2008-10-29 / Restaurant of the Week

PIZZA CLASSICA

89-89 Union Turnpike Glendale, NY • 718.847.5001 www.pizzaclassicany.com

P izza Classica combines the convenience of a neighborhood pizzeria with a fine family restaurant that is ideal for casual,

comfortable dining. Conveniently located

in a popular shopping center on

Union Turnpike in Glendale, just off Woodhaven Blvd., Pizza Classica provides the perfect place to enjoy a quick lunch or a sitdown

dinner. While the pizza ovens, both

brick-lined and traditional, churn out hundreds of delectable crisp-crusted pies and calzones each day, families and friends gather in the comfortable, well-appointed dining room for a delicious meal with great service. The dinner menu includes the freshest fish and seafood, handmade pasta and high quality meats and chicken to satisfy every taste. Best of all, the prices are so reasonable, it doesn't pay to cook at home.

Rocco and Ed are partners and friends who work tirelessly to offer high end Italian cuisine at reasonable prices to serve the neighborhood they love. Everything is made fresh using the finest ingredients and nothing comes out of a can. Rocco and Ed oversee all aspects of the kitchen, dining room and pizza counter to ensure the highest quality and best service.

Enjoy a glass of wine and some of their tempting appetizers such as baked clams oreganata with crispy bread crumbs and their delicious eggplant rollatini, made with fluffy ricotta cheese ($7.50). The cold seafood salad will remind any Italian-American of Christmas Eve. Loaded with fresh calamari, shrimp, octopus and scungilli, this supremely fresh seafood salad is balanced just right with chopped celery and a bright lemon and olive oil dressing and offers plenty to share ($11.95). A hot antipasto platter will provide a taste of several tasty dishes including stuffed mushrooms, eggplant rollatini, clams and shrimp oreganata, all for just $11.95. Pizza Classica's rice balls or "arancini" are tender and delicious, made with grandma Giovanna's recipe. Kids love the chicken fingers and potato croquettes.

We started with one of their classic brick oven Margherita pizzas, topped with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil ($8.95). Other brick oven pizzas include Four Seasons with olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and prosciutto as well as the classic Margherita, with plum tomatoes, olive oil and basil leaves. These brick oven pizzas can be ordered to stay or for delivery

and make a great first course to be shared. Entrées include a wide array of pasta, chicken, veal, seafood and steak. Pasta dishes start at just $6.95 for your choice of pasta and the house tomato sauce. Tender pillows of spinach ravioli are delightfully light, topped with a delicate pesto sauce ($10.95). My dining companion devoured house made gnocchi alla Ponte Vecchio, with prosciutto, peas and onions in a light pink sauce. Linguine and clam sauce is a popular choice at Pizza Classica, made with red or white wine sauce and juicy clams. Classic tortellini in creamy sauce and orrechiete with broccoli rabe and sausage

are great autumn dishes. Pasta pescatore is a seafood lover's dream with shrimp, clams, mussels and calamari in a spicy marinara sauce ($16.95).

The chef at Pizza Classica prepares fork-tender veal or chicken cutlets in a variety of tempting recipes. Two of the most popular recipes are Francese style in a lemon, white wine and butter sauce, or Marsala style with a sweet wine. Of course, classic chicken or veal parmigiana is still popular and this tasty dish can be ordered as a hero sandwich for lunch or dinner. Chicken rollatini is layered with prosciutto and mozzarella, then sautéed in Marsala sauce. Shrimp fra diavolo is cooked with a piquant tomato sauce that goes well with pasta.

New steak items on the menu feature tender steak pizzaiola with mushrooms, onions and peppers in light tomato sauce ($16.95). Skirt steak alla classica is topped with cherry peppers and onions and the Classica pork chop is one of my favorites, stuffed with prosciutto, spinach and mozzarella.

Fresh fish is purchased daily to create salmon marechiara with olives, capers and onions in tomato sauce, or fillet of sole oreganata with bread crumbs, butter, garlic and lemon. All meat and seafood entrées come with your choice of a crunchy house salad, pasta, or the vegetable of the day, making dinner at Pizza Classica a good value. Save room for dessert which includes house made tiramisu, fresh filled cannolis and chocolate pizza! A robust cup of espresso or cappuccino puts the cherry on the cake.

Lunch time buzzes with activity when pizzas, calzones, sausage rolls and heros are flying out the door. Pizza Classica is open seven days a week from 11am to 11pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Expert catering is available anytime, anywhere and there is free delivery to your home or office. For fine Italian cuisine at neighborhood prices, visit Pizza Classica today. Mangia!

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