Author Topic: Armondo's  (Read 15025 times)

Offline redge

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2015, 11:33:49 PM »
Looks like they have arranged to erase their entire prior Yelp profile, including all of the reviews over the years, which were increasingly uncomplimentary, and now have a brand new Yelp profile.

I ate there about six months before the fire. My take was that it was about (barely) adequately prepared food, some of it frankly third rate, pseudo-formal service and prices based on the premise that the customer was prepared to pay a pretty good buck for tired food & tired service from about 40 years ago.

The new menu looks like more of the same.

Tell me what has changed.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 11:46:59 PM by redge »

Offline Crabby_Appleton

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2015, 12:06:31 AM »
I'm new to Jackson Heights, and so had never been to the old location. I found the menu typical red-sauce Italian, but the owner was lovely and the service was sweet and very efficient, which definitely elevated the experience. The food was good. Not mind-blowing, but very good. It's certainly better than any other Italian food I've had in the neighborhood, and it's a pretty room (though the lighting could've been a little lower). Two thumbs up for Armondo's.

Offline redge

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2015, 12:45:48 AM »
Sorry, it's just not clear whether a modern restaurant will work here, or whether instead people actually want pub food and restaurants that that serve fake Italian from 40 years ago.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 01:00:22 AM by redge »

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2015, 01:07:07 AM »
Sorry, it's just not clear whether a modern restaurant will work here, or whether instead people actually want pub food and restaurants that that serve fake Italian from 40 years ago.

You should look at the Facebook album for the restaurant.  The crowd they are appealing to is older.   There are plenty of older residents in JH who also want a place with a nice atmosphere to dine.   Perhaps they are not as discerning about the quality of the food and are happy with a clean, nicely lit place that feels like the old restaurant they knew and loved for many years.  It seems to me that the population density is so great here in JH that there is room for many different kinds of restaurants. 

I think we will very soon have our answer about whether a modern restaurant will work here when The Queensboro opens!  I am not questioning whether it will work.  I know it will work.  :)

Offline redge

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2015, 01:46:18 AM »
Hi Shelby2,

I think that your first paragraph nails it, except that the last sentence remains an open question.

As you say, The Queensboro may give us the beginning of an answer.

Offline Ms. Jackson

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2015, 09:24:22 AM »
Italian food has never been my first choice for eating out. Pasta and sauce is just something I've always felt I can make better and cheaper at home. That isn't to say I will never go to Armondo's - I'll definitely try it out, especially for brunch.

I think OPTIONS are what all modern NYC neighborhoods want. I like having counter/take out places. I like casual diner/cafes. I like gastropubs and the food they serve (I also like dive bars, upscale bars, and all bars in between), I like upscale restaurants. I like American food, all Spanish/Latin foods, Asian, European, Middle Eastern, etc. etc. as long as there are quality ingredients. As others have mentioned in another thread, I think this desire goes beyond demographics.

I know that there can't be everything in every neighborhood and I am okay going to other neighborhoods for what I crave/want, but it will be nice to have The Queensboro and Redge's restaurant added to our options, including the reopened Armondo's.

Offline BrianB

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2015, 11:47:27 AM »
Hey, redge. I can't really answer the question of "what has changed." I got to eat there once before the fire took it down. And what I had there was "fair to middlin" pasta. It wasn't impressive, but I don't easily get impressed by pasta. 'Cause it's pasta. I just liked it because it was a nice, sit-down Italian restaurant that I could take my kid to. So I was sad to see it go. Last night, I went by myself to sample the new menu, and as I posted, it was delicious. They did get all new equipment in the back, but again, I can't say what accounts for the difference, if there is one. I can only say what I said - shrimp oreganata had a great sauce and a nice kick. The veal parmesan was very tasty. Often, the meat gets lost in the cheese and sauce, but it did not here. It came with a side of pasta in garlic, which made it an even better value for me. The canoli at the end was awesome. And the wine worked. So without comparisons, I give it a big thumbs up.

And yes, I am even more excited for the new restaurants on the way. I'm all about increasing my options without getting on the subway. ;-)

Offline dssjh

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2015, 01:25:05 PM »
looking forward to checking out the new location. as a semi-regular patron, starting in the mid-1990s, i always found Armondo's to be good, solid Italian-American fare. Some things were quite good -- fish dishes, salads, some of the meat dishes. Some were pretty bad -- for a "red sauce" place, they always had really mediocre red sauce, so i skipped it, even on a pasta side.

I always found the service to be agreeable. not fake formal, just the kind of thing that you'd get at a neighborhood italian place -- or a neighborhood french place, back when those existed on the west side of manhattan. as Brian says, a nice option for those with a yen for old-school.

Offline ljr

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2015, 02:22:24 PM »
So okay, Armondo's is not Da Silvano or any of the top-rated Italian restaurants in Manhattan. As others have stated, it was and presumably still is a nice, white tablecloth, sit-down neighborhood restaurant, in an attractive setting, with a full bar, serving decent Italian food. We had one not-good experience there with a scallops dish that was sub-par, but on many other occasions we enjoyed the food (especially their grilled fish over garlic spinach and their mushroom ravioli) and the dining experience. It gave people in JH a choice that was not Indian, Tibetan, Thai, Nepalese, or South American, for times when what was wanted was something plainer, for their kids, for the in-laws, whatever...in other words, a choice of an American-style, old-fashioned Italian restaurant. And there were plenty of people who wanted that and still do. I have missed Armondo's!

Because it's not a temple of gastronomy, and maybe does not offer "true formal" service (or whatever is the opposite of "pseudo-formal" service) does not mean it doesn't have its place. I find it very curious to make the leap that if people in JH like Armondo's they won't like the sort of restaurant Redge is talking about— the implication being that their taste is not refined enough. Makes no sense to me. There is room for all kinds of places, serving a variety of needs and tastes. No?

That said, if Redge is looking for assurances that there is a sufficient audience for a really innovative, upscale restaurant here, and frankly, I am not sure there is. People seem more interested in a comfortable, family friendly but still attractive place, serving well prepared food made of excellent ingredients. They are not necessarily looking for the next big breakthrough in cuisine in an upscale, formal atmosphere. I think people would be fine with going to Manhattan for that kind of experience, and they won't be doing it every night. That's why they live in JH. If they had the money and inclination to eat at very fancy places all the time—I just don't think they would be living here.

I am thinking of a friend who married an affluent guy who lived on Park Avenue. She visited me here, and we had lunch at E77 and walked around a bit. I suggested she bring her husband out sometime to dine at one of the interesting places here. She said, "Well, he really doesn't go to that sort of restaurant." For him, I assume, only something on the level of Odeon or The Gotham Grill or Per Se would do. I think people like her husband are the main market for very upscale restaurants, and those people don't live in JH. This may seem blindingly obvious--and it is--but I am trying to make a distinction that is meaningful for Redge and partners, I think.  Yes, there definitely is a market for an American/European nice, but fairly casual restaurant—bistro, gastropub, however you want to identify it—but not a very fancy, formal, upscale place, featuring unusual cuisine at pretty high prices. IMHO.

I am looking forward to The Queensboro, hoping it will hit the sweet spot for a different and nice dining option in JH.

Offline redge

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2015, 06:42:15 PM »
Hey, redge. I can't really answer the question of "what has changed." I got to eat there once before the fire took it down. And what I had there was "fair to middlin" pasta. It wasn't impressive, but I don't easily get impressed by pasta. 'Cause it's pasta. I just liked it because it was a nice, sit-down Italian restaurant that I could take my kid to. So I was sad to see it go. Last night, I went by myself to sample the new menu, and as I posted, it was delicious. They did get all new equipment in the back, but again, I can't say what accounts for the difference, if there is one. I can only say what I said - shrimp oreganata had a great sauce and a nice kick. The veal parmesan was very tasty. Often, the meat gets lost in the cheese and sauce, but it did not here. It came with a side of pasta in garlic, which made it an even better value for me. The canoli at the end was awesome. And the wine worked. So without comparisons, I give it a big thumbs up.

And yes, I am even more excited for the new restaurants on the way. I'm all about increasing my options without getting on the subway. ;-)

This is really helpful. I'll definitely give the new location a try. It would be great, given Armondo's long history in the community, if the new restaurant is a success.

Offline hfm

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2015, 11:45:37 PM »
Old location review, but it looks like the menu is identical still, and guessing same staff and chef, and Jerry is a "mayor" in the neighborhood.

Armondos is, how do I say it, average fair italian at above average prices. The staff is great, it's was a nice place to be in, and the old location had what was as close to outside seating as we had in this hood. But I was always left with the notion that I could take a short train ride to L'incontro on 31st and Ditmars in Astoria and get what I consider to be some of the best italian in the city for not much more money.

It was nice that it was just down the street, and a pleasant place to go. If the prices were just a tad better it would be easier to recommend. But have to give it a nod just because there's really not anything else within walking distance that competes with it. Keeping it simple and sticking with the pasta dishes is the best experience.

Offline Liz

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2015, 11:24:52 AM »
I preferred Limoncello and I am sad that they are closed, although I understand the owner of Limoncello is now a chef at Armondo's - I hope they have the fresh cannolli's.  For top notch Italian I go to Parkside in Corona for a very special dinner, but I am glad we have Armondo's.  A neighborhood without an Italian restaurant would be a terrible thing, and I plan to give them some business very soon.

Offline hfm

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2015, 11:23:05 PM »
I preferred Limoncello and I am sad that they are closed, although I understand the owner of Limoncello is now a chef at Armondo's - I hope they have the fresh cannolli's.  For top notch Italian I go to Parkside in Corona for a very special dinner, but I am glad we have Armondo's.  A neighborhood without an Italian restaurant would be a terrible thing, and I plan to give them some business very soon.

Ahh.. so there's a new chef? Now that's interesting.....

Offline ptbass75

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2015, 01:40:12 AM »
The way folks on this thread are talking, it sounds like there has been no other option for sit down upscale Italian since the Brunson building burned. What about Uncle Peters on Northern?

Not that Im the HUGEST fan.  Last time i went the shellfish in the fra diavalo still had sand in it, and from what I hear not properly washing your shellfish is a big culinary no-no.  That being said, other than that experience I've enjoyed Uncle Peter's food over Armondos. 

As mentioned in this thread, the latter day yelp posts for Armondos were not that great.  Maybe Armondos will rise victorious from the ashes and be amazing!  I certainly hope so.

Offline Liz

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Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2015, 11:45:40 AM »
I believe I heard about the Limoncello owner - coming to Armondo's on JHL - under another thread - it sounded as if there is more than one chef at Armondo's.
I like Uncle Peter's, but I don't consider it an Italian restaurant - it's a fusion restaurant - Italian, French, and Spanish - which is great, but not an Italian restaurant.  We did have Limoncello around until November, but since then we have been without sitdown Italian until Armondo's reopened.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Welcome Back, Armondo's!
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2015, 11:45:40 AM »