2010-01-27 / Restaurant of the Week

Pasta Del Giorno

In a city with thousands of restaurants vying for your business, you've got to excel at offering excellent food and service. Well, Pasta del Giorno on Austin Street in Forest Hills is proud to celebrate 20 years in business, serving house-made pastas, salads, prime meat and seafood entrées at reasonable prices. Charming owners Anthony Gauna and Hector Sandez welcome all their customers warmly, whether they are “regulars”, as so many are, or “newcomers” to this wonderful Italian restaurant. The staff of professional, efficient waiters adds to your dining pleasure, as does the beautiful, peaceful dining room. Warm hues of yellow and rose, highlighted with lush plants and soft lighting make this dining room resemble an Italian villa. Soft music helps melt away the stress of the day, whether you're celebrating a special occasion, or just winding down from a day at work. In fact, any night becomes a special night with a meal at Pasta del Giorno. The fully

stocked bar offers your favorite cocktail, and they offer a good selection of reasonably priced wines from Italy, Chile and California as well as after dinner cordials. A plate of freshly made bruschetta appeared just moments after we were seated as we sipped on glasses of wine. Antipasti from the menu are beautifully presented and offer enough to share. Try the fresh mussels steamed in an aromatic broth of wine, garlic and herbs or crispy baked clams served hot from the oven. Eggplant rolled up with fluffy ricotta is a house favorite and I love the carpaccio of beef, paper thin sliced raw filet mignon, topped with shaved parmigiano, resting on a bed of fragrant arugula. The waiter brought the evening's special appetizer of blue point oysters baked with spinach and roasted peppers in brandy sauce which were excellent. A sampling plate of the house's own gnocchi were lighter than air, with a choice of rich veal sauce or pesto sauce, both were outstanding. House made soups of the day and the salads are impressive, with fresh ingredients such as buttery mozzarella, arugula, tomatoes, endive, radicchio and crunchy croutons.

As the name would suggest Pasta del Giorno makes homemade pasta each day, with their tender and toothsome texture to hold the delectable sauces that are poured on top. Most pasta dishes cost about $14.95 and are made to order and served piping hot. From the thinnest cappellini, tossed with fresh vegetables and shallots to the toothsome tortellini della Nonna, with rich meat sauce, peas and mushrooms, there's a pasta dish to satisfy everyone. Pappardelle are ribbon pasta prepared simply with porcini mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Linguine frutta di mare is replete with fresh seafood in a light tomato sauce. My favorite is the taglierini Toscana. This thin, spaghetti-like pasta is prepared with sauteed spinach, white beans and roasted garlic to create a healthy and hearty dish. Ask about the hearty risotto of the day, made from pearly Arborio rice and special ingredients of the day.

 

Our waiter told us about the fresh fish of the day: fillet of Chilean sea bass sautéed with lemon, tomatoes, slivered almonds and fragrant garlic. This fish was so flaky and melted on the tongue. The side of pasta was just right too. Salmon, sole and plenty of shrimp dishes are available as well.

Roasted rack of baby lamb chops are fit for a king, as is the grilled steak, 100% organic and nature fed. Pork chops grilled to juicy perfection, or prepared alla pizzaiola, with tomato and onion, make good choices. Scaloppine of veal is fork-tender and sautéed with wild mushrooms and cognac. Chicken Castello Romano is sauteed with artichoke hearts and mushrooms in a light brown sauce or try chicken Caprese, with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella. Entrées are served with oven roasted potatoes, vegetables or pasta.

For dessert, try the Italian ricotta cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake, cannoli or millefoglie pastry. Tender crepes filled with bananas, apples and pears were the special of the night, and it all goes well with coffee, espresso or an after dinner liqueur or port wine.

Enjoy lunch sized portions of many of their classic dishes from 11:45am till 4:00pm. Pasta del Giorno is open seven days a week, for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday until 11:00pm and until midnight on weekends. Dinner only is served on Sundays, from 2-11pm. Reservations are strongly recommended on the weekends. Call Pasta del Giorno to arrange a private party for your next business or family function.

Congratulations on 20 years of delicious Italian cuisine right here in Forest Hills, for the love of good food. Salute!
 

PASTA DEL GIORNO
70-49 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375 • 718.261.1075

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