2017-05-31 / Restaurant of the Week

Armondo’s Italian Restaurant

Armondo’s has always been a classy, classic Italian restaurant serving excellent cuisine from all regions of Bella Italia. For the past 44 years, Armondo’s has been serving the Queens community as well as diners who travel from

Manhattan, Long Island, and the tri-state area for a meal here. Besides the fantastic food and ambience, there’s Jerry Crisci, your warm, caring host, who knows all his customers by name and remembers their favorite dishes. It is therefore fitting that the Gazette would choose to feature Armondo’s Ristorante just before its upcoming 35th Anniversary issue. There are very few restaurants who have been around since before the Western Queens Gazette, and we honor Mr. Crisci’s loyalty and service to the community. Enjoy your favorite cocktail or wine as you admire the shiny, white Vespa motorino suspended over the bar. The elegant dining room was designed by Jerry’s lovely wife, Patti, and features creamy white walls, shiny, espresso-stained wood floors, and two huge mirrors that were taken from the original location on 37th Avenue. The overall feeling is classy yet comfortable, and very welcoming with affordable prices.

Miguel, the veteran waiter, announced the evening specials, which included juicy clams casino, avocado stuffed with shrimp in vinaigrette, and crab cakes. We opted for the latter and these delicately seasoned crab cakes were pan fried to a golden finish, delicious, and perfect for sharing with two to a serving. Next came a sparkling platter of creamy buratta cheese flanked with grilled asparagus and roasted red peppers. This red, white, and green tableau resembled the Italian flag and was, emblematic of the wonders of Italian cuisine. The Caprese salad speaks of summer with sliced tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves drizzled with extra virgin olive oil ($13). Grilled octopus is tender and juicy, with nice charring, while the calamari fritti are great to share. There’s a very tasty roasted beet salad, topped with creamy goat cheese, orange slices, and walnuts in a bright, lemon vinaigrette or savory arugula with tender cannellini beans drizzled with rosemary olive oil. Healthy kale salad with sliced apples, shaved Pecorino, pomegranate seeds and lemon oil tastes so fresh and lively.

Indeed any night at Armondo’s is a reason to celebrate life, family, friends and good food. Eat like an Italian, where your next course is pasta. With choices that include homemade lasagna, spaghetti with clam sauce, Nonna’s gnocchi Bolognese, and tender ravioli filled with cheese or meat, you’re sure to find your favorite. The evening’s special pasta was lobster ravioli topped with alla vodka sauce, which we shared and thoroughly enjoyed. Another special was handmade cannelloni pasta, filled with ricotta, spinach and minced chicken. Risotto is pearly and creamy, prepared with asparagus, peas, porcini mushrooms, or seafood if you wish.

“Secondo” is the second course, comprised of meat or seafood. The evening’s special pork chops were sautéed with hot and sweet peppers and onions in a light, zesty sauce. Flaky Bronzino fish was grilled whole, or prepared as a filet sautéed with white wine, lemon, and olive oil. Tilapia Livornese is frequently on the menu or enjoy pan-seared sea scallops with white wine, lemon, and served with arugula salad. Tender veal or chicken cutlets are prepared Francese style, piccata style with lemon and capers, or classic Parmigiana. Everything at Armondo’s is cooked to order and served piping hot on gleaming platters, making a meal here a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Let the waitstaff tempt you with the platter of desserts, including carrot cake, chocolate layer cake, tiramisu, fresh filled cannolis, or tartufo and tortoni ice cream treats. A cup of espresso makes you feel like you’re in Italy, and an after dinner cordial puts the perfect cap on the meal.

Visit Armondo’s, open for dinner only on weekdays (closed Tuesdays) from 3pm to 10pm and lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 11pm. Visit the website for inspiration, photos, and menus.

Jerry Crisci is also involved in a wonderful organization called the Jacob Riis Settlement Organization that provides much needed services for youth, seniors, and immigrants. To learn more, visit www.riissettlement.org.

The Gazette celebrates Armondo’s Italian Restaurant, celebrating 44 years in business, as well as the loyalty and community service of Jerry Crisci and his family.

73-16 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights
718.898.0113  718.8990035

www.armondositalianrestaurant.com

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