Sun-Thu, noon-midnight; Fri-Sat, noon-1:30am
6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Restaurants in New York have a tough time surviving a year or two, so it's unusual when you find one that has lasted more than 100 years. Vincent's, est. 1904, may be around because of its famous tomato sauce—rich tomato paste thickened and served three ways: sweet, medium, and hot (truly fiery). The sauce has such a reputation it can sometimes be found in supermarkets and specialty stores. The best way to experience Vincent's hot sauce is as an accompaniment to fried seafood, calamari in particular, a restaurant specialty. If you order pasta, which at Vincent's usually means linguini, stick with the sweet or medium. You can top your linguini with any number of items, but why bother with the mundane meatballs or sausage when you can have it with fried shrimp balls, clams, or that old, Italian-American favorite, scungilli. Like the shrinking Italian presence in Little Italy, scungilli, sliced conch, has practically disappeared from the menus of Italian restaurants. At Vincent's they pile it so high on top of your linguini that if you are able to eat it all, you just might begin to understand why its demand has dwindled—a little scungilli goes a long way. Though the restaurant is a century old, you'd never know it by the shiny, diner-like interior. In between bites, scope the wall for photos of celebrities extolling Vincent’s attributes.Recommended Dishes
Baked clams, $15.50; fried calamari, $14.45; linguini with scungilli, $19.45