Of The Week
Feel Right At Home At The Family
For 28 years, The Family Restaurant has been a home away from home, serving delicious, home cooked Italian food to families, friends and business people. The Family Restaurant is meticulously run by the Sacino family, who oversees everything, from the kitchen to the dining room, to the pizza oven. There are no pretenses here, just good, old-fashioned Italian food served in a family-friendly restaurant. The cozy atmosphere is reminiscent of la favorite aunt's dining room, with carpeted floors, oil paintings of Italian scenes, gentle lighting and open draperies on the windows. Italian music filled the air while we sipped on glasses of red wine from their decently-sized cellar. The Family Restaurant's prices have been kept low throughout the years, making this one of the best bargains in Queens especially given the very generous portions.
With so many tempting appetizers, soups, pastas and meat dishes on the menu, it can be difficult to decide where to begin. I suggest the hot antipasto for two, which includes savory stuffed mushrooms, baked clams, breaded and broiled shrimp, sweet green peppers, stuffed with ricotta cheese and extraordinary eggplant rollatini, a specialty of The Family Restaurant. Fresh mussels posillipo are prepared in an aromatic white or red wine sauce with lots of garlic. Cold appetizers include fresh provolone cheese and sliced salami over a bed of baby greens, jumbo shrimp cocktail or prosciutto with melon, an Italian favorite. Nothing will warm a diner on a cold day quite like a steaming bowl of tortellini in brodo, or delicious pasta e fagioli. The house salad is not to be missed, due to a famous homemade vinaigrette dressing, the recipe for which is a well-kept secret!
The Family Restaurant serves a wide variety of pastas priced from $7.95 to $11.95 in generous portions. Enjoy a helping of homemade lasagna with its many layers of fillings for just $7.95 or a heaping bowl of spaghetti prepared with meatballs, marinara sauce, mushroom sauce or my favorite, white clam sauce. The baby vongole reposed in little shells, and the pasta was cooked al dente, just as it should be. The gnocchi are popular for their toothsome texture and meaty sauce. Homemade ravioli stuffed with ricotta are always offered. Ravioli are often filled with sweet lobster or woodsy porcini mushrooms. Share a pasta dish with your dinner companion as a first course.
To follow an unforgettable plate of pasta, try one of the chicken, veal or seafood dishes, such as the chicken marsala with mushrooms, in a delicate wine sauce. Chicken francese, with its lemony sauce, will melt in your mouth. The chicken cacciatore, home-style in a tangy tomato sauce, is served over pasta. Even the diet-conscious will enjoy the grilled chicken served over a large Caesar salad with choice of dressing. The veal and peppers made of cubes of tender veal and sweet bell peppers ($12.95) is a favorite as well. For a treat, try the veal saltimbocca, rolled with prosciutto and mozzarella and cooked in a rich brown sauce ($16.95). A hefty veal chop Valdostana, with prosciutto and melted cheese, will satisfy even the biggest appetite. The grill also provides juicy sirloin steaks and thick cut pork chops. All entrées are served with vegetables or pasta or French fries for a complete meal.
Waiters will tell about the fresh catches of the day, including Chilean sea bass filets, prepared marechiara style with tomato and onions, oreganata style with oregano, or sautéed in white wine and butter. Flounder stuffed with crab meat and scallops and shrimp are delicious. Seafood alla Family is a mountain of clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari and scungilli in a light tomato sauce over a mountain of linguine for just $19.95. Warm, crusty bread will quickly soak up every drop of that flavorful sauce.
The Family Restaurant offers an Early Bird special Monday through Thursday from 3 until 6 p.m. A complete dinner costs only $13.95 and includes soup of the day, salad and a choice of one of their pasta dishes such as penne siciliana, chicken piccata or filet of sole francaise. One of their decadent desserts such as Italian rum cake is included as is coffee or a soft drink. At this low price, it's no wonder families have been coming here for years.
There's a separate lunch menu available Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with smaller portions of many of their specialties. You can just stop in for a slice or two of The Family Restaurant's delicious pizza with a favorite topping. The calzones and overstuffed hero sandwiches are also great choices for lunch or dinner and all items are available for take out and delivery. The Family Restaurant will cater any event and can provide a full catering menu. Private parties can be arranged as well, so call now for the holiday rush. The Family Restaurant is open until 11 p.m on weekdays and midnight on weekends, so stop in for a late dinner or for some cappuccino and dessert.
Speaking of desserts, delicious Italian cheesecake, rum cake or cannoli are just some of the tempting choices. Tiramisu, tortoni or spumoni ice cream and fabulous chocolate mousse with whipped cream are also offered.
Come with friends, family, co-workers, or a date to The Family Restaurant on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. Consistently delicious home-cooked Italian food, excellent service and a comfortable atmosphere make The Family Restaurant a landmark in Queens. The Family Restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
The Family Restaurant
110-80 Queens Blvd.