Don Peppe’s – Ozone Park, NY
With windows on the outside tinted completely dark, it took the “open” and “cash only” signs in the window to convince to even try to see if the door was unlocked. The door opened and after stepping into the actual restaurant I was transported to a quasi-Godfather/horse racing mecca mix called Don Peppe’s (DP). I was seated and instead of being given a menu or told about specials, all you have to do is look at the back wall as DP’s menu is hanging there and does not change daily. In this day and age, you have to have pretty good stuff not to have a rotating or seasonal menu. DP certainly played the part in ambiance, but it is the food that matters to me. The waiter was polite, but stoic. Friendly, but someone I would not want to get on their bad side. Absent at times, but always showing up exactly when needed or expected. I would start things out with their stuffed mushrooms.
These were no ordinary stuffed mushrooms. They were fresh, gigantic, flavorful, and meaty. Cooked just right and juicy throughout I really liked them and one of the better stuffed mushrooms I have had. I think I would die and go to heaven if they ever thought of adding a little lump crab meat to these gems. Next up would be fettuccine al prosciutto
This dish would be amazing. The nice pieces of prosciutto floating throughout added a beautiful salty punch to a nice sweet tomato sauce with pasta that was spot on. I have never had fettuccine al prosciutto and will be on the lookout for this in the future, but whoever serves it to me with have a high standard to live up to. As if that was not enough, next would be a dish of chicken lemon and butter.
What sounded like a possible plain platter ended being a highlight of the night. The chicken served to me was cooked perfectly and sautéed in a lemon and butter sauce that I soaked up each and every drop of with the Italian bread provided. The chicken was just the right size as it was not too thick or thin and was able to cut through each piece with just my fork. I was stuffed, but left just enough room for dessert. I would get the pistachio Tartufo.
The dessert consisted of a ball of ice cream with pistachios and covered in a delicious chocolate shell. It was the perfect way to end a perfect meal in each and every way. DP provided an Italian meal that excited me from start to finish and did not miss a beat. DP is said to have strong ties to the mob, but as I stated early on, all I care about is the food and I will call anyone that eats at DP a wiseguy for knowing where good Italian food is.
Five out of Five Stars