2018-12-12 / Restaurant of the Week

Trattoria Ora

Whether you walk, drive, take the “N” or Uber, just be sure to go to Trattoria Ora, the hot, new restaurant and wine bar on the corner of Astoria Blvd. and 18th Street. Go now, which is what “ora” means in Italian. Located on a quiet corner, the ambience, food, wine, and gracious hospitality from hosts Ray and Mimi Besi are what make Trattoria Ora the restaurant for now that we crave.

The homey, yet elegant décor is warm with rough hewn wood floors, exposed brick walls, and linen-topped tables with a large family-sized dining table along the back wall illuminated by a spherical light fixture. This secluded table is a great setting for an intimate dinner, birthday celebration, or holiday meal with friends, family, or co-workers. You will wow your guests with the exceptionally good food and wine, served with smiles.

We started with glasses of wine and a complimentary plate of juicy olives and chunks of Parmigiano cheese to whet our appetites. Grilled Portobello mushrooms are popular for their “meaty” texture and woodsy flavor, sautéed with garlic and fine olive oil, finished with balsamic vinegar. Freshly grilled asparagus spears are topped with Parmigiano and presented on a white platter. Classic Caprese salad is fashioned from buttery Buffala mozzarella, red roasted peppers and tomatoes, garnished with fresh basil leaves ($12.95). Share a salad of roasted beets, tender greens, and crumbled goat cheese, or an arugula salad with its bitter bite.

Trattoria Ora makes exceptionally good pasta dishes with kudos for the farfalle Dolcino, topped with shrimp, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. This dish is named after Ray’s Manhattan restaurant called “Dolcino,” and is imbued with his life’s experience in the restaurant business. Ravioli funghetto are tender pillows of homemade ravioli topped with a sauce made from mushrooms, truffle oil, and a touch of cream ($16.95). Fettuccine salmone is al dente ribbon pasta topped with chunks of juicy salmon and cream sauce dotted with peas. Seafood risotto is toothsome arborio rice with scallops, shrimp, calamari, and tomato, another tempting choice. Trattoria Ora’s lamb chops are unparalleled for their tenderness, juiciness, and rich flavor, perfectly cooked to a rosy finish. Visit their website for gorgeous photos of this dish and many others. Sirloin steak is prime aged Black Angus, also grilled to perfection and served with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Chicken Ora is tender filet topped with prosciutto, mozzarella, and asparagus, while veal picatta is so tender, it cuts with a fork.

Seafood fans will love the striped bass Livornese prepared with capers, olives, and a touch of tomato ($19.95). Grilled salmon is topped with Dijon mustard sauce, and shrimp scampi is served with saffron risotto.

We couldn’t resist Trattoria Ora’s homemade apple strudel, loaded with chunky apples, caramel flan, and chocolate mousse cake. Finish your meal with a digestif such as Amaretto, Kahlua, or Grand Marnier, and a cup of steaming espresso or coffee Americano. Classic, antique clocks are part of the decor, reminding you to enjoy the moment “now” in your life. They are accepting last-minute holiday party reservations too so pick up the phone and call. Trattoria Ora is open six days a week for dinner only from 4:00pm to 10:30, closed Monday. Visit Trattoria Ora right now while the holiday decorations lend an even more cozy look. Salute!

18-01 Astoria Boulevard
Long Island City  718.433.9680

www.trattoriaora.com

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