Aunt Bella's - Queens - I wanted to like it.
So,after passing this place, over the years, and seeing it pop up here (even lauded by some regular posters), I go there for dinner tonight. The kid requested Spaghetti and Meatballs....based on reports here, it seemed like a good bet for some old school red sauce faves.....
The overriding theme here is poor quality ingredients. Even a trained chef can have trouble making cheap, least-common denominator product taste anything but bad. Low prices just don't warrant bad quality.
Baked clams tasted old; I can only assume that they prep these too early???? Can you actually buy old clams? Dead Clams? Baked Mussels were shriveled & tiny and overwhelmingly doused with bad white wine. 2 shrimp on the hot antipasti were just nasty little knarly things and the eggplant rollatini was soggy and filled with tasteless ricotta-like cheese.
Veal Parmigiana was not edible (the meat had some funky undertaste that was scary, and it was just laden with an exceedingly sweet and tomato pasty red sauce; Shrimp scampi consisted of 6 off-tasting 31-40's, in an adequate, if overly lemony, sauce.
For me, the worst part: Bad Meatball. Very bad - ground to a pulp - full of filler- bad, bad meatball. The kid is 10 and deals with a chowish family that doesn't always give her a choice of restaurant/cusine...so, her request turns out to be a total bust. As she so indelicately said: Big Suck. (Yes, she was chastised for the profanity, but my cheek is still sore from having to bite it to keep from laughing.
The staff were friendly and seemingly sincere. Oh, and the bread was warm and served with real butter. That's always nice. We didn't stay for dessert....
I find it funny that a note above mine indicates this place has been around 20 years: incredible. i confess i am fussy, even critical, but i can honestly say that Aunt Bella's is the most DISGUSTING excuse for a NY restaurant i have been in, seriously. i would prefer Mcdonalds happy food than endure even a mouthful of the dull scrappings that they fed us.
From the overcooked tilapia, the rancid lasagne and the "saw dust" meatballs to the mildly smelly aroma coming either from the carpet or drapes or wallpaper or even the rotting corpse of poor Aunt Bella turning over, this place should be reported to the NY health dept and be closed down: the whole place is off!
please give your money to charity or throw it in a wishing well but don't spend a single dime on this hole, you will be doing an injustice to the owners by encouraging them to be restauranteurs!!!
I WENT TO AUNT BELLA'S FIVE YEARS AGO WHEN I FIRST MOVED TO THE AREA WITH MY SONS. UPON ENTERING THE RESTAURANT, THERE WAS A FUNKY MUSTY SMELL IN THE AIR. WE ORDERED THREE ENTREES WHICH CONSISTED OF THE CHICKEN PARM, BAKED ZITI, PIZZA AND BAKED CLAMS. THE FOOD WAS HORRIBLE. EXCEPT FOR THE PIZZA. IT WAS OK. THE SERVICE WAS GOOD, BUT THAT WAS ABOUT IT. MY SONS AND I WERE VERY DISAPPOINTED. WE WERE HOPING THAT THIS WOULD BE A REGULAR SPOT FOR US BEING THAT IT WAS WALKING DISTANCE FROM OUR HOME. YES, THE PRICES ARE VERY REASONABLE, BUT I WOULD MUCH RATHER PAY TWICE MUCH FOR FOOD THAN EAT AT AUNT BELLA'S. I DON'T MEAN TO BE CRITICAL, I ACTUALLY FEEL BAD ABOUT GIVING THE PLACE A NEGATIVE REVIEW, BUT, THE OWNERS SHOULD HAVE MORE PRIDE IN THEIR RESTAURANT. WE COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS RESTAURANT WAS IN BUSINESS AND TILL THIS DAY, WHEN I DRIVE OR WALK BY I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THIS PLACE IS STILL AROUND.