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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Randazzo's


The first time I went to Randazzo's Clam Bar many years ago, I was accompanied by a friend who was a born and bred NYC Italian (from the Bronx) who said this food was just like his mother's home cooking. Two other friends also came along, both born in New York City - one from Manhattan, one from Brooklyn (both Jewish). Three boroughs were represented - that's very serious street cred. You don't argue with that, and there was no need to, because we all enjoyed the food and experience.

Randazzo's, at 2017 Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, has a history of over 75 years. It was founded by Helen Randazzo, and its roots can be traced back to 1916. Read more about them at their website here. The menu is Italian, specializing in seafood: lobster, scungilli, mussels, shrimp, clams, calamari, and Helen's famous sauce.

On my second visit, I was with my Brooklynite friend and his brother. They were coming in from out of town, and we had planned to eat at Randazzo's as part of a day of adventure. Expectations were very high. For me, I wanted to solidify my connections with old, iconic New York City. For my old friends, nostaligia was a big element - to eat in Brooklyn, where they grew up.

This is a very dangerous formula: high expectations and looking to recreate experiences. We wanted to love it. We had to love it. It was part of our special day, and we would expect nothing less than a great reunion.

Our food experience was uneven. I've read dozens of reviews, all the way from one-star to five-star. I realize that a place like Randazzo's can travel far on its own momentum and that things change. But I'm going back. And I will find things I like. Because nothing's going to stop me from liking this place. You gotta problem with that? :)

8 comments:

An Honest Man said...

No siree!

Brian Dubé said...

An Honest Man - I thought you would listen to reason and see it my way :)

Anonymous said...

I tried to eat at Randazzo's, there are some delicious dishes to choose.

Ian W. said...

Both times I've eaten there I've loved it. I crave their shrimp fra diavolo often.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Another incredible flashback for me. Thank you SO much. ;)

Mary said...

Food definitely uneven. Stick wth raw.

Baobab said...

Interesting yellow-oranging thing in the centre ...

Naomid said...

Is the orange yellow thing a crawfish? Is it holding a plate of mints? Adorable.