Roberto’s – The best of Italy in the Bronx

Italian food and New York City seem like they walk hand in hand.  How many movies and TV shows have shown mobsters, movie stars and everyone in between dining on spaghetti in the Big Apple.  New York City even has a section of the city named Little Italy in which pasta centric restaurants line the streets and the smell of fresh made cannoli’s waft down the avenues.  There is nothing quite like the taste and flavor of fresh made italian food and where those movies get it right is that New York does it like no one else.  So why does it seem like a daunting task to find a restaurant to dine on some authentic red sauce.  Far up in the Bronx is a place that has been plating some of the best Italian cuisine in the five boroughs. While slightly difficult to get to, Roberto’s is well worth the trip.

Roberto’s can be considered new by Arthur Avenue standards, as its origins are only around 15 years old. For the longest time, Arthur Avenue was known as the destination for Italian cheese, wine, freshly butchered meat, and sweet baked delicacies.  These staples have been in and around Arthur Avenue for around 100 years so you can see how 15 years could be considered young.  For the longest time this area was known mostly for its Italian shops and not so much for its Italian food. When Roberto’s opened, it helped bring restaurant legitimacy to the area by serving up some of the best Italian food that New York City has to offer.  While Roberto’s has two other restaurants (one in Manhattan and another on Arthur Avenue), the one to go to is on Crescent Avenue.  While other restaurants have also opened in the area and have tried to replicate the success of Roberto’s, there really can be only one original.  Decked out in white walls, wooden chairs, and friendly faces, Roberto’s is an Italian icon in an area known for its Italian heritage.

What makes Roberto’s so special? All of the pasta is freshly made in house that day and can be difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t already had the pleasure of tasting it. The red sauce is divine, the pasta with Italian sausage could be eaten at any meal, and the seafood pasta is so good it challenges you to not leave anything leftover.  The food here astounds your senses as the smell is almost as good as the taste.  Unlike most nicer New York City restaurants, the portion size at Roberto’s are what you might expect would be handed out by someones grandmother with large heaping portions adorning large white plates.   The specialty here is the homemade pasta but that doesn’t mean that it is the only thing worth choosing on the menu.  Like most Italian restaurants, there are selections of seafood, chicken, and meat and the daily specials can be found aplenty.  One would be hard pressed to find a favorite meal as everything is made with the love and passion of food and cooking.

The only recommendation to make is to come hungry as no appetite should be wasted while dining here. No matter what your Italian food addiction is, Roberto’s is sure to have what you need. Providing you with both amazing stories to tell your friends and hopefully delicious leftovers for days to come.

New Yorker Tip: When coming to Roberto’s, schedule some extra time to walk down Arthur Avenue and East 187th street.  Stores run by generations of Italians, bakeries with amazing deserts, the freshest breads and meats, and general amazing people watching is worth your extra time.  Arthur Avenue is as close to a time machine as you are going to ever see to transport you back to old New York.