2007-04-04 / Restaurant of the Week

Original Rosa's Offers Great Pizza, Pasta And More

75-63 31st Avenue + Jackson Heights + 718.651.8111
by Teresa Barile

by Teresa Barile

Jackson Heights residents all know Original Rosa's Pizza and Pasta, located in the Jackson Heights Shopping Center on 77th Street. Original Rosa's has been serving the community delicious pizza, calzones, hero sandwiches and hot dishes since 1976. Their catering business has flourished as well, all under the ownership of Phil D'Antoni. D'Antoni's commitment to customer service and quality keeps his patrons coming back, time after time.

          Best known for the pizza, D'Antoni and his hard-working crew prepare their own pizza dough and sauce fresh each day. The freshly baked pizza is famous for its crisp and tender crust and delicious toppings. Try the bruschetta pizza, made to order with fresh arugula and tomato atop the light and crisp crust. Freshly sautéed broccoli rabe and spicy sausage are piled on a hot pizza for a satisfying meal. There are also stuffed pizzas, vegetarian pizzas with eggplant and cheese, and meat lovers' pizzas loaded with sausage, pepperoni and ham. The Original Rosa's kitchen staff makes their own focaccia bread, sprinkled with rosemary. Their fantastic house salad is full of cucumbers, olives and red onions and the dressing is so popular that jars of it are available to take home.

At dinnertime, start with a fresh antipasto platter featuring buttery soft fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, thin slices of salami and provolone and lots of lettuce, tomato and olives. You can also share Buffalo chicken wings, chicken fingers- which the kids love- or tender zucchini sticks.

Plenty of entrée choices are offered, including pasta, chicken and veal, even seafood. Italian specialties include chicken Francese in a lemon sauce, served with choice of pasta or that wonderful house salad ($12.95). Veal Sorrentino layers tender cutlets of veal with thinly sliced eggplant and mozzarella in a golden sauce ($13.95). Chicken rustico is a spicy, peasant dish combining boneless chicken breast with slices of sausage, mushrooms and hot pepperoncini peppers in a tangy sauce. Eggplant rollatini filled with fluffy ricotta is another favorite. The new seafood additions to the menu include shrimp scampi in white wine sauce, and shrimp and calamari in garlic marinara sauce. Both go perfectly over a mound of linguine. Wine, beer and soft drinks are available.

Original Rosa's has an incredible special: Pasta for 2- any style pasta prepared for two people and including garlic bread and soda for just $15. An amazing dinner for 4 includes any style pasta, a chicken entrée from the menu, garlic bread and soda for just $45. Pasta dishes feature choice of spaghetti, linguini, ziti fettuccine or rigatoni with any one of 14 sauces, all at an amazing $9.95 on their own, or ordered with the special deals mentioned. Original Rosa's most popular sauce is the vodka sauce, famous for its tangy, creamy texture and flavor. The red clam sauce, full of juicy chopped clams in a zesty tomato sauce, is also popular. You might also try the puttanesca sauce with capers and olives or the creamy carbonara sauce.

The place is mobbed at lunchtime, when chicken parmigiana, veal cutlet, meatball and other hot heros fly out the door. Tasty grilled chicken heros pair up nicely with a side salad. The hot focaccia sandwiches can be piled with ham and turkey, eggplant, potatoes and eggs or grilled vegetables. These sandwich fillings can also be ordered served with bread as a plate. Freshly made soups such as pasta e fagioli, lentil and minestrone are very popular, too. Try a cup of soup with a healthy wrap sandwich filled with grilled chicken or vegetables. The golden calzones, rolls filled with sausage and peppers and rice balls, are also excellent. Look for Original Rosa's $6 lunch combo specials.

Any item on the menu, from pizza to shrimp parmigiana, can be ordered for take out with free delivery to most surrounding neighborhoods. There's even an oven in their truck to keep your food warm en route to your home or office.

Original Rosa's Pizza and Pasta has good food at good prices and all entrees are cooked to order. They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner until 10 p.m., 9 p.m. on Sundays. Let Original Rosa's cater your next party, whether it's a pizza party for a child's birthday or a sit down meal for dozens. Half and full trays of appetizers, salads, pasta and any of their entrees will be made fresh and delivered hot to make your party a success. Let Original Rosa's do the cooking for you.

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