2005-11-16 / Restaurant of the Week

Queens Finest Pizzeria And Italian Eatery Suits Everyone

by Teresa Barile

Queens Finest Pizzeria and Italian Eatery is much more than just a pizzeria. Opened just three months ago by Danny Azizian and Anthony Karimzada, this comfortable eatery is a great place for the whole family. Their prominent corner location on Northern Boulevard is bright and airy, thanks to sparkling glass windows on both sides and a clean, comfortable interior. Exposed brick walls, tile floors and framed photographs all add to the ambience that is inviting to all, including families with children. Best of all, the prices are surprisingly low, especially considering the quality and freshness of the food.

The pizza made here is awesome because the dough and sauce are homemade using a special recipe that renders the lightest, crispiest crust that is tender in the middle. The same great dough is wrapped around calzones, sausage or chicken rolls and Stromboli filled with chicken, ham, veggies and cheese.

Though you could make a feast of those items alone, the entrees at Queens Finest are not to be passed up. For lunch or dinner, to eat in or to take out, there is a host of appetizers, soups, salads and main courses to choose among.

Start with an order of crisp baked clams or fried calamari rings, both ideal for sharing. The giant rice balls are filled with a bit of Bolognese meat sauce and peas ($3.95) and kids will love the crunchy chicken fingers. With the cooler weather now, you’ll love a steaming bowl of pasta and fagioli soup, chicken soup or lentil to warm you up. Crunchy, fresh salads, such as the Queens Finest salad, with roasted red peppers, marinated mushrooms, olives, cucumbers and a homemade vinaigrette dressing, are tossed on the spot. Fresh mozzarella salad or grilled vegetable salad are also good choices.

Queens Finest does a nice job with pasta dishes. Whether you choose penne tossed with sautéed broccoli or spinach, garlic, oil and white wine or a thick, hearty Bolognese sauce, your hunger will be satisfied for just $7.95. Penne alla Queens Gourmet features diced chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and light white wine sauce ($10.95). Penne Fantasia combines fresh shrimp, calamari and grilled vegetables in a light cream sauce, while shrimp Milano adds artichoke hearts, broccoli and peppers to plump shrimp dressed with garlic and oil ($12.95). There are also traditional, freshly baked pastas such as lasagna with meat or vegetables, manicotti, stuffed shells and baked ziti, with or without eggplant.

All of Queens Finest meat and seafood entrees are cooked to order and served with warm Italian bread and butter, and spaghetti or a garden salad, making this an economical place to dine. I loved the chicken Conte, sautéed with artichoke hearts, black olives and fresh tomato ($9.95). This dish was served piping hot and we promptly soaked up the delicious sauce with warm, crusty bread. My dining companion devoured chicken Contadina, with sausage, potatoes and peppers in a light wine sauce for the same low price. Chicken bruschetta is another popular dish. A tender chicken cutlet is fried till golden, then topped with chopped tomatoes and red onion and balsamic vinaigrette. Veal can be ordered prepared in the same fashion, or you can try the tender veal marsala with mushrooms in a light brown sauce, or veal francese, dipped in a light egg batter and sautéed with lemon and butter ($11.95). Of course, the requisite veal or chicken parmigiana are also available.

Fresh shrimp are prepared in half a dozen ways, such as scampi, parmigiana, francese or fra diavolo, and served with spaghetti or salad. The fresh fish entrée of the day is always written on a blackboard for all to see. That evening, red snapper fillet was sautéed with baby asparagus in a light sauce and served with mashed potatoes. Queens Finest also makes delicious potato croquettes. They’re served warm to allow the cheese tucked inside to melt in your mouth. Order one with your entrée.

At lunchtime, Queens Finest buzzes with diners ordering the delicious pizza or hot heros filled with grilled chicken, roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella or roasted eggplant with mozzarella and roasted peppers ($6.95). There are also a dozen paninis and wraps to choose among, such as the Giardino Panini with grilled eggplant, zucchini, squash and roasted peppers or the Romano Panini with prosciutto, pepperoni, provolone and roasted peppers with mixed greens.

Visit Queens Finest Pizzeria and Italian Eatery for lunch or dinner, seven days a week. They’re open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will deliver their delicious food to your home or place of business. They will also cater your personal or business event. Bring the whole family for a delicious, home style meal or a fabulous pizza. Sundays feature a money-saving pizza special, so check their ad. Bona fortuna, Queens Finest Pizzeria and Italian Eatery!

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