I've had a bug up my ass for a local red sauce joint called Randazzo's for the past ten or twelve years. I'm not really sure a...

Randazzo's Clam Bar

I've had a bug up my ass for a local red sauce joint called Randazzo's for the past ten or twelve years. I'm not really sure as to who, what, where, when, or why, but this place just rubbed me the wrong way. Anytime the name of Randazzo's would come up, people would praise and smile, while I snickered and call it names that Webster's Dictionary has not yet defined.  

One person in particular that would praise the food at Randazzos is a good friend of mine who also doubles as my proofreader. He would go on and on about how great their food is, how unique in flavor their red sauce is, and that I am a complete asshole for not liking the place. So I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. I would take my friend to Randazzo's for dinner to show my gratitude for thoroughly reading through my awful grammar and spelling mistakes, while seeing exactly why I stayed away for so long and then writing about it. 

Randazzos started out as a small clam shack located along Sheepshead Bay on Emmons Avenue in the early 1940's. In the 1980's the small clam shack was transformed into a full blown restaurant and would serve up fish dishes in their signature red sauce. As I walked into the space it felt like déjà vuAfter being heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy, the place appeared to be untouched. It was exactly how I remembered it. A no frills design, with a long counter that overlooked the fry station. A large room with black tables and red and white stripped paper place mats with pictures of regional areas in Italy. We grabbed a seat at a table and started to scan the the menu. This is what we ordered: 

 Seafood Fra Diavolo ($23.95): Shrimp, clams, and mussels in a spicy house red sauce, served atop a bed of pasta. Not to sound like a broken record, but this dish was fucking good.

Fried Calamari ($13.95): A portion the size of some food writers egos had hit our table. Plump rings of perfectly battered squid, deep fried to a textbook definition. Served with Randazzo's signature red sauce - the culprit. Now a lot older and somewhat wiser, I understand why this sauce is raved about among the Brooklyn natives. It has this certain taste that you really don't get with other housemade red sauces. I had a hard time deconstructing the actual flavors in the sauce because there was too much going on, oh and I was also to busy stuffing my face with it.

Shrimp in Medium Sauce ($12.95): Doused in flour, fried for 3 minutes, and served with a piece of bread that has an almost stale consistency, topped with the house made read sauce. This is actually one dish I've always liked, not really for the shrimp but for the bread. As the sauce sets into the bread it gives it a little sogginess. When eaten, you have the texture and consistency of both crunchy and soggy. It's a weird combination that makes for a "you have to eat it to understand it" type of dish.
I have to confess, I am a fucking moron. I spent the last ten years or more neglecting one of the originators of Brooklyn red sauce joints out of stupidity and stubbornness. Luckily my eyes have been opened. If you will excuse me, I have ten plus years of eating at Randazzo's to do. 

Randazzo's Clam Bar 
2017 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

1 comment:

  1. I've only been there once and I loooved the sauce and it's distinct acidity. But, the fried calamari were rubbery and overcooked :/