Must-See Long Island City
by Michael Hsu, 09/23/2014
Antipasto. Photo: Alexander Thompson
13-27 Jackson Ave., 718-729-4602
For a quick trip to old-country Italy, take the G train to the 21st Street stop; Manducatis is just down the block. The southern Italian fare here is prepared à la minute by chef Ida Cerbone, who has owned the restaurant with her husband, Vincenzo, since 1977. There is little at Manducatis that Cerbone's own hands do not touch: she butchers the restaurant's meats, makes the pasta and has created every one of the restaurant's simple, authentic dishes. Try the roast baby pig (when available), served on the bone with potatoes or vegetables; a scaloppine of veal cooked on the grill and paired with radicchio trevisano or endive (depending on what Ida finds at the market); and plump shrimp, sautéed in white wine with herbs. The selection of homemade pastas, which changes regularly, might include favorites like manicotti, gnocchi and spaghetti—though with some unusual flavors and flourishes. The wine list is extensive, detailing around 400 bottles, though that's just a fraction of the thousands that reside in Manducatis' cellar.