Tue-Sat, noon-10pm; Sun, 1pm-9pm; Mon, closed
A at Aqueduct-N. Conduit Ave.
Deep in suburban Queens, Don Peppe is the kind of family-oriented eatery one imagines but rarely finds in the city's more self-consciously hyped Italian neighborhoods. Opened in 1968, the large, one-room space, its walls brimming with bucolic oil paintings (not to mention the only menu in the place), encourages a sense of fellow feeling with your co-diners, and the quietly efficient, wisecracking waiters make you feel like a regular. The food is an equally pleasant assortment of familiar favorites dished up in gigantic proportions. For starters there's a teeming cold antipasto platter, simple salad in a refreshing vinaigrette, and baked clams that are both crunchy and succulent. A flaky, lightly seasoned beef braciola is particularly substantial and distinctive—like a pot roast rolled into a tube and drenched in a mamma's (not-too-oily) marinara sauce. The house's clams in white sauce balances rich and delicate flavors. Don Peppe is inevitably packed on weekend evenings, so an early dinner is in order if you want to avoid a long wait.Note
Reservations only accepted for parties of 10 or more.Recommended Dishes
Baked clams, $20; beef braciola, $18