2019-01-16 / Restaurant of the Week


Dazie’s is an unofficial landmark on Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside, serving fine Italian cuisine since 1972. Founder Lillian “Lily” Gavin was the charismatic owner whom many called “Mom” until her passing in 2016. Lily was a community leader, activist, and the first woman in the Sunnyside Kiwanis club, among other notable achievements. In her honor, the corner of Queens Blvd and 40th Street was renamed Lillian “Lily” Gavin Way. Lily’s son Raymond has taken over this fine establishment and you can still feel the loving touch imbued over the past 47 years.

The refined ‘old world’ style dining room features tables dressed in starched, white linens with soft, upholstered chairs. Warm lighting and soft music fill the air and the carpeting absorbs noise, so your dinner conversation is private and effortless, a huge advantage these days. Dazie’s has two elegantly appointed rooms for private parties of 45-75 people and indeed this is a popular venue for private and corporate events, so book now for your 2019 events. You should also make your Valentine’s Day lunch or dinner reservations now, as Dazie’s is quite a romantic place to dine.

Ricky the barman mixes perfect cocktails and Max the veteran waiter tends to all your needs. The classic Italian menu has your favorites in pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, steaks, and chops and the nightly specials will tempt you too. That evening, lobster ravioli was prepared with light cream sauce, asparagus, and shrimp. Black linguine was topped with frutti di mare: lobster tail, clams, shrimp, and calamari in zesty tomato sauce. Whole branzino was grilled, and red snapper filet was prepared with capers, onions, and olives in light tomato sauce.

Max brought over a plate of crunchy bruschetta and warm, homemade caponata eggplant salad to whet our appetites. After that, my companion and I continued with the special beet salad, tossed with onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese with vinaigrette dressing, and an order of juicy, crispy baked clams oreganata topped with lemony butter sauce that we soaked up with warm, crusty bread. Other appetizers include plump shrimp cocktail, eggplant rollatini filled with fluffy ricotta, mussels in savory broth, and steaming bowls of tortellini in brodo, minestrone, and pasta e fagioli.

Sip on some fine wine to go with your pasta course. My rigatoni Napoli was prepared with sautéed broccoli rabe, Italian sausage, chunks of chicken, garlic and fine olive oil and was tasty and satisfying ($23). Cheese tortellini alla nonna is topped with cream sauce laced with mushrooms, peas, prosciutto, and shallots which went well with a glass of Chianti. Go classic with Dazie’s pasta with meatballs, sweet sausage, and house recipe tomato sauce and your choice of pasta ($20). Whole wheat fettuccine and smoked salmon is a delicious choice with asparagus, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Chicken and veal dishes include Francese style, Marsala with sweet wine sauce, and the classic Parmigiana style served with a side of pasta. Veal Sorrentino is a tender cutlet layered with eggplant and mozzarella prepared in a light white wine sauce. The chef at Dazie’s does an excellent job with juicy pork chops pan seared with vinegar peppers and potatoes, and tender, grilled filet mignon, cooked to order and served with optional mushroom onion sauce. Classic shrimp scampi is divine, served with pasta or vegetables, and salmon filet with Dijon mustard sauce is flaky and juicy.

Save room for dessert where the tiramisu is house made, light, and fluffy. Chocolate mousse, Italian ricotta cheese cake, Amaretto cheese cake, and zabaglione with fresh berries are other sweet confections, and all go well with an after-dinner cordial and a cup of steaming espresso or cappuccino.

Dazie’s is open six days a week (closed on Mondays) for lunch and dinner from 11:30am to 10:00pm on weeknights, and later on weekends. Make your reservations now for a romantic Valentine’s meal, or your private or corporate event for 40-75 guests and leave it to the experts at Dazie’s to ensure a successful party. Visit the legendary Dazie’s Italian restaurant on Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside, easily accessible off the 7 train’s 40th Street stop. For fine Italian dining, cocktails and great wine in an elegant, serene setting, Dazie’s will dazzle you. Salute!

39-41 Queens Boulevard
Sunnyside  718.786.7013


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