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unsolicited recommendation: salvatores of soho

had dinner at salvatores of soho on friday night. the name’s a bit misleading — the restaurant isn’t in soho. it’s in riverdale. maybe salvatore is from soho, and he came to riverdale to open a restaurant. not sure.

anyway.

they have excellent basic red-sauce italian food. great pizza. a well-planned menu with lots of variety. and they deliver it all. we’ve been a few times before, for basic stuff. so far, a solid neighborhood option, but perhaps not worthy of an unsolicited recommendation.

but we splurged a bit on friday night, taking a chance on some more expensive entree specials. three things shoved them over the edge, to the point where i’m flogging them on my blog:

» amazing specials. on friday i had a whole grilled bronzino with a rosemary sauce. i’d never had this mediterranean fish before, but man was it good. i like a fish roasted whole, head and skin on and bones in, because it keeps the fish moist and delicious like no other cooking method, if done correctly. and this was the best whole grilled fish i’d had in ages. it rivalled anything i’ve ever had at uncle nick’s on 9th avenue in midtown manhattan, which is mecca for a grilled fish. kirk had a broiled steak with mushroom sauce, which was equally as wonderful.

» great staff. welcoming, professional, prompt, every single person genuinely concerned with my total experience. they all enjoy what they are doing, and it shows.

» byob. they don’t have a liquor license, so you look at the menu, grab a bottle of wine from down the street, bring it back, and they serve it with no corkage fee.

total bill with tip was $50, which is about as much as you could possibly spend here. it’s a mixed crowd — half of the tables are families eating meals and bringing wine, like us, and the other half are tables of college students splitting pizzas. two could eat well and comfortably here for $20. but any money you spend here is well spent, and everything on the menu is an incredibly good value for the money, even the more expensive entrees. they definitely have kitchen staff that knows what they are doing.

we’ll be back.

a lot.

for the specials.

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