Tony’s di Napoli
I spend my life avoiding big restaurants that specialize in feeding large groups of people, especially in New York where you’re more than likely to be ripped off. The night that I had the worst meal of my life at Le Souk, we originally discussed eating at Tony’s di Napoli on the Upper East Side, which to me sounded like the burning pit of hell.
If only I had done more research. Eight of us had a birthday dinner for a friend at Tony’s last night, and it couldn’t have been more enjoyable. We were seated right away at a huge table. It wasn’t too dark or too loud, and the room was appropriately tacky. Our waiter was effective and polite, although Mom would have despised and mocked him from the moment he mispronounced her favorite word, bruschetta. The table shared four appetizers and three mains, and it was may more than we could eat. I never felt that someone was trying to jack up our check, which ended up being only $193. That’s for eight people, and we each had a drink (without the drinks it would have barely broken $100).
None of the food was outstanding, but everything was okay. All platters are supposed to serve two to three people, but we decided that two to three wolves couldn’t finish these huge portions. For appetizers, we had cold antipasta (my favorite), mozzarella and tomato salad (hard to screw up at this time of year), fried zucchini (which were cut like potato chips), and fried calamari. For mains, we had an overly sweet ravioli bolognese, four pounds of chicken cacciatore, and rigatoni with vodka sauce. Everyone was satisfied, and Tony’s will be on my short list for these nerve-racking events from now on.
Tony’s, 1606 Second Avenue @ 83rd Street, (212) 861-8686