L&B Spumoni Gardens - Highly Recommended
2725 86th St, Brooklyn NY 11223
The great thing about NY is no matter where you are, there's always some awesome restaurant near by. In Brooklyn last night and someone in our group suggested L&B. I've always heard about this place, but never found a reason to go. Now, I know why people rave about this place. Overall, I give the restaurant an 86/100.
I ordered a good amount of food, but they kept on giving out free plates since we waited a little bit. All items with ** represent dishes on the house.
1) **Spaghetti Meat Sauce - Recommended
2) Mozzarella In Corrozza - Recommended
3) Rice Balls with Parmesan - Recommended
4) Fried Calamari - Average
5) **Salad with Ricotta Salata and Green Apples - Recommended
6) **Baked Clams – Highly Recommended
7) **Shrimp Cocktail - Average
8) Sicilian Pie - Highly Recommended (must have)
9) Rainbow Spumoni - Recommended
1) Pasta is cooked very nicely and the sauce was very Italian American, which in this context is a good thing. Nice tomato gravy, though the ground meat could have been more tender.
2) Mozzarella in a "carriage." Basically, fried squares of mozzarella - not the sticks that most Americans are used to. These are fun here, but the ones I had in Capri were perfectly crispy with a super milky flavor and soft/gooey texture of mozzarella topped with fresh basil.
3) Basically risotto stuffed with meat, fried, topped with mozzarella and served with a tomato sauce. Completely different than the gems from Bar Stuzzichini, but these are still very fun.
4) For some reason, I feel like I'm calamari'd out for the year even though the year has just begun. These are OK, but nothing special.
5) Crispy lettuce topped with olive oil, salt, pepper, thinly sliced green apple (nice touch), and a great salty ricotta salata. Nice refreshing light salad.
6) Simple and great. Crunchy breadcrumbs and tender flavorful clams. This isn't Escoffier, but it's freakin tasty.
7) Like the calamari, I feel like I've seen enough of shrimp cocktail. It just doesn't do it for me anymore.
8) A big what the F moment. I've had many a Sicilian slice back in my day - growing up in central NJ I think it was required to have at least one a week. L&B's version I can honestly say is the best I've ever had...even better than the square pizzas I've had in Rome. The dough is what sets this thing apart from all others. It almost has a croissant like quality to it - crunchy, but the center is so soft and airy. Topping the dough with cheese first, then tomato allows the thick crust to stay crunchy and airy. Sauce and cheese are decent, but the combination is ethereal.
9) Vanilla, Pistachio, and Chocolate combo. Spumoni I guess is Italian Ice cream with nuts (different than gelato) Vanilla and choclate were so intense in flavors. Texture was not perfect, but it was still really tasty.
Overall Restaurant Experience (86/100)
- Food 8.6/10 – Great Italian American food. Seriously worth trecking out to Brooklyn for this pizza.
- Service 9.0/10 – Waiter was very nice and very attentive. The chef came out and said hello and that's when the onslaught of food began. Again, I believe he thought we waited too long, so he just piled on free dishes one after another. I seriously felt like I was sitting in Goodfellas beating treated like I was a "friend of ours"
- Atmosphere 7.5/10 – Typical Italian American restaurant right down to the checkered tablecloths. There is outdoor seating, but last night was rainy and cold. Crowd consisted of mostly families eating lots and lots of food. Got there at 8pm with no reservations showing up with 7 people. We were seated at 8:30.
- Price 10/10 – Ok. This came out to $14 a head for 7 people. No, I'm not kidding...f'n unbelievable. For the price alone, it's worth it. The portions are huge family style, so be prepared to eat.
Great company and great food - can't ask for much more. Again, this isn't fancy refined flavors by any means, but it's just really good and you really feel like you're like family. Happiness factor is very high here. I don't know where this sits in the grand scheme of things of NY Pizza supremacy, but right now I've had to say it's right up there with Grimaldi's (Brooklyn of course) and Lombardi's.