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Manetta’s Temporarily Shut Down by Health Dept Over Mice, Roaches and Flies–Owners Issue an Apology

Photo: Queens Post

Nov. 11, 2019 By Allie Griffin

A Long Island City mainstay that has fed diners authentic Italian cuisine for more than 25 years has been temporarily shut down by the City’s Health Department (DOH) over reports of mice, roaches and flies.

Manetta’s, located at 10-76 Jackson Ave., was shuttered by the Health Department on Nov. 6 after an inspector found a number of health violations.

The inspector found evidence of mice, live roaches and flies inside the family-run eatery during the Wednesday evaluation and also cited the restaurant for an inadequate hand washing station for its employees, according to the DOH website.

Manetta’s was opened in 1992 by Phyllis and Mario Manetta, a couple who moved to New York City from a small town outside of Rome. Still run by the same family, the restaurant serves Italian staples and brick-oven pizza.

Its last graded inspection before last week’s was on Nov. 20, 2018 when the DOH gave it an A rating.

The owners issued a statement apologizing for the closure and noted that building was in need of repair.

“We are most apologetic to our customers, first and foremost, for our brief closure. We have always aimed to be reliable and consistent in bringing you the best of our family’s culinary traditions. Our restaurant is nearing it’s 30th year in Long Island City as a multi-generational women run business,” said Lisa, RoseAnn and Phyllis Manetta.

“In that time, our focus on hospitality, service, and sourcing the best food & wine took precedent over requisite attention to the structural wear and tear of our building. The old real estate was due for repairs. Over the last few days we have worked with reliable local contractors to secure our foundation, cover any exposure to the outside, and address all other ordinances. Our restaurant has undergone remedies, cleanings, and renovations that will continue to make us proud to serve you and our neighborhood for many years to come.”

DOH

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39 Comments

Luis

Manetta’s has always been our preferred restaurant in the neighborhood. It will continue being so. Anyone can make a mistake or been affected by an overlooked situation. Manetta’s is a restaurant where the entire family of owners and their acquaintances eat daily in their premises. It is a sign of trust. They eat daily the same food that we patrons eat in their restaurant. They are honest and nice people, not crooks. I am sure that they will overcome this situation and hope the restaurant will be back to its booming success. Anyway, we will continue going there. Best pesto, best pizza in the land.

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Anonymous

I wonder if there are comments about this white owned restaurant temporary shut down for health violations like other ethnic restaurants.

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Phil

For all of you naysayers that believe that there is such a thing as a spotless super clean restaurant kitchen that has no mice and flies, you have no idea of the day to day workings of a commercial kitchen. These critters can smell where the food is and they go to that source. They can do an aggressive PM treatment but to eradicate mice and flies, that will never happen. I don’t care what restaurant it is. They all have the same issue.
I have been a supporter of Manetta’s since day one with no issues.

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Mousenettas Roachatoni

They should close and re-open under a different name. Then they’d really fit into the NEW IMPROVED neighborhood. Here’s some ideas: “Ramen & Italian Fusion”, “ModernSpasta”, “Gentrificaccio’s”, “Glassinado Condi”, “Jimmy Van Bramer’s Ribbon Cut Pasta”, “Inaffordinado’s”, “De Niro’s Hero’s”, or “Nail Salon #19” to start.

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Anonymous

Manettas by Far one of the Best Restaurants in our Neighborhood, By Far, owners are great super friendly very supportive of the neighborhood, business is always booming , these Haters on this site always jump on the band wagon as soon as an issue so annoying,
No I’m not a Family Member or Employee or Friend
Just a Patron

Round 2 for Manettas long may it continue

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Anonymous

There might be a couple of people just clicking the thumbs-down. But I think by and large, the negative comments express a sense of anger that a place we trusted to look after us customers played fast and loose with our safety by exposing us to possible deadly E coli and food poisoning. Never in a million years would I think Manetta’s would be run like this. Just because you want to minimize what they did doesn’t mean the rest of us need to go along.

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The L'sIC

So as promised we went back for lunch for their first Day of reopening on Thursday and nothing as changed everything was perfect the food tasted as good as always (they even made a new raviolis we loved) the whole personal seemed to be a little nervous, but hey guys now they can claim to have the cleanest kitchen in LIC ! They managed to fix all issues in less than 5 days! And they were a part of the food donors for the dance with the LIC stars on Friday and they killed it!

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The L'sIC

What makes us laugh is how many from the Manettas haters can even claim to have been one, two, several or regular patrons??
We know for sure that the real people know!

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PSWest.

It’s sad to hear this … we’ve been going to the restaurant since it opened … I honestly cannot go there again. Clearly they knew the issues and tried to blame the age of the building, etc. The fault is that the owners stopped caring. They allowed the deterioration of their restaurant. They are to blame. This is inexcusable. No apologies can rectify this.

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LICfly

Comments from patrons (aka friends & family) about how they have been going to the restaurant forever and know the owners to be great people adds zero value… great if we’re paying to make friends at a restaurant. Me, I tend to go for the food.

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John Malloy

The last time I went to Manetta’s I had a chicken parm and the chicken had some extra crunchy particles, the sauce tasted good but I remember feeling sick the next day. I don’t know if this was the reason I got sick but man,knowing they had roaches and mice in the kitchen doesn’t take a Scott Kelly to put 2 and 2 together. I will NEVER GO TO MANETTAS again, bunch of crooks to charge those high prices, hire non english cheap help and serving roaches with their chicken parm.

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Marlene Dodes-Callahan

Manettas is one of the most consistently great restaurants that we go to. The prices are well below most restaurants in the neighborhood with great quality and care for food preparation. You are deluded sir.

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Anonymous

I agree that with all the money these restaurants take in, they should definitely spend a dime on making sure the place is clean and free of bugs. Think of your customers and not just of your pockets….

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Lawrence Weissberger

We try to go there two or three times a month. We love the food and the warm family atmosphere. We will continue to patronize Manetta’s when they reopen.
Larry & Denise

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Carol Franklin

Manetta’s has always been our go to for special occasions. They never disappoint, the food is always delicious and the atmosphere always friendly. I’ve never seen anything of the sorts like described in this article. I smell a dirty sabotage tactic, perhaps by a near by new or struggling restaurant. A reputable business for almost 30 years doesn’t stay in business with these type of problems.
They are currently open for business with an A rating.

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Anonymous

Sure, it was the Deep State! It’s all a Hoax! It’s a Perfect Restaurant!

Fact: an inspector went to the restaurant and saw evidence of mice, roaches, and filth flies where food is prepared.

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Marlene

My husband and I go to Manettas on a regular basis. We love the family, the food and the staff and will continue to patronize Manettas as soon as they reopen. I have never seen vermin or flies in the restaurant. It is consistently wonderful, and they are always willing to go the extra mile when you have food issues or preferences.

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Are they willing to "go the extra mile" and keep rat poop out of your food?

I’d rather have no poop in my food than a mom ‘n pop feel, but that’s just me

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Yosh

Of all u people complaining , how many ate there? So of u r one of these butterflies who just want to comment about with no personal experience, just save it . Everybody makes mistakes and u r just ruining someone’s life. Get a life please

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brooklynmc

I have eaten there many, many times and am a little bummed to hear this. Everyone makes mistakes but how long have they let this slide and how long would they have continued to let this slide if not for the inspection? I would like to know just how bad it was.

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Cathy Montepeluso

I go to manettas all the time and I too have never had any issue. I will continue to go whether this is true or false! The owners are the kind of good people who whole heartedly care about their food, clients and community

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jas

Why did the health department take so long?
This place didn’t just suddenly become unsanitary.
Were inspectors bribed?
I stopped going to NYC bars after watching one bar
“wash” glasses. They dipped them into a pan of liquid (a soap, I assume), then reused.

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Anonymous

Sorry to all the apologists. This is simply inexcusable. This place has raked in gazillions of dollars over the years. All they needed to do was hire a few cleaners to keep their kitchen up to code. Not a big deal to ask to a restaurant. If they sink after this, they only have themselves to blame.

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Monica K.

So disappointing to say the least. The owner was aware of the infestation he had in the restaurant but did not want to spend a dime to make sure his customers are safe. Now he is losing a lot more – he has no choice to fix all the issues and PASS the inspection. I can find better Italian food for sure….

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Anon

Not defending them, but this is NYC. I’ve been in a couple of restaurants on Vernon where there were roaches in the bathroom.

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Ann K.

I love the food at Manetta’s and never had any issues. I know the owners take pride in their food and service. I trust and know they will address this matter

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Anonymous

They take pride in having food surfaces covered with vermin? Nonsense. This isn’t a joke. They put the health of their customers at serious risk of illness by being neglectful.

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Rickdeal

My family and I have eaten at this Beautiful place since my son was born in 1992. I suggest the homemade spaghetti that will blow anyone else’s away. Contruction in an area = mice and etcetera. My son had a wedding party there. I am a firm supporter of this family that are just like yours and mine. Manettas I will see you soon.

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Anonymous

Just curious, Rickdeal. Would you eat a meal at one of your family member’s homes if they had an infestation of rodents and bugs? I eat (correction, ATE) at Manetta’s too. But my reaction to this story has been to feel one of betrayal and disgust. How can a place my family and I have spent many events and $$$ be so negligent about their customers? Will I go back? I doubt it.

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Anonymous

How can you trust going here ever again? They had this issue for months, maybe years and did not care to fix. They don’t care for your health.

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The L'sIC

Does not make any change to us!
We love the family and we will still stay firm on the fact that the past 13 years we lived in LIC, they have been the ONLY perfectly consistent Italian in our neighborhood.
Good luck to the ladies to fix the problem and don’t miss to rewatch the Disney movie ratatouille!
We will be back by reopening for sure.

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mag

Last time I ate there a cockroach was climbing up the wall behind me throughout my meal. My husband didn’t tell me until after we left. Now he’s my ex-husband.

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Pamela Telford

I have been going to Manetta’s for as long as they have been in LIC. I trust them with my tastebuds, my health and all my heart. You will see me when I return to the city in Dec.. Happy renovations!

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