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Donato's-Italian in Sunnyside

  • m

Anyone been to Donato's in Sunnyside Gardens? I've heard good things, but haven't gotten there yet. I'm visiting a friend in the area and we'd like to get Italian.

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  1. haven't been to but looks more like a neighborhood pizza joint. Sapori d'ischia is actually around 4-5 blocks from Donato's and if you're going tonight, they have $25 prix-fixe dinner on Wed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: welle

      My friend and I went to Donato's last night and
      weren't disappointed. Definitely more than just a pizza joint. It's a really cute place, complete with very friendly staff and excellent food. I had a walnut salad and shrimp scampi. Both were excellent. My friend got the fettucine alfredo. Very good! Nice selection of desserts. We'll def be back!

    2. I regularly visit Donato's...it's much more than just a "pizza joint." It may have started as one, but the owners have transformed the dining room into more than a local pizza place. They have a full bar, wine by the bottle and carafes (as well as a homemade wine that others find good...personally i'm not a fan). The owners are always there and ready to accomodate their guests...newcomers and regulars alike. The food is consistently good and sometimes even exceptional. They have a nice selection of daily specials in addition to their regular menu.

      I've eaten at Sapori D'Ischia and have enjoyed that as well, but keep going back to Donatos.

      1. Has anybody been here/ordered from them lately? They just dropped a bunch of "we deliver by car" delivery menus in my lobby -- I'm in Jackson Heights -- sounds like it could be a nice change of pace from other neighborhood delivery offerings.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jennsch

          Don't expect more than your average red-sauce joint. Don't get me wrong, it's a very comfortable, friendly and really quite good red-sauce joint. I like it! But it's not comparable to Sapori. It's definitely a neighborhood, local jernt, not a place to go out of your way to enjoy. If you visit a friend in Phipps or in Sunnyside Gardens (soon to be landmarked - eat your heart out anti-Landmarkers!) hit Donatos and enjoy. But it's not a destination place.

          Try the SunnysideNY YahooGroup!

          1. re: Monkey Man Jake

            Echoing MMJ,
            Neighborhood joint, nothing special, average pizza with better (but not great) pizza nearby, don't go out of your way.

        2. as a pizza joint deluxe with flair, Donato's fits the bill. i find all of the pizza sauce in sunnyside too salty. Donato's pizza sauce is slightly sweet and not too salty: my favorite in the area. The always courteous and chipper Donato himself seems like he is there 24/7. Some dishes will surprise you. Best lemony chicken francese i've ever had. As mentioned below, not a destination Italian restaurant, but solid and filling.

          1. Donatos is our go-to joint for italian delivery, although we have never been in the restaurant. We do order at least once every ten days. Cons that we have experienced have included sausage that tasted DEEP fried in not so pleasant oil. Also, an order of linguini in white clam sauce that had quite a few pieces of plastic from the foil dish cover in the pasta - the order came heavily wrapped in plastic wrap, because they must have noticed the plastic broke, at which point they should have put it in a new dish. An order of mussels in garlic and oil that came marinara. I chalk both of these incidents up to delivery. On the plus side, most of the food we order is good. They make excellent pizza with a sweet crisp crust and a sauce that meets both my "sweet sauce" taste and my BF's "not sweet" taste. In other words it is a perfect in between. AND, we both agree they make the most incredible fried calamari. A must have.

            1. uhhg! I work next to this place and sometimes get dragged there for a office lunch. I never fail to have a little indigestion from eating there. NOt fresh, and so heavy with oil. I love the ambience there actually but just wish the food was worth going out of your way for, now if I had my wishes, I would put Sapori 'd Ischia's food there. BTW, last couple of tiimes I have been by, looks closed at S d' I..anyone know if they are still in business??

              1. Donato's is our go-to for pizza in the 'hood as well. The crust is crackery tasting but not too thin (maybe crackery isn't the right word but it's the best I've got), the sauce is nicely balanced and the price is right. We usually stick to double cheese and pepperoni, though, as I find their sausage to be bland and their other toppings not worth the price ($2 for 15 slivers of onion? No thanks). We've never tried anything else from their menu but when we've eaten in, we've seen pasta and things that look good. There's a small outdoor seating area as well, which is nice.

                1. I've only been once, but as much as I wanted to like the cute little red sauce place in the neighborhood, it just wasn't very good. We got pastas and calamari if I remember correctly. Nothing was bad, exactly, but nothing was good either. It was just very mediocre, greasy, the calamari was limp, and, while it's not exactly pricey, it was one of those moments where you get the check and start thinking of all the really amazing food you could have had in the area for the same price. Maybe we should have gotten pizza, I dunno, but I'm not really excited to go back any time soon.