2013-12-04 / Restaurant of the Week

La Vigna Italian Restaurant

Plan your holiday event at La Vigna Italian Restaurant where top notch, Italian cuisine and a warm, inviting dining room go well with your budget. The comfortable, welcoming dining room features tables dressed in crisp linens, wood floors, exposed brick and beautiful wood-framed mirrors. Imagine how effortless your company holiday party or family gathering will be if you leave the cooking to the expertise of chef and owner Giuseppe Vitale. His son Anthony and the wait staff deliver excellent service for lunch and dinner, six days a week (closed Monday). With a price fixed, three course dinner at just $29.95, La Vigna is within reach to everyone, and parking is easy.

Anthony brought us two glasses of Chianti as we munched on the complimentary bruschetta brought to the table, along with warm focaccia and crusty Italian bread. Antipasti include juicy Little Neck clams baked with golden breadcrumbs, garlic and butter that makes a wonderful sauce for soaking up with bread. Giuseppe’s handmade mozzarella is buttery and just melts in your mouth, served with juicy tomatoes, roasted red peppers and basil leaves. An array of healthful grilled vegetables is served with creamy goat cheese, drizzled with fine olive oil. Share a grilled Portobello mushroom, with the flavor of a steak, served with fragrant arugula and shaved Parmigiano cheese. A delightful winter salad of arugula, sliced pears and cherry tomatoes brightens the palate, while house made soups such as pasta e fagioli or stracciatella soup will warm you on a cold night.

Chef Giuseppe’s homemade pasta should not be missed. The “paccheri” alla Trasteverino is laced with diced eggplant, bits of mozzarella and arugula for a unique and flavorful treat. The nightly special was homemade pappardelle ribbon pasta with a mix of wild mushrooms and truffles with a woodsy flavor and toothsome texture that was out of this world. Ravioli di zuccha are tender pillows of pasta filled with sweet pumpkin, butternut squash and ricotta, drizzled with butter and sage sauce. Bucatini all’Amatriciana is topped with a light tomato sauce spiked with smoky pancetta bacon. The special risotto of the night was made with sweet crabmeat, arugula and Parmigiano cheese ($19.50). Try the orecchiete pasta (little ears) with broccoli rabe and sausage made with Giuseppe’s own homemade sausage. Lamb osso buco is a fine winter treat. This hefty lamb shank is cooked for hours and served with the reduced sauce over creamy risotto. Veal scaloppine al limone cuts with a fork and the same goes for the tender pollo marsala with mushrooms ($17.95). Pollo alla vecchia maniera or “the old way” are tender cutlets of chicken layered with prosciutto and eggplant, gently sautéed and topped with mozzarella ($17.95). Meat eaters will enjoy the grass-fed filet mignon, cooked to order and served with peppercorn brandy cream sauce. Ask for the chef’s special pork loin, wrapped around layers of mozzarella, prosciutto, and rosemary in a delectable sauce.

Only the freshest fish and seafood is served each day and the wait staff will tell you the specials which might be roasted branzino basted with lemon and olive oil, then filleted table side. Stuffed fillet of sole is filled with shrimp, crab meat and vegetables, then gently sautéed in garlic and olive oil ($21.95). All entrees are served with pasta or potatoes and vegetables.

Fluffy house made tiramisu, cannolis and Italian cheesecake are just some of the tempting desserts on offer. The Nutella cake is hard to resist, or try an ice cream or sorbet instead, along with a steaming cup of espresso or cappuccino and an after dinner cordial which goes well with all of them.

Don’t forget the three course prix fixe menu for just $29.95 with entrees choices that include farfalle with shrimp and arugula, grilled salmon, or chicken parmigiana. It’s served on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. The prix fixe lunch is just $15.95 and you’ll be back to work on time with such great service.

LaVigna Italian Restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for your family dining pleasure. Call now to reserve your place and to make plans for your Holiday party. With great food, wine, ambience and excellent service, LaVigna Italian Restaurant is your home away from home for fine Italian dining.

100-11 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills  718.268.4264

www.lavignany.com

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