2012-03-14 / Restaurant of the Week

NAPOLI PIZZA & PASTA

Napoli Pizza and Pasta dishes out ‘amore’ seven days a week for ‘tutti’. This subterranean eatery would be Astoria’s best kept secret, except that everyone in-the-know knows about it. From families to couples to NYPD’s finest, Napoli Pizza and Pasta has outrageously delicious pizza and classic southern Italian dishes made fresh, to stay or to go. Best of all, you can’t beat the prices at this humble little home style restaurant. Owner Antonio Petito uses his family’s recipes to make very generous portions of delicious pasta, chicken, meat, fresh fish and seafood, and their famous pizza. Rosaria, with her friendly smile, works the dining room which looks like your grandma’s kitchen, complete with murals and maps of southern Italy. Enjoy a glass of wine and some of their irresistible garlic bread fresh from the oven, while Rosaria recites the nightly specials. This night, fillet of sole marechiara was on the menu, sautéed with shrimp, mussels, clams, plum tomatoes and lots of garlic. Plump shrimp sautéed with broccoli, garlic and oil sounded great too, as did the seafood pasta feast with calamari, shrimp and clams over al dente pasta.

We had to share a slice of their tender, crispy crust pizza to whet our appetites. No wonder the phone rings off the hook and pizzas fly out the door. With homemade sauce and hand rolled dough, Napoli’s pizza has excellent flavor and texture. The Casalinga pizza with fresh eggplant, mozzarella and tomato is very popular. All your favorite toppings are available and they’ll delivery for free.

Next, my companion and I enjoyed a beautiful Caprese salad of sliced, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and verdant basil leaves, all drizzled with virgin olive oil. A large antipasto salad is tossed with cheeses, olives, salami, peppers and more. The Caesar salad is also excellent, and can be topped with sliced, grilled chicken breast to make a meal. Crispy calamari rings are a house favorite with tangy marinara sauce and the eggplant rollatini are layered with fluffy ricotta cheese. Share a plate of stuffed mushrooms with your friends while you await your main course.

The menu offers about a dozen pasta dishes to choose among, priced from $5.50 to $8.95 for a huge portion. Whether you opt for traditional spaghetti pommodoro with their fabulous tomato sauce or creamy, smokey carbonara sauce, your dish will be made to order with your choice of pasta such as linguine, spaghetti, bow ties, ziti or rigatoni. Pasta alla Napoli is their specialty, combining plum tomatoes with chunks of tender chicken breast, mushrooms, basil, garlic, white wine and parsley. Rich, meaty Bolognese sauce is delicious with rigatoni and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Linguine or spaghetti with red or white clam sauce, made with juicy clams is another popular dish. Everyone loves pasta ‘al forno’ such as baked manicotti and stuffed shells filled with fluffy ricotta, and meaty lasagna with lots of melted mozzarella.

Napoli serves fresh fish and seafood everyday including shrimp scampi over pasta made with plump, tasty shrimp and savory, garlicky scampi sauce. My fillet of sole francese was fork-tender, flaky and delicious in a delicate lemon butter sauce. Chicken francese is a classic dish, or try tender chicken marsala or chicken Milanese with a crispy golden breading. Chicken, shrimp or eggplant parmigiana can be ordered as an entrée or piled onto a hero sandwich, to stay or to go.

For dessert, there’s tartufo ice cream, crunchy cannolis or house made zeppoles. We shared a slice of house made Italian cheesecake made with ricotta cheese that was excellent. Order an espresso to complete your Neopolitan dining experience.

Napoli does a brisk catering business with party trays for all your occasions. Order half or full trays of their home style Italian dishes now for your graduation, communion or confirmation party. You can also get extra long hero sandwiches to please the crowd. Napoli Pizza and Pasta is open seven days a week for lunch or dinner and there is free delivery in the area. You can taste the love at Napoli Pizza and Pasta and it’s no wonder so many Astorians love it. See you at Napoli Pizza and Pasta!

NAPOLI PIZZA & PASTA 33-02 35th Avenue  Astoria, NY

718.472.1146

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