Of The Week
Superior Dining, Estate Wines At Anthony's In Bayside
For a very special evening of fine dining, complemented by estate wine from the Macari family's own Mattituck vineyard, Anthony's of Bayside is an easy choice. Located on a residential section of Union Turnpike near several major highways, Anthony's has plenty of parking just outside.
My first visit to Anthony's was six years ago, just a couple of weeks after it was opened by Anthony Macari and Richard Pellegrino. The golden rule in the restaurant business is consistency. The food, expertly prepared by chef James Bianchi, was excellent then, and possesses the same freshness and high quality today. It's no wonder Anthony's enjoys a steady clientele of local residents, business people, young people and others who dine on the freshly prepared, upscale Italian cuisine.
Start with a bottle of Macari wine, my favorite being the cabernet franc. Its fruity bouquet and buttery finish make this vintage a great complement to almost any dish. Italian and Californian wines are also available and the fully stocked bar can prepare your favorite cocktail. Appetizers include the freshest of mussels or clams posilipo swimming in white wine and garlic, as well as plump shrimp cocktail with zesty cocktail sauce. Hot or cold antipasti are perfect for sharing, as is an order of crispy baked clams. In addition, the courteous wait staff will describe mouthwatering appetizers such as crab meat cocktail. A generous helping of fresh, lump crab meat was served in a red radicchio leaf with plump shrimp and baby lobster tails. This supremely fresh shellfish feast was served with zesty cocktail sauce. Homemade lentil and escarole soup was also featured that day accompanied with warm bread.
The daily menu features such tempting selections as seafood risotto, brimming with shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari and scungilli on a bed of saffron-infused arborio rice from northern Italy. The tortellini with cream sauce, peas and prosciutto is a wonderful rendition of a Roman favorite ($13.95). Fusilli with grilled chicken, tomato and broccoli is a light, yet satisfying dish ($14.95), while the homemade gnocchi with choice of sauce is toothsome and satisfying ($11.95). Special pasta dishes of the night may include fresh linguine alle vongole (sweet baby clams), or paglio e fieno (hay and straw) fresh pasta with over a dozen tender shrimp in sweet tomato sauce.
Seafood dishes are all recommended for their freshness and simple preparation. Juicy shrimp are served in a number of ways including francese, parmigiana, scampi and fra diavolo, this last in a spicy sauce. Filet of sole is light and flaky with a delicate butter and lemon sauce. The daily fish specials are really extraordinary. A case in point is the filet of red snapper in mare chiara sauce, with shrimp and clams. Seafood fra diavolo is a king-sized platter of fresh clams, scallops, shrimp, mussels and calamari in a piquant tomato sauce, served with pasta for a very reasonable $19.95.
Chicken scarpariello is a tasty peasant recipe of chicken with sausage, peppers and potatoes in a white wine sauce. Anthony's serves tender veal scaloppini, as well as thick, juicy veal chops, grilled to perfection. The New York shell steak or double cut pork chops are both excellent choices and entrees are served with fresh vegetables and potato or pasta. Try the osso bucco or baby lamb chops.
Mondays through Fridays, a special prix fixe menu is offered that includes choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert and coffee or tea for just $19.95 add $2 on weekends. This is a great value and a similar menu is available for lunch time diners for just $12.95 from noon until 5 p.m. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m., there's live piano music to enjoy while you dine in one of three comfortable, quiet dining rooms, complete with fireplaces. The service is outstanding, and diners are never rushed.
Desserts are all homemade and tempting, so just try to decide among Italian or American cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake, apple crumb pie, peach tart, napoleons, tartufo or tiramisu. Top it off with coffee, espresso or an after dinner cordial for one of the finest meals around.
Anthony's is open during the week for lunch and dinner, Saturdays from 4 p.m. for dinner only and Sundays from 2 p.m. for dinner all day. Meals can be prepared to take home. Don't forget the piano music Thursdays through Saturdays and be sure to order a bottle of the family's fine wine. Macari wines can be purchased online from www.macariwines.com.
Anthony's has accommodations for private parties up to 100 people. Make reservations now for business holiday parties, or family events. Custom menus can be arranged at reasonable prices. On Thanksgiving Day, a complete traditional turkey dinner will be served, as well as the regular menu, so book now and leave the cooking to them.
Anthony's offers consistently fine dining, excellent service, great wine and convenient parking. You owe yourself a visit soon.
222-02 Union Tpke.