Sometimes Yelp is useful. You have to know how to parse the reviews but if you put the energy into it you can find some worthwhile places. We were looking for a solid Italian American place that would also serve as a Sunday lunch spot. I think we have one.
Vesuvio has been around since 1953. That can mean that the place is stale but it can also mean they continue to please people. I think the second case applies here.
Obviously the place has gotten a facelift or two. Initially when you walk in you're greeted by a quick serve / take out area. On either side, around the left and right corners, are regular dining rooms.
The room reminds me of Queen in Brooklyn Heights, perhaps with a bit more warmth.
This is the type of place where you're not looking for excitement, you're looking for well executed versions of your old favorites. That's what we got.
We started with the cold antipasto for two. Prosciutto, salami, mortadelle, roasted peppers, olives, provolone, artichoke hearts and fresh mozzarella. (Sorry - no pictures.) The portion was vast but thoroughly satisfying.
We probably could have split a main but we felt like living large. Deb had the chicken francese while I had the chicken parm. Again, both were enormous and very good in that classic Italian American way. The chicken was perfectly cooked and each one was big enough for 3 meals. Over the years Deb and I have had a moment of clarity about situations like this. Rather than stuff ourselves stupidly beyond all reason when confronted by portions of this size we have learned to take them home where we can enjoy them more on another day. My take away bag must have weighed 4 or 5 pounds between the antipasto and chicken dishes.
If you like Colandrea New Corner you should give this place a try. Granted, my enthusiasm is based on a limited sample and Lord knows New Corner's food can be uneven. Maybe Vesuvio's is that way too.
I'll take that chance. We'll be back and let you know.
Our waiter was absolutely terrific. Thoroughly professional and polished.
The crowd was old school Bay Ridge, a perfect match with old school Italian. Not a yuppie in sight.
The wine list is a disappointment. It's more limited than New Corner's and not priced as well. Maybe I missed something. I'll try to dig deeper next time.
7305 3rd Avenue Brooklyn NY 11209 (at 73rd St.)