2018-01-31 / Restaurant of the Week

La Vigna Italian Restaurant

Any night at La Vigna Italian Restaurant is a special occasion, with its exceptionally delicious Italian regional cuisine as prepared by Chef Giuseppe Vitale. The secret ingredients are love and pride as everything is made from scratch and served hot and beautifully presented. Giusseppe’s son Anthony heads up the front of house, greeting guests warmly, many of whom are regulars who come for their favorite dishes. Together with veteran server Vinny, you’re guaranteed great service and a memorable meal.

Speaking of love, make your reservations now for Valentine’s Day, when a special menu will be offered. La Vigna’s romantic dining room creates the perfect backdrop with cozy tables dressed in starched linens beset with small vases of fresh flowers. The soft lamps glow against the beautiful mirrors and soft music takes its place in the background so as not to disturb your conversation. If you’ve never been to La Vigna, you owe it to yourself to visit. There’s an easy to order prix-fixe dinner menu for just $29.95 served from 3pm onwards that includes an appetizer or soup or salad, choice of entrée, and coffee or tea. La Vigna’s menu features wonderful appetizers, salads, homemade pasta, meat, poultry and fish dishes, all prepared on the spot for maximum flavor and freshness. The nightly specials are hard to resist, so don’t even try. I had the special baked clams casino loaded with garlic, lemon and white wine, then topped with bacon, all meant to be soaked up with their homemade focaccia. Grilled octopus is a Mediterranean treat, served with caponata, which is Sicilian eggplant salad. Tender, sweet crab cakes are gently pan-fried until golden and served on a bed of greens with homemade tartar sauce. A fresh salad of mango with mixed greens, prosciutto, and buttery mozzarella is a nice way to start, or warm up with a bowl of homemade vegetable minestrone soup. Fried calamari is popular for sharing, as are the fresh mussels, steamed in white wine and garlic. I watched with envy as the diners next to me dived in with gusto.

You could eat at LaVigna every night and try a different pasta each time. One of La Vigna’s signature pasta dishes is cavatelli with sautéed zucchini, homemade sausage, cherry tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil ($21.50). The menu features tender ravioli filled with asparagus and ricotta and topped with butter, garlic, more asparagus tips and plump shrimp. I had the special ravioli of the day, filled with Swiss chard and ricotta, topped with a light creamy sauce flecked with walnuts. Another special was handmade paccheri wide tube pasta, topped with baby octopus, shrimp, and calamari with your choice of light tomato sauce or garlic and oil. Did I mention that there are four varieties of risotto?

Veal Milanese is a thin, pounded cutlet, breaded, fried till golden, topped with peppery arugula salad. The nightly special was an ingenious combination of veal and chicken breast filets stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, and spinach sautéed with white wine and lemon sauce. Chicken rollatini is filled with prosciutto, mozzarella and asparagus, sautéed in a savory sauce ($22.95). Juicy rib eye steak and filet mignon please the meat eaters.

Fresh fish and seafood are featured prominently at La Vigna where you can always find pan-seared salmon fillet with Dijon mustard sauce, and shrimp prepared any way you like. The fish special was swordfish prepared either with white wine and lemon or marechiara style with tomato, onions, garlic, and olives. Flaky fillet of sole is stuffed with crab meat and rock shrimp in white wine and lemon sauce ($22.95). All fish and meat entrées are served with either pasta or potatoes and vegetables and everything is beautifully presented to you steaming hot, on gleaming white plates.

Don’t pass on desserts such as lemon sorbet served in a real lemon, house made tiramisu, apple strudel and the chef’s homemade biscotti, which are ideal for dipping into coffee, espresso, or an after-dinner cordial,

During the week, there’s a great lunch special served from 12-3pm for just $16.95. Business luncheons or funeral luncheons are welcome and easily arranged. Cater a gourmet Super Bowl meal with La Vigna’s expert catering. Visit their website for the catering menu, tantalizing photos and all menus. La Vigna is open six days a week for a memorable lunch or dinner (closed Monday). Street parking is easy and as you leave, you’ll be planning your next visit. Don’t forget to make your Valentine’s reservations now for an evening of fine Italian dining, and fine wine, in a romantic setting.

100-11 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills  718.268.4264

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