2019-03-13 / Restaurant of the Week

Antonio’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar

What started as a humble little pizzeria on 21st Avenue in East Elmhurst in 2012, has been transformed into a full-service restaurant, bar, catering hall, and deli. Of course, there’s still plenty of Antonio’s famous pizza, hot, crispy crusted, and delicious. Drop in after work for a cocktail or glass of wine at the handsome bar, then enjoy a hearty meal in the peaceful dining room. Cream colored walls and wooden dining tables are softly lit for couples, friends, and families to gather and dine on the freshly prepared cuisine.

Recently, Ricardo Aguayo, formerly of “El Olivo,” has joined General Manager Christine Carlsen to join forces and expand the dining options. The best surprise is the private dining room in the rear of the restaurant, which is elegantly appointed to accommodate up to 110 guests for a sit-down meal. Smaller groups can be accommodated as well, with the clever dividing wall. The rooms, named “Valencia” and “Toscana,” feature sound systems and projectors for presentations, making this an ideal venue for any family or corporate event. Make reservations now for your Spring occasions and graduation parties.

Antonio Pizzeria and Wine Bar has always served delicious, classic Italian dishes and now, with the addition of Aguayo to the team, the menu is expanded to include some tasty Spanish dishes to please his loyal clientele and to offer something different to the neighborhood. We started with perfectly mixed cocktails and a variety of tantalizing appetizers including filet mignon carpaccio, sliced paper-thin and served with arugula and shaved Parmigiano. Next came pulpo alla Gallega, a Spanish treat of tender octopus stewed with potatoes and paprika seasoning. Chorizo sausages are sautéed with red bell peppers, onions and red wine for a savory treat that you can soak up with crusty bread. Creamy mozzarella is paired with juicy tomatoes for the classic Caprese salad, topped with basil leaves and drizzled with balsamic reduction ($14). The Antonio salad is a healthy mix of greens, sliced beets and pears, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese with balsamic dressing. Fried or grilled calamari are popular, and all appetizers are generously sized for sharing.

There are about a dozen pasta dishes to choose from and these can be shared as a first course or ordered as your entrée. The penne alla vodka is creamy and tangy, while the rigatoni with broccoli rabe and sausage makes a hearty meal with its garlicky sauce flecked with sundried tomatoes. Linguini and clam sauce is available in red or white varieties, and you’ll want to soak up the delicious sauce with warm bread ($20). Seafood fra diavolo is a mélange of clams, mussels, and calamari in a spicy tomato sauce, or have it mild with a white sauce of garlic and fine olive oil, piled on a mound of al dente spaghetti. Antonio’s “Lobster Kiss” is an irresistible dish of linguini in a sauce of lobster, shrimp, and brandy that I’ll be back for. Even finicky kids love the homemade lasagna, cheese ravioli, and pasta with meatballs, all made with Antonio’s marinara sauce.

Antonio’s chicken or veal Francese are both tender enough to cut with a fork and of course, you can have your chicken, veal, or eggplant Parmigiana here too. Plump shrimp are prepared in a number of ways, such as Scampi style with garlic, oil, and white wine, or “Antonio style” sautéed with spinach and tomato in a light garlic cream sauce, served over pasta. Baked salmon is prepared similarly, and the filet of sole oreganata is topped with crispy bread crumbs, served with baby spinach and roasted potatoes.

Save room for one of their fine desserts such as creamy tiramisu, homemade tres leches cake, or the tempting zeppoles filled with chocolate chip cannoli cream. Antonio’s is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and catering. Place your orders to go or stop in for anything from a slice of pizza to a full meal. Don’t forget to call now to arrange a spectacular party or business event in the lovely private party room. Your guests will love the ambience, the food, and the excellent service Parking is easy too, with plenty of spots on the street. Come visit the bigger and better Antonio’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar. Salute!

76-08 21st Avenue
East Elmhurst  718.728.9200

www.antoniosnyc.com

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