2016-04-27 / Restaurant of the Week

Pizza Classica

Pizza Classica is truly a classic, neighborhood Italian restaurant in the quiet hamlet of Glendale. Pizza Classica started as a pizzeria and continues to serve some of the best, thin-crusted pizza, “Grandma’s” square pizza, calzones, sausage rolls, and hot hero sandwiches for nearly 10 years now. Most folks in the area have Pizza Classica’s phone number in their contacts for fast delivery to the home or office. Better still, the adjoining dining room is beautifully appointed and offers fine Italian cuisine at very reasonable prices in reach to all.

The handsome dining room features high ceilings, soft lighting, and a sleek bar serving a great variety of hand-chosen wines, yet there is a casual attitude here. Nearly every table was full with families, friends, and couples enjoying a freshly prepared meal together. On the way to our table, I immediately spotted a few dishes that I wanted to try! Rocco and the friendly, efficient staff make everyone feel welcome while tending to your every need.

Soon after we sat down we were presented with warm-from-the-oven, garlic-scented focaccia and crusty bread to nibble on while we perused the many hot and cold appetizers from the menu. We loved the crab cakes, golden crisp, and full of sweet crabmeat and mild seasonings with two to a serving so they’re ideal for sharing, along with remoulade sauce. The fried calamari for 2-3 people are crispy and very tender, while baked clams oreganata are fresh and juicy, aromatic with garlic, herbs and crispy bread crumb topping. Fresh mussels marinara swim in a spicy tomato sauce that begs to be soaked up with that delicious bread ($12.95) Eggplant rollatini is one of their house specialties, rolled up with the house’s tomato sauce and fluffy ricotta. You can share an order as a first course or order it as an entrée, served with pasta or vegetables. Arancini are traditional Sicilian rice balls filled with ground meat, peas and tomato, made with their own family recipe. Even the kids will love the hand-cut, fried zucchini sticks, chicken fingers, and toasted bruschetta.

Pizza Classica serves buttery mozzarella along with sliced tomatoes and basil leaves, drizzled with fine olive oil for their classic Caprese salad or try the creamy burrata mozzarella with paper-thin prosciutto and balsamic dressing. Over a dozen salads are on the menu, including the Classica tossed with mixed greens, roasted peppers, and croutons, Portobello salad over mixed greens, avocado and crab meat salad, or the inventive pear and feta cheese salad. Order one for the table or have one for as a lunch or dinner entrée, topped with grilled chicken if you like.

Pasta at Pizza Classica is an art form, with homemade sauces made from high quality ingredients, all served fresh and hot. Orecchiete are ‘little ears’ with broccoli rabe, garlic and crumbled sausage. Cavatelli are toothsome pasta topped with rich, meaty Bolognese sauce or try classic spaghetti carbonara with egg, butter and smoky bacon for a Roman treat ($15.95). I devoured the pappardelle with sausage ragu and will go for the whole wheat spaghetti with grilled shrimp and vegetables next time. Linguine with red or white clam sauce or topped with frutta di mare with shrimp, clams, calamari and mussels in tomato sauce are all great choices. The chef also prepares tender pillows of spinach or lobster ravioli, and baked pasta dishes too, such as homemade manicotti, baked ziti or stuffed shells ($13.95).

For your second course or your entrée, try the two juicy pork chops campagnola with sautéed onions, mushrooms, roasted peppers and potatoes, which my companion loved, or try those juicy chops with mixed peppers and brown sauce, or with cognac and dried cranberries ($18.95). The generous portions provide dinner the next day too. Rib eye steaks are cooked to order and can be pan seared with porcini mushroom sauce, peppercorn sauce or Fiorentina style with olive oil and rosemary. Supremely tender cutlets of chicken or milk-fed veal are prepared over a dozen ways including Marsala, Romano style with artichokes and pancetta, and Sorrentino with layers of eggplant, prosciutto, and mozzarella. My classic capriciosa breaded chicken cutlet was topped with a colorful arugula salad that was perfectly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

Feel like fish? Pizza Classica prepares fresh shrimp, salmon, and filet of sole in a variety of ways including oreganata style, perfectly seasoned with herbs and crisp, golden bread crumbs, Livornese style, or Marechiara with clams, mussels, onions and light tomato sauce. Meat and fish entrees are served with your choice of pasta, house salad, or vegetable of the day, making a meal here a very good value, and I dare you to finish it all.

Finish your meal with a robust espresso or coffee and you should at least share a crunchy, creamy cannoli, the family recipe tiramisu, chocolate mousse cake, or crème brulee. If the kids finish their dinner, order them a Nutella pizza, though adults can’t resist this decadent treat.

Visit for lunch and try Pizza Classica’s fabulous pizza and heroes, or order a wrap or panini filled with grilled chicken, skirt steak, prosciutto, mozzarella, and arugula and many more varieties. The soups and salads make a great lunch too, to stay or to go, before or after shopping in the mall.

Bring mom and grandma to Pizza Classica for Mother’s Day and let them cater your next private affair in the restaurant for 30-50 people. Off-premises catering for your next personal affair or business function is arranged for any number of people. Pizza Classica is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11am to 11pm weekdays and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. There’s plenty of free, indoor parking in the shopping center’s garage and Pizza Classica is easy to reach, just off Woodhaven Blvd. Visit Pizza Classica where they really bring their home cooking to you in a lovely atmosphere at affordable prices.

89-89 Union Turnpike
Glendale  718.847.5001

www.pizzaclassicany.com

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