, garlic and oil are popular as well. Enjoy a bottle of wine from their well-stocked cellar with your dinner.For dessert, try one of Laura’s fantastic creations such as chocolate mousse cake, apple crumb pie, a dazzling berry cream pie or fresh filled cannoli. A cup of espresso or coffee is a must.As you can imagine, Bamonte’s is quite popular, so reservations, especially on weekends, are strongly recommended. Recently, two epaisodes of "The Sopranos" have been filmed here, introducing even more people to this unique New York experience in dining. Bamonte’s is now taking reservations for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve (two seatings) and New Year’s Day. Groups of as many as 30 people can be accommodated in the spacious dining room. Please reserve early.You owe it to yourself to take a quick hop on the BQE (Meeker/Morgan St.) and visit Bamonte’s Restaurant. There’s valet parking and street parking and they’re open six days a week for lunch and dinner, from noon. They’re closed Tuesdays. You can’t really call yourself a true New Yorker—or a tourist—until you’ve had the Bamonte dining experience, where old world charm, excellent food and service make you feel right at home.
32 Withers St.Brooklyn