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Sapori d'Ischia???

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Friends want to eat here next week so I am looking for recent advice on what to order, is the place worth trying, etc. Or alternate Italian recs (any region ok) in Queens for top-flight food, no pretense. Have been to Piccola Venezia (excellent) and Maducatis(pretty good) and would like to try something new. Price not too much of an issue since with this group. Thanks!!

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  1. We were in a large party that ate there last month. I was not impressed although others were. We ordered the fettucini Alfredo made in the cheese wheel as an appetizer for the entire table. I've had a lot better. I had a risotto dish that was a special. I might as well have had Rice-a-roni.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Brian W

      I tried it quite awhile ago, and thought it was okay--but the water issue really irked my husband..I mean if you're cooking pasta in it, why can't we have some to drink? NYC water is the best tap water, the bottled water scam really irritates people, and they are definitely a bit pretentious there in other ways...we didn't go back.

    2. Well, the Fettucini Al'Antonio is the showstopper. I found the margherita and quattro frommagio pizzas to be good on my visits. Usually, I avoid entrees and just order several antipasti, pizzas and pastas to share. If anyone in your party is naturally cold, ask for a table away from the refrigerators.

      1. I was lucky enough to be treated to dinner here by friends, and what an experience it was! The food was positively phenomenal - I tried several dishes - wonderful braised shortribs, mussels, beet salad, some ravioli - all sublime. They also have a great wine selection, and the service couldn't have been nicer or more attentive without being annoying.

        I definitely think this is a destination worthy of any hype it receives.

        1. Isn't this the place that only serves bottled water? First time I ate here with some friends, we told them we only wanted tap, but think they served us bottled anyway. no charge. next time one of my friends went back, they again served the bottled water, but this time they did charge for it.

          1. On Wednesday they serve dinner for $25. I've been to lunch on several occasions and the prices are extremely reasonable and the food very good. Highest price is $10 for steak or salmon. Area is also very good for parking. Yes, they charge for water. I always get the imported Lemon drink which is a dollar.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bill C.

              Can you elaborate on the Wednesday $25 prix fix deal. Thanks.

              1. re: suzy

                I haven't had the Wednesday $25 dinner but I remember taking home a color post card which indicated $25 for a 3 course meal. Call and see if they still have this special and what it includes. What you won't get on Wednesday is the entertainment (Opera). I've been for lunch many times but never dinner. I'm mostly a lunch hound since I'm retired and have time for a leisurely lunch. I went on a Saturday two weeks ago for groceries and they were serving lunch. The only item in the grocery store you should never purchase is the frozen manicotti, stuffed shells and ravioli and other pasta. I took home the manicotti once and threw it out because of severe freezer burn on the pasta and dried out ricotto cheese stuffing.

                1. re: suzy

                  3-course for $25 - you can choose anything from the whole menu (great value considering entrees go up to $30). tips, tax, drinks not included of course. Daily specials cannot be ordered as prix fix.

                  They don't have opera, but on a recent night, they had a musician playing sax.

                  They also have 6-course deal on Thursday I believe, but their dishes are so generous I don't see how you can have 6 dishes one night.

              2. Their forte is antipasti I think. Get carpaccio, warm artichoke appetizer and quail. Even one dish is big enough to fill you up. From the entrees braised shortribs were good. Dessert, order the one something called 'Bianco i Nerro' i think it's on top of the dessert menu - perfect balance of espresso and milk? not too sweet.

                Who cares about bottled water - their main business is Italian imports so why not give them a bit of biz. And it's only $3 for a 1.5L bottle of pretty good stuff - not just a tepid tap water served in vodka or shampoo bottle looking vessels in some Manhattan restaurants (voss?) - I always feel I'm paying for the packaging. Nothing especially if you're in a group and having wine for dinner - just order one for the table. On my recent visit a waiter gave us a more expensive bottle of wine for the price of less expensive one, so it balanced off the water. and refills were not put on the bill - we were only charged for the first bottle. Nice!

                If you're going with a group, I would go on Thu-Sat when they have opera singers - lots of fun. One little inconvenience - they only accept AmEx or cash, and the nearest atm is by Northern blvd.

                1 Reply
                1. re: welle

                  I tend to agree that their antipasti are quite good. I also like their special pizza with robiola cheese and truffle oil, though that's better as an appetizer for a group than for an entree. I've been meaning to try their other pizzas, but have had pasta all the other times I've been there. The "alfredo" (lol) pasta mixed in the wheel is quite good, and very generous with a liberal douse of truffle oil, so it's potent stuff. A little goes a long way. I also once had one of their risottos with porcinis (I think) that was on special that was also heavy with the truffle oil. Good stuff, but again, potent. Next time I'll try to order some of their lighter dishes.

                  They also have good desserts and a good selection of dessert wines.

                  I'm also not bothered by the bottled water issue here. They charge a minimal amount on it, and they're very generous with it, so even if you have a few bottles you might end up paying for one or two (at $2 a bottle, the last time I checked). And it's good water.

                2. I never had a bad meal or bad service. You will enjoy .

                  1. Well a year has passed and once again friends want to eat here. I must say I was not too impressed the last time. Was wondering if by any chance there are new reports or advice on what to order here. Last time I thought the pizza was ordinary and the fettucine about the same.... The artichoke antipasto was excellent, however.

                    We are going on a Wednesday.. I see they have a reasonably priced deal...

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: erica

                      What did you think? I may take someone there this Wednesday. Do they still have the three course - $25 deal?

                      1. re: jmax

                        I ended up going on a Tuesday night so not sure about whether they have the $25 deal.

                        Food was very good. I am not a fan of the "Alfredo" but the two-bread-layered pizza with cheese (might have been robiola but I did not pay attention) and truffle oil is truly excellent. The artichoke appetizer, lilke a budino or flan, is very good, as was another appetizer, a tomato and onion tarte with ricotta.

                        Pasta specials, including ravioli with eggplant, were excellent. Main courses do not live up to the apps and primi, in my opinion, although my fellow diners were happy.

                        They had a musician playing guitar. Place was not full on a Tuesday night.

                        Many southern wines on the list; reds by the glass include Tuscan and one from Basilicata. For whites by the glass only the usual boring PGrigio and chardonnay.

                        Overall the place is good to keep in mind and makes a nice change from the usual. Unfortunately I was busy tallking and did not pay adequate attention to the description of the dishes so I apologize for the sketchiness of my comments.

                        My fellow diners agreed on the bottled water that was offered as soon as we were seated so I did not get into the tap water issue...held myself back from making any kind of scene...

                        They sell Italian food items at the low end of retail. The two-pack of small cans of A's do Mar tuna in olive oil was about $4.49 which is among the least expensive I have found for this suberb tuna. Make sure to check dates as some cans and jars looked a bit dusty.

                        1. re: erica

                          I love the warm artichoke app! In the food store, they have the best prices on italian dried sausages and also very good prices on dried pastas from Italy - some are cheaper than crappy Ronzoni! I forgot the name but I sometimes buy orzo from the village of Corleone - it has a map of Sicily on it with the village pointed. I know it's immature and has nothing to do with a fictional character, but whenever I opened the package to cook, I felt an urge to do Luca Brasi impersonation: 'Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful...' :)

                          1. re: welle

                            I like getting the bresaola and prosciutto hand-sliced - $18 and $16 a pound, respectively. The guy who does the hand-slicing wraps it all up very carefully. Their house olive oil is inexpensive and very, very good - grassy (I like that) but not bitter, and only $12 for a liter or something. They have been out of it recently, but they also have a house brand of whole tinned tomatoes that works brilliantly for that Marcella Hazan sauce recipe that is nothing but tomatoes, butter and half an onion.