Riding the V Line: Manducatis Is the Antidote to LIC Limbo

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway.

Dreary, desolate, bereft of even the corner delis that make other postapocalyptic industrial zones livable, Long Island City doesnt offer you much to look at as you walk from the four or five blocks from the Ely Avenue stop to Manducatis. But thats the beauty of the V train: It drops you in barren areas that are home to supremely warm and welcoming restaurants.

Pork chops, a fireplace, and shelter from the LIC storm.Photo: Yun Cee Ng

Manducatis is a classic mom-and-pop operation, a big room covered with art where the owners, Vincenzo and Ida Cerbone, oversee everything from the rich fettuccine in its dense and silky meat sauce to whether youd maybe rather sit closer to the fireplace. You forget after three minutes that youre in Long Island City and instead imagine yourself in the Greenwich Village of mid-century novels a wonderland of red wine, spaghetti, and artistic misfits. It isnt especially cheap, but it does protect you from the howling nothingness outside. So you stay for one more glass of amaro. And maybe one more.