With all due respect to Khartoum, Moe Greene, and Luca Brasi, is there any question the greatest scene in the greatest movie of all time belongs to spaghetti and meatballs? With the Corleone Family ready for war and Sonny at the kitchen table fuming, fat Clemenza puts together a classic, Sicilian rendition of the red-sauce classic. But it conveys so much more.

Spaghetti and meatballs has joined the American comfort-food pantheon. When a chef has the gumption to put it on a menu, it’s the ultimate gauntlet toss. Sure, you can make spheres and foams and reductions, but can you make spaghetti and meatballs as good as the 80-year-old joint that serves Chianti in straw baskets?

There are plenty of places in New York to find the dish, but very few qualify as truly elite. Which red sauce joint, high-end or neighborhood, makes your favorite? Go grab a plate this afternoon.

Click through the gallery above for a spaghetti-and-meatballs extravaganza.