What you're getting: A Salerno-style pie
2357 Arthur Ave
At his second restaurant, Roberto Paciullo is serving the pies of his native Salerno, which means a crisper Neapolitan without the soupy center. The dining room is cavernous and the kitschy trattoria décor is borderline Epcot. After you dig into the Riccardo, topped with butternut squash puree, smoked mozzarella, and spicy pancetta, though, you won’t care.
What you're getting: Lasagna Bolognese and as many other red sauce Italian plates as possible
622 E 187th St
For classic red sauce, you’ll want to skip the old timers (we love Mario and Dominick’s, but…) for a relative (and relatively under-appreciated) newcomer. Better cooking is the only secret at Tra Di Noi, which is, currently, the best restaurant on Arthur Ave. The dining room, with its red-checkered linens, looks like it was inspired by Louis' Italian American Restaurant. But the killer lasagna Bolognese is everything you wished mom’s could be. It’s substantial and hearty without being too rich, with tender sheets of pasta and just enough of that meaty, tomato-y sauce. Don’t sleep on the seafood, either.
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Chris Crowley is a freelance journalist with an overzealous appetite. His work has appeared on Grub Street, Serious Eats (where he wrote a column about the Bronx’s restaurants for over two years), Punch, Narratively, and more. Follow him on Twitter.