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This week, Our Man Sietsema is in Dyker Heights at Colandrea New Corner Restaurant, which is not new at all, having been founded in 1939. We gather that it’s the sort of place that’s decorated in the flamboyant style of old Italian aunties–all bad oil paintings and fake classical statuary. Plus, Colandrea offers no less than three different types of lottery to play.
But for all its old-world, kitchy charm, the real reason to go here, Our Man says, is that they do classic Italian-American food right. No arugula or Balsalmic vinegar here, just good, old-fashioned spaghetti and meatballs, lasagne, chicken cacciatore, and baked ziti.
The lasagna can barely hold the sausage and cheese stuffing between its expansive, well-sauced layers, and a further heap of ground beef on top telegraphs the abundance of meat in the New World. To get spaghetti with meatballs, you must order the components separately. Spaghetti with marinara is $9.50, and a pair of meatballs is $5, re-creating one of the towering triumphs of Italian-American cooking, one that has long been clasped to the bosom of mainstream American cuisine.
Colandrea New Corner Restaurant
7201 Eighth Avenue
Dyker Heights, Brooklyn