Dreary, desolate, bereft of even the corner delis that make other postapocalyptic industrial zones livable, Long Island City doesn’t offer you much to look at as you walk from the four or five blocks from the Ely Avenue stop to Manducatis. But that’s the beauty of the V train: It drops you in barren areas that are home to supremely warm and welcoming restaurants.
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 you’d maybe rather sit closer to the fireplace. You forget after three minutes that you’re 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 isn’t 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.