Of The Week
Three Cuisines Reign At Pinocchio Palace
Pinocchio Palace Restaurant is home to the best of Italian, Greek and Cypriot dishes, all prepared fresh, using the finest ingredients and old world recipes. The dining room at Pinocchio is light and airy and now that the warmer weather is here, a spacious outdoor area offers a number of café tables for breezy al fresco dining. Amiable owner Nicos Gregorious is always on hand to welcome guests and ensure a pleasant dining experience. Bring your friends and family and a big appetite for their delicious food. You’ll really appreciate the excellent service and the low prices too.
Enjoy a glass of house wine or a cold beer while deciding among the tempting appetizers. Savory saganaki, a slab of cheese sautéed in sweet brandy, offers a unique and sublimely delicious treat ($6.50). Pinocchio’s famous grilled octopus or grilled calamari, both marinated in olive oil and vinegar, are tender and tasty, ($8.50/$6.50). Cold appetizers such as eggplant salad or taramosalata (caviar spread) will surely whet your appetite. Neapolitan style mushrooms, sautéed with garlic, butter and tomato are delicious when their sauce is soaked up with Pinocchio’s homemade olive rolls and crusty bread. An impressive Cypriot salad consists of lots of baby greens tossed with chunks of creamy feta cheese, olives, red onion and a zesty dressing. This salad could be a meal in itself, but save room for the fabulous entrees.
Pinocchio’s has always been famous for its charcoal grill, from which come juicy souvlaki sandwiches on pita bread. Complete platters include Greek salad and french fries. At $4.25 and $8.95, respectively, these are a great bargain. Juicy lamb chops or shell steak are available every day as well. Be sure to check the board for daily specials that might include roasted pork, slow cooked for hours, homemade Greek moussaka, or baked lamb. The last-named is juicy shanks of lamb, served with a generous helping of mouthwatering lemon potatoes. Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves sautéed with tomato), while found on the appetizer menu, are sometimes served warm, as an entrée. A number of seafood specials are available, including fried shrimp, scallops or flounder filet. They’re never greasy and come with salad and side dish. Broiled fresh fish is also available. Vegetables include horta (dandelion greens) sautéed in garlic, or okra, stewed with tomatoes and garlic. Everything is made fresh and the prices are very reasonable.
If you crave pasta, try one of their inventive dishes such as rigatoni contadina, with broccoli, mushrooms and sausage for $9.50 for an individual serving, or $22 for a family serving--a real money-saver for families and large parties. Fettuccine alla Toscana tosses sun-dried tomatoes, wild mushrooms, white wine, parmesan and pecorino romano cheese with ribbon pasta for $8.95; $20.75 for a family-size serving.
Pinocchio also makes crisp-crusted brick oven pizzas. Only fresh mozzarella and tomatoes are used. Topped with any of a number of favorites such as prosciutto, olives or sausage, they make for a great lunch or dinner. Pair one up with a Caesar salad and you’ve got a great meal at a reasonable price.
Finish your meal with some steaming hot coffee, cappuccino or Greek coffee and a slice of their decadent cheesecake, among the creamiest versions of this dessert I’ve ever encountered, or a hunk of traditional corn meal cake with honey.
Pinocchio Palace is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to midnight and orders are delivered till midnight as well. The airy dining room can accommodate large groups and private parties up to 50 people, and Gregorious will be happy to cater any party, anywhere. His special catering menu will suit every need. I tell no lies--Pinocchio Palace has great food, friendly service and low prices.
32-02 30th Ave.