2017-08-16 / Restaurant of the Week

Rosa’s Pizza

Rosa’s Pizza was established by the Troia Family in 1975 and has since grown to include several locations in Queens, Manhattan and Long Island. The newest location just opened about a month ago on 21st Street in Astoria, and we are all thankful for this casual, reliable Italian spot in an area that really needs it. Needless to say, the Troia family knows a thing or two about making great pizza, heroes, calzones, pasta, and hot entrées to dine in, take out.

The clean and casual dining room is pleasantly decorated with about a dozen modern, tidy, wood tables and a long, black leather banquette with high top tables that look onto the street. A large group can be accommodated, and I can imagine a whole baseball team coming in for a meal after a game.

It all started with pizza, and Rosa’s makes more than 20 varieties topped with everything from pepperoni to pineapple and ham. The ravioli vodka pie is topped with round ravioli, while the taco pie is topped with Mexican style ground beef and cheese. I should admit, when it comes to pizza, I’m more of a purist, and so I really enjoyed the classic Grandma style square pizza with a smattering of fresh tomato and quality mozzarella. The Sicilian pie at Rosa’s is famous for its lighter than air texture and thin, crisp crust. It’s never heavy or doughy like some others. A medium, classic, round NY pie costs just $13.50 and $15.50 for a large. Add $3 for standard toppings such as pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, mushrooms, etc., or order a specialty pie like a grilled chicken Caesar pie for $23. Rosa’s specialty rolls and sandwiches are stuffed with chicken parmigiana, eggplant, meatballs, and broccoli. Massive hot heroes are filled with sausage and peppers, shrimp parmigiana and all your favorites. These make a great lunch or dinner, seven days a week.

What will really surprise you are the entrees at Rosa’s Pizza. This casual, come-as-you-are eatery cooks up pasta dishes and entrées that rival those in fancy Italian restaurants. We started with an appetizer of fried calamari that was tender and crisp on the outside, served piping hot along with a nice tossed salad. The baked clams are juicy and fresh, and the kids will love the homemade mozzarella sticks and rice balls. Share an antipasto salad for the table for just $8, full of slices of cured meats and cheeses.

Rosa’s pasta dishes start at an incredible $7 and they’re all made fresh on the spot, and served piping hot on real china with real silverware. We shared al dente spaghetti with fresh broccoli, garlic and fine olive oil as a first course. It was as good as my Grandmother’s and there was plenty left for lunch the next day. Choose either spaghetti or ziti and your favorite sauce, including marinara, Alfredo, vodka, sausage, meatballs, mussels, clam sauce, and shrimp marinara to name a few. Classic baked pasta dishes include baked ziti, lasagna, and stuffed shells for just $8.

You’ll be impressed with the chicken Francese, and chicken Marsala, perfectly prepared and so tender that a knife is not needed. Eggplant rollatini is filled with fluffy ricotta and everyone will find their standard chicken, eggplant, or shrimp parmigiana platters. Dinner entrées start at just $9.50 and are so generously sized, you’ll want to take the leftovers home. Rosa’s Pizza is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and late-night munchies. It’s a casual place and nicely appointed for dining in with family and friends. A selection of soft drinks and Italian sodas is available to compliment your meal. Welcome to Astoria!

31-01 21st Street, Astoria

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