Don't Leave Bamonte's Without Ordering Fra Diavolo and...Potatoes?

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[Photographs: Max Falkowitz]

Centenarian red sauce joint has changed remarkably little in the past hundred years, as this full report can attest. Most of the food will keep you happy, but is there anything you have to get on your visit? A recent trip offered two answers, one expected and one less so.

The Seafood Fra Diavolo ($23.95) is as spicy and garlic-forward as ever, plump shrimp and tender clams in a sauce that has plenty of oil and a good touch of charred tomato. All it needs is some bread for sopping the leftovers.

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Or...you could skip the bread altogether and just put a side of Potatoes to work. Bamonte's doesn't elaborate much on their potatoes, but I'll be damned if they weren't one of the highlights of the meal. Braised until spoon-tender and full of rich, meaty flavors, they are, in their own humble way, far more exciting than a potato minus dairy dares to be. The spuds have no crisp crusts, but their soft, creamy texture more than makes up for the shortcoming. And needless to say, they take to spicy tomato sauce quite well.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the New York editor and ice cream maker in residence at Serious Eats. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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