Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Favorite Italian Restaurant

Armando's At Dusk

This is one of the first restaurants that I ever visited in Brooklyn, a few years before I even thought about moving into the neighborhood. Now I live just a few blocks away and it remains my favorite Italian restuarant. It is located on Montague street that used to be "the street" for restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn before Smith Street, just a few blocks away, took over the title. Armando's, however, gives proof to the adage that older can be better.

The usual bartender, Paul, knows your name and what you drink. He makes a mean Martini and Armando's serves them in the appropriate sized glasses. The are large enough but not so large that your drink gets warm before you can finish it. A lot of bars use those over-sized glasses so the bartender doestn't have to work so hard. Why make two smaller drinks when you can get by with making one big one (and charge more for it).

Bruce and Bar Man Enjoying Our Martinis With Paul Looking On

The food here is delicious as well and the service is both friendly and efficient. They have the best linquini with clam sauce (I prefer the red, the Mysterious Chinese Woman leans towards the white) that I have ever had. The filet of sole in a lemon sauce is also fantastic. I can honestly say I have never had a bad meal here.

Bar Man, MCW, Bruce and Donna With Xhavit Attending

Xhavit has been working at Armando's for as long as I can remember and is fantastic, as is the whole staff. I still remember one warm December day when they had their Christmas tree up and they moved a table and chairs outside for the Mysterious Chinese Woman and me so we could enjoy our lunch in the sunshine.

Bruce And Donna, Happy With Their Meal

Because, as I said, they make their Martinis small enough so you can have two cold ones, I stopped at the bar and had another after dinner drink before heading on home.

Xhavit, Paul and Bar Mat At The Bar

Paul wasn't getting his due in the pictures so I managed to lure him a bit closer to the camera for one last shot.

Paul and Bar Man

Back in the 1950's when Marilyn Monroe was married to Arthur Miller they used to frequent this place and there are pictues of her adorning the walls along with pictures of other old-time movie stars who may, or may not, have eaten here as well. Pictures of Italian landscapes also hang on the walls and there are nice floral arrangements too. It is a very lovely and friendly place to have your lunch or dinner and it is usually bustling. The bar isn't just a service bar either and a regular crowd can usually be found enjoying a drink or two. Paul will make sure you feel welcome, as will everyone in the place. I hope Armando's stays around forever.