Dominick’s – An old school Italian joint in Da Bronx, NYC

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Old school Italian joint in Da Bronx.

NYC used to be a haven for Italian spots like Dominick’s up in the Bronx. Very old world, and kind of like eating at your great nonna’s home with the 70’s pictures hanging on the wood paneling in the living room while seated at the kiddie table. Man, that brings back memories.

Just a no frills place with little decoration or ambiance, long family style tables that you will share with others on the main floor, but it has a certain old school charm to it. Heck, they don’t even have a website. The bathrooms are upstairs on the second floor seating area which looks like a nice place for large parties, but I heard it’s hardly ever used.

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No menus. The waiter will relay a list of what they have for the night. He won’t write anything down. You will get the correct food you order. Friendly service in a no-nonsense way.

Solid Italian comfort food standards. Being that I grew up eating delicious Italian food done right by my mom, aunts, grandma, and sister I am a bit critical at times. I still have not found anywhere that makes Italian food and sauce as good as mom and sis. Sorry Dominick’s, but you also fall short. Not bad, but it was a valiant effort.

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The basket of fresh bread was good, but no oil to dip in. Packets of butter are a fail. Really, no true Italian wants to spread those little packets of hard as a rock butter on soft locally made bread. Give me a small plate, some olive oil and vinegar to dip it in, and I’m a happy camper.

Sautéed broccoli that had a covering of bread crumbs and cheese. Just OK.

Stuffed artichoke. OK. A bit on the oily side though.

Ziti with meat sauce. Good. Very hefty portion and they don’t skimp with the sauce.

Washed down with a small glass of house wine. OK, but it really is in a small plain juice cup. No wine glasses here. Kind of strange but it works for this kind of place.

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The portions are large and we did take some home with us. In fact, we saw many others taking bags of food to go from their meals. Overall, the meal experience here was tasty and we were glad we dropped in to sample it. We didn’t order dessert here as there are so many great bakeries in the area we decided to hit up a few on the way home.

Decent prices but they don’t accept credit cards here? Meh. C’mon guys, it’s 2015. The bill for two or more will still run $50 – $100. Accept some plastic as not everyone has a wad of bills burning a hole in their pockets. They hand you a piece of paper with the final amount on it. It’s kind of funny in a “you better pay this or we’ll break your kneecaps” kind of way.

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Overall, it’s a well-known locals joint that has great neighborhood support, but it’s a bit of a schlep for anyone else coming up from Manhattan or further out. It’s also kind of a touristy spot at the same time. Worth a trip once to at least say you ate there.

If I could rate this on a 1 to 5 stars scale with 5 being the best,  this was a 3.5 star meal to me. I’ll give it 4 stars since I have a love for old school places like these which are disappearing around New York.

Mangia!

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6 thoughts on “Dominick’s – An old school Italian joint in Da Bronx, NYC”

  1. Hey Phil, the ziti with meat sauce looks real good, old fashioned, homemade and a nice comfort food. I don’t mind the ‘glasses’ of wine as I think this is not uncommon in some European venues, and I admittedly like butter on bread too, lots of Italian Philly joints serve it. The asparagus, well, those breadcrumbs are way too much and look sloppy rather than generous, I have no idea what that is in the photo above the asparagus with way too many bread crumbs. Still, places like this had their day and still continue to serve mostly decent meals based on tradition.
    Peggy Gilbey McMackin recently posted…Fried Stuffed Squash BlossomsMy Profile

  2. Phil – once again you make me hungry and I AM TRYING to reduce my calories by doing push AWAYS and getting some honest to goodness exercise. but, boy does that food look enticing…. I dislike those butter packets, if you gonna have bread you might as well have real butter, and I mean real butter. But, it’s an Italian joint, shouldn’t they be serving olive oil? Just askin.’ i am sure the locals enjoy it, they’ve gotten used to the way it works and how it tastes – they’re the bread and butter for the place, so to speak. Thanks for sharing, and if I am ever in NYC – I am calling you!
    clay recently posted…40 years ago, today – part 2: Camels in the NightMy Profile

  3. Sounds like the kind of meals that were a staple at my house. My dad’s full blooded Italian and though he was born and raised in Long Island, his parents hailed from Brooklyn 😉 My Grandma made everything from chicken marsala to stuffed manicotti and all the Italian American goodies you could think of. Of course, the portions were always by the pound and people wonder why I was a porker when I was a kid. Unfortunately my dad’s parents are no longer with us but those recipes are tucked safely away in my apartment and I cook them whenever I get to missing my grandparents.
    Inion N. Mathair recently posted…And The Winner Is…..My Profile

  4. Wonderful dishes!…. Having italian roots, I really appreciate food and ceremonies related to eating, so as to say!…. With family and friends. Great post, dear Phil. All my best wishes & happy week to you, buddy! Aquileana 😀

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