2016-10-05 / Restaurant of the Week

Gaudio’s Pizzeria and Restaurant

There’s a reason why Gaudio’s has been successful since 1958. When you offer delicious, honest Italian food including great pizza, pasta, meat, and fish entrees, all at fair prices, the locals find a path to your door. This has been true for the last 58 years, when Papa Gaudio first opened this classic Italian restaurant on 30th Avenue. Domenico Gaudio, known as “Nicky” is the heart and soul of Gaudio’s and maintains the family tradition seven days a week, always adding new dishes to the menu and renovating the restaurant behind the pizza area to provide a lovely, casual spot for all its fans.

Upon entering Gaudio’s you’ll find the famous pizza kitchen with eight ovens churning out arguably the best pizza in Astoria to stay or to go, from 11am to 10pm. This crispy pizza is delicious straight up, or with toppings that include sausage, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, meatballs, and more. Large pies start at just $15. You’ll love the “grandma’s pizza” which contains fresh mozzarella and a smattering of fresh tomatoes on a thin, crispy, square crust. Hot hero sandwiches made on fresh bread are filled with chicken parmigiana, veal and peppers, meatballs, potatoes and eggs, grilled chicken breast and much more.

What might surprise you is the pleasant dining room at Gaudio’s, nicely appointed with distressed wood floors, creamy yellow walls, antique tin ceiling and excellent service delivered by Osvaldo, a veteran at Gaudio’s. This is a real restaurant with dinner ware, wine and beer, and great specials every night. Even the restrooms are tastefully decorated, and everything is sparkling clean at Gaudio’s. My dining companion and I started with Gaudio’s hand-cut fresh zucchini sticks, perfect cooked, crunchy outside and juicy inside. The Sorrento salad was the night’s special and was full of Romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts, carrots, celery, tomatoes, boiled eggs, and provolone cheese with zesty dressing. Next came delicious baked clams oreganata. A dozen beautiful, fresh clams were brought on a sizzling platter, served whole, topped with crispy breadcrumbs with wedges of lemon. Try those Little Neck clams prepared “posillipo” style with white wine, garlic and herbs for a real treat, then soak up all the delicious broth with Gaudio’s hot-from-the-oven foccaccia and assorted bread, including chewy pretzel bread. Everyone loves Gaudio’s fried calamari and juicy, stuffed mushrooms, and the kids love the mozzarella sticks, also hand cut. Order the family a Gaudio’s salad, Caesar salad, or a classic Caprese with buttery mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil. Osvaldo swiftly brought us a glass of red wine and an ice cold Peroni beer to accompany our meal.

Gaudio’s pasta dishes start at $8.95 and the variety covers your favorites, from spaghetti with clam sauce, linguine with broccoli, garlic and oil to tortellini Alfredo with its creamy sauce and penne alla vodka, to name a few. You get to choose among ziti, penne, linguine, or spaghetti and your favorite sauce. Fluffy manicotti, ravioli and house made lasagna and baked ziti are house favorites and make great plates to go or for your next catered event.

Some of the entrée specials of the evening were so tantalizing, such as chicken Martini with sautéed zucchini, sun-dried tomato, olives, and a touch of cream, and veal Fiorentino layered with spinach and provolone in a light butter lemon sauce ($18.95). Chicken Francese is tender cutlets that cut with a fork, sautéed with a delicate white wine and lemon sauce ($16.95). Veal piccata is a classic, sautéed with capers, lemon, and white wine sauce.

The fish special was tilapia Livornese with chunks of tomato, onion, olives and capers for a light and healthy dish. Plump, tender shrimp are prepared with spicy fra diavolo sauce, garlicky scampi sauce, oreganata style of parmigiana to suit your every taste. All the meat, chicken, and seafood dishes are served with your choice of pasta, fries, or salad, making a meal here a good value.

Everyone loves desserts at Gaudio’s, especially the chocolate cake and tiramisu cake, on display in the refrigerated case up front. Ice cream treats include creamy Amaretto nut truffle, sliced for us and coated in chocolate and crunchy nuts. You must have an espresso, cappuccino, coffee or hot chocolate to finish your meal.

With 58 years’ experience and history making home style Italian dishes, a trip to Gaudio’s should be on your list. Professional catering is available to your home or office so leave your next party or business lunch to Gaudio’s. Since 1958, Gaudio’s Pizzeria and Restaurant is still going strong. Grazie Nicky!

40-13 30th Avenue, Astoria

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