I love to eat in restaurants that fall into the “ hole in the wall “ genre. The food is usually good, cheap and fills up your stomach ...


I love to eat in restaurants that fall into the “ hole in the wall “ genre. The food is usually good, cheap and fills up your stomach for the next few days. While talking to a friend about hole in the wall restaurants located in Brooklyn, my friend started to tell me about a Italian restaurant that served  family style dishes called Ortobello.

Ortobello is located on the corner of Bay parkway and 64th street and has been holding ground there since 1975. Ortobello is one of few remaining Italian restaurants left in the area. The space is small and looks like it hasn’t been renovated since the day it opened. Towards the kitchen sat the staff and an older woman speaking in Italian, in the back ground old school Italian music played. We grabbed a seat by the window so I could watch all the slutty Russian girls pass by. Our waiter came over and spoke broken English in a heavy Italian accent. A quick peek of the menu and this is what we ordered: 

Pollo Parmigiana  (19.50) :  I tend to label myself to be a chicken parm aficionado. I like my chicken crispy and I like to see burn marks on my cheese. Usually I have to ask for this, but I saw a really slutty Russian girl walk past the window and she made me lose my attention while ordering. I knew I was in the right place, I didn’t have to ask for the dish to be well done, it already came out the burn marks on the cheese and around the outer part of the chicken. A juicy, tender piece of chicken topped with the house tomato sauce and tons of fresh, lightly burned, mozzarella. At this point I was so stuffed, but I kept on eating because it was so damn good.

Mozzarella in corrazza ($14) :   A hunk of fresh mozzarella stuffed between Italian bread, dipped in an egg battered and fried.  When the waiter placed the dish on the table, it made this clunk sound, I knew I was in trouble. This thing was a monster, the dish could feed a small village or Anne Burell. The dish was topped with a white gravy which I was not used to, the dish is usually served with a tomato sauce. A few bites in and I started to get the love sweats. The bread was crispy, the mozzarella was oozing out and had a firm creamy texture to it and the white gravy just was the equivalent of finding $100 bill in your pocket while doing laundry 

Calamari Fritti ($15) : A heap of fried calamari, lightly breaded, served with a tomato sauce and a lemon wedge. The calamari was freshly made and not out of the bag, I know this because  the texture was tender and not like chewing on a ball of rubber bands.

Rigatoni alla vodka ($18):  Rigatoni served in a light cream tomato sauce. Usually the penne alla vodka is drowned in the sauce and makes the pasta soggy, this wasn’t the case. The Rigatoni was "al dente" with a light coating of a cream, tomato sauce with hints of garlic and fresh basil every so often.

Cheesecake ($7.50):  A hunk of Italian style cheese cake made from sweet ricotta and topped with powdered sugar. Cold, creamy sweet ricotta, how I yearn for another piece of you again.

Any asshole can go out and eat at a fine dinning restaurant, they are a dime a dozen these days. That doesn’t impress me, what does impress me are old establishments like Ortobello who serve up a quality meal for a decent price. Our bill came to $105 with enough food left over for the next 4 days. I do recommended you come here with more than 3 people to get the full effect of the value of the food. The food was great, the atmosphere was very home like, to the point that I was waiting for a woman to come out of the kitchen and pinch my cheeks and tell me “ You eat, you’re skin and bones “. I haven’t been skin and bones since I was 15. If you love the romance of little mom and pop owned spots, Ortobello is for you.

6401 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn
(718) 236-9810


  1. That's it, I'm making Pasta alla Vodka tonight, with the mere hope that it tastes a fraction as good as your's looks! And that cheesecake looks melt-in-your-mouth delish...!

  2. I am still thinking about that cheesecake! Good luck on the vodka sauce. I make a simple one, crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil, sugar, salt,pepper and heavy cream.

  3. My dentist is like 2 blocks away from there! How convenient for after drilling and mouth-numbing... -_-
    "This thing was a monster, the dish could feed a small village or Anne Burell." - I seriously LOLed