2008-01-09 / Restaurant of the Week


44-16 30th Avenue
By Teresa Barile

44-16 30th Avenue

  • Astoria, NY 718.728.4392

          Make a trip to Italy without leaving home when you visit Sorriso Salumeria, the Italian Pork Store offering everything imaginable for lovers of good food. Frank DePaola and Frank Fiorino are at the helm of this gastronomic wonderland, whose name means "smile" in Italian, and has been part of the Astoria community for nearly 30 years. Whether you stop in for a delicious handmade sandwich, or are planning a meal for 20 guests, Sorriso will put a smile on your face because everything is fresh, delicious and made in house or imported.

    Those who cook will love Sorriso because all the freshest meats, cheeses and ingredients are readily available to create your own feast at home. The finest cuts of beef, pork, veal and chicken are butchered on the spot, as well as the many varieties of their house made sausages, including sweet and hot sausage, as well as chicken sausage flavored with cheese and parsley or sun-dried tomato. T-bone steaks, sirloin, triple cut pork chops and veal chops look good enough to eat raw. Stuffed pork chops are lightly breaded and stuffed with sausage and bread crumbs. Baby back ribs are available raw or already cooked to heat and eat at home. You'll find all the ingredients necessary for making risotto, soups, lasagna and more.

    Start with some of their tempting appetizers like some paper-thin slices of prosciutto that melt in your mouth. Sharp or mild cheeses such as provolone and reggiano go well with their great assortment of olives and salads. I tried a Spanish cheese called cabra, made from goat's milk, that was just excellent. Compte from France was a fine cheese as well. The octopus salad was tender and fresh, tossed with red onion, celery, garlic and a special dressing. Seafood salad is great too, with lots of calamari, shrimp and scungilli. For your next dinner, try Sorriso's legendary chunky caponata (eggplant and tomato spread). Spread onto thick slices of toasted brick oven Italian bread and watch your guests swoon. Long stem artichoke salad is a Roman treat and Sorriso's own homemade red roasted peppers can be bought by the pound, or in convenient jars to take home. Marinated, sliced eggplant in vinegar and crushed red pepper is a great appetizer that goes well with creamy bocconcini, which are little balls of fresh mozzarella, made daily. Baked clams, stuffed mushrooms, homemade crab cakes or fish cakes are all ready to heat and eat and make great starters too. Barbecued chicken wings, hot or mild are also great. You simply can't go wrong with one of their own pizzas or Stromboli.

    Sorriso's is a great place for non-cooks or for those times when there's no time to cook. You can simply take home any of their prepared food like crispy flounder fillets, chicken cutlets or fork-tender chicken Francese, in lemony butter sauce. Eggplant rollatini is filled with fluffy ricotta and topped with Sorriso's own tomato sauce. Take home a wedge of meaty lasagna too and enjoy a restaurant quality meal at a fraction of the price. In addition, there are meals that are oven-ready, including chicken rollatini, layered with prosciutto and hefty stuffed pork chops to satisfy even the biggest appetite. Pair any of these entrees with some fried eggplant slices, sautéed vegetables like broccoli rabe or escarole and you've got a complete meal. No freezer should be without Sorriso's hand made manicotti and ravioli, with an extensive variety of fillings like mushroom and truffle, spinach, broccoli rabe, smoked mozzarella and much more. Ravioli are in the freezer case to be made any time you want restaurant quality food at home. There's also cavatelli and tortellini, ready to be smothered in any one of their delicious homemade sauces which are made on the premises each day. Alla vodka sauce is quite popular, as are marinara, meat sauce or red or white clam sauce.

    Lunch time buzzes with orders for sandwiches, piled high with your favorite cuts of roast beef, ham, turkey, cheese or prosciutto. Try the Robert DeNiro Hero or make up your own, there is no limit to the possibilities.

    Don't forget to place your order for Super Bowl Sunday, or any other party. Sorriso has a complete catering menu, offering everything from hot and cold appetizers to trays of hot entrees. Pick up a menu and you can customize it to make your next party a success. Sorriso provides party heros, from 2 to 6 feet, filled with your choice of cold cuts and vegetables. Hot and cold dishes can be prepared for any number of people and the platters are beautifully presented. See their ad for more details. Valentine's Day is coming up soon too, so why not get everything you need to make your sweetheart a romantic dinner for two. Italian coffees, cookies and chocolates help end your meal on a sweet note and it's all under one roof.

    Sorriso has it all for those who want to cook themselves, and those who want great food that is already prepared. Visit Sorriso in Astoria for all your butcher shop and Italian deli needs. Place your Super Bowl orders today and let Sorriso do the cooking for you. Buon Appetito!

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