2009-12-16 / Restaurant of the Week

Gaudio's

Since 1958 and still the best,” boasts the menu at Gaudio's Pizzeria and Restaurant, located on 30th Avenue in Astoria. Few restaurants can say that they've been a part of their community for 51 years, but Gaudio's Pizzeria and Restaurant certainly has bragging rights to this claim. Gaudio's began as an Italian immigrant's

 

dream, opened by Luigi Gaudio in 1958. Today, Nicky Gaudio runs the shop, which serves some of New York's best pizza, calzones and hot heros, as well as delicious Italian dishes like grandma used to make.

Up front you'll find the pizza kitchen, where people stop in all day and night from 11am to 10pm for the delicious, crispy pizza with all their favorite toppings including sausage, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, peppers and more. My favorite is “grandma's pizza” which contains fresh mozzarella and a smattering of fresh tomatoes on a thin, crispy, square crust. Round and square Sicilian pies are available as well as pizza Bianca (white pizza), calzones stuffed with creamy ricotta and sausage rolls. Hot heros are very popular here, overstuffed with juicy sausage and peppers, meatballs parmigiana, eggplant parmigiana, shrimp parmigiana, veal and peppers and chicken cutlets. All pizzas, lunch and dinner entrées can be delivered for free to your home or office.

Dinner time is a great time to visit Gaudio's where you can dine at one of the dozen or so clean and comfortable tables, attended to by friendly staff. We enjoyed some house red wine while we sampled some of the tempting appetizers on the menu. Stuffed mushrooms are filled with bread crumbs and baked until brown. Order clams casino topped with crispy bacon ($8.95), and soak up the garlicky juices with the piping hot focaccia served straight out of the oven. Mussels are also prepared in a delicious sauce meant to be soaked up with warm bread. Crispy, golden calamari rings are nice and tender and great to share. Gaudio's special salad tosses crunchy lettuce, tomato and cucumber with fresh cuts of prosciutto, salami, roasted red peppers, green and black olives with zesty Italian dressing, prepared for one or two people.

Gaudio's hot entrées remind me of home with plenty of pasta dishes such as linguini with broccoli, garlic and oil, spaghetti carbonara with a touch of bacon and onion, and spaghetti with meatballs or sausage. Linguini with red or white clam sauce can't be beat, and with pasta dishes from $7.95 to $10.95, a meal at Gaudio's Pizzeria and Restaurant is recession-proof and allows families to dine out together. Baked pasta dishes such as manicotti, ziti and lasagna will save you hours of cooking time and taste as good as grandma's.

Gaudio's features lots of meat, chicken and seafood dishes and is proud to get their provisions from local suppliers to ensure the highest quality ingredients at their peak of freshness, and nothing is left over. Two of my favorite dishes at Gaudio's is the chicken Marsala with mushrooms and classic chicken Francese. These chicken cutlets were so tender, I didn't even use my knife and the sauce was just right. Veal scaloppine Marsala or piccata style, with lemon and capers, are also tender and prepared right on the spot for maximum flavor and tenderness. Fresh, plump shrimp can be ordered in spicy fra diavolo sauce, or prepared Francese style, oreganata, or scampi style in butter and lemon sauce, all at reasonable prices. Gaudio's even offers broiled boneless club steak, shell steak or steak pizzaiola with mushrooms, as well as juicy burgers and chopped steak.

All meat, chicken and seafood entrées are served with a choice side order of pasta, salad or French fries. By the way, the fries are fresh, hand-cut potatoes, not the frozen kind.

My dining companion and I shared a cool, creamy tartufo ice cream treat for dessert. There's also Italian cheesecake which I'll try next time.

Host a hassle-free New Year's Eve party at home with Gaudio's full catering menu. Full and half trays of all their Italian specialties will make your next affair a success, without any of the fuss. Everything will be delivered hot and fresh so you are free to enjoy your guests.

Visit Gaudio's Pizzeria and Restaurant, located on 30th Avenue, just off the corner of Steinway Street. Gaudio's is open seven days a week, from 11am to 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights, serving Astoria's best pizza, heros and Italian entrées. Call in your order for fast, free delivery. 51 years and still going strong! Salute!

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