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You go to a fancy red-sauce purlieu like Bamonte’s for old-school strengths, not creativity: Here the chandeliers are spectacular, the waiters longstanding professionals. Start with superb clams casino—the bacon’s smokiness perfectly counterpoints briny clams. Entrées include seafood Fra Diavolo, a jumble of spicily sauced shrimp, mussels, clams and tender calamari. Lamb and veal chops and shell steak from the grill are charred on the outside, flavorful and juicy on the inside. Linger over coffee, or swirl a snifter of brandy or grappa.
Venue name: Bamonte’s
Address: 32 Withers St
Cross street: between Lorimer St and Union Ave
Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Thu noon–10:30pm; Fri, Sat noon–11pm; Sun 1–10pm
Transport: Subway: L to Lorimer St, G to Metropolitan Ave
Price: Average main course: $18. MC, V
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