- Why it’s worth it: From the outside, Manducatis doesn’t even look like a restaurant, but as you will learn, you don’t go here for a trendy or romantic vibe; you go here for the pasta and the history.
- Vibe/layout: The front room contains a bar and looks more like a rec room with a bunch of boxes than a restaurant; however, the rest of this ‘straunt feels like one big living room, complete with lace curtains, houseplants and a wood-burning fireplace. This ‘straunt has been hosting curators, sculptors and painters from P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center for over 30 years. Usually a place would frame photos of famous/favorite customers on the wall; however, in Manducatis’ case, the reverse happened: P.S. 1 exhibited 11 candid black-and-white photographs of the Cerbone couple taken by Howard Gross.
- Ideal meal: Ricotta gnocchi with pesto or red sauce and mozzarella ($18)
- The story: Operated since 1977 and owned by Italian immigrants, Vincenzo and Ida Cerbone and now their son, Anthony, Manducatis is as unique as it gets. Ida, the cook, learned her skills in Italy and makes her gnocchi with ricotta, not potato. The food comes out on large plates that bear the black-and-white childhood photograph of chef and co-owner, Ida. When the Cerbones got married, Vincenzo had the plates made, so customers are essentially eating off of the Cerbones’ wedding dishes. Talk about a personal touch.
- ‘Straunt tip: Check out a Moma PS1 Warm Up party, then head to Manducatis for a bite to eat and then to Dutch Kills, the speakeasy down the street, for a drink.
- Address: Long Island City, 13-27 Jackson Ave (47th & Jackson)
- Prices: $18