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Good Italian Restaurant in Forest Hills, Queens?

I am looking for an Italian restaurant in Forest Hills that has excellent food and doesn't have a formal/stuffy atmosphere. I would like to take my family (includes 9 year old, 4 year old) out to celebrate their grandmother's birthday. Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

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  1. I would recommend Dee's on Metropolitan Avenue. They have pizza as well as entrees, italian entrees and other items. It's casual, but very pretty and definitely child friendly. I like the large tables. I am tired of eating on extra large plates on extra small tables. Unlike Austin Street, parking is not impossible.

    1. Stay away from all Italian on Austin and QB. How can I put this mildly.....they SUCK.

      1 Reply
      1. re: oc200

        Try La Vigna, also on Metropolitan Ave...haven't been there in a while, but we always enjoyed it.

      2. Thank you very much for the suggestions!

        1. The Family Restaurant on Queens Blvd. isn't bad (and it's sort of amusing in an old-school kinda way). I second the Dee's nomination-- it's really solid, pretty and pleasant. Nick's Pizza on Ascan is a lot of folks' favorite and it's pretty good.

          Stay away from entrees at Piu Bello, but they have nice gelato and a super kid-friendly atmosphere.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lizisinflatbush

            Am I the only one that thinks The Family Restaurant is a poison pit? Completely mediocre and faceless is Portofino---head over to La Tavernetta in Glendale for some freshly prepared Italian fare.

            1. re: janie

              Maybe I can just tolerate Family because I grew up near there? I agree to stay AWAY from Portofino (the last time I was there the place really smelled like a bathroom...). Never been to La Tavernetta....

              Also, Vesuvio on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, if you're willing to trek, does great soups and pizza...

          2. Spolini's in Kew Gardens on Metropolitan Ave. is good family-style. They have valet parking as well.

            1. don't know if it's too late but da silvana on yellowstone between clyde and dartmouth. they just renovated, nice atmosphere and food is still good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hana

                I would try not too far away Joe Abbracciamento restaurant. If you come over to Bayside Queens try Cafe on the Green.

              2. I still like Family but I grew up on it.. used to go when it was a pizza joint with 4 tables. I usually don't get the pasta, however. Love their chicken in lots of garlic and oil ( I forget the name) and their eggplant parm. I like Dees but its not traditional italian. Portofino makes me sick.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Justjenn

                  I disagree about Portofino. I definitely think that it is a notch above the Family Restaurant. The Family Restaurant is cozy, but none of the food stands out as high quality. I love Dee's, but agree that it is not traditional Italian, but is more focused on the pizza, which might make it a good option for young children. Spolini's is excellent if you are looking for Family Style. We also enjoying driving to Sapori di Ischia in Woodside and Park Side in Corona occasionally.

                2. You know i grew up in Forest Hills and the old timers always fell into 2 camps those who like Family and those who like Portofino. ( I guess there is a third -- those who hate both -- ha ha) . But my friends growing up and their families were always divided into two camps -- its probably just a matter of taste-- I prefer more garlic and portofino has always been bland and greasy to me. I do agree that over the last 5 years family has slipped a bit but the dishes I order still are pretty solid. The good thing is both portofino and family arent that expensive-- so try both and you decide.

                  1. albertos on metropolitan. solid northern italian fare in a nice but not too stuffy atmosphere.

                    1. i agree, although not quite in forest hills, La Tavernetta has GREAT fresh food, and it's definitely reasonable priced. Luna Sur on Metro has been pretty good the last couple times I've gone. Definitely try the duck raviolis if they're still on the menu. mmmm.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: yummylove

                        Just ate last night at La Vigna.....first time in a few years. Food was as good, if not better, than before. service was slow, unfortunately...but then again, it always was limited to only 2 waiters. Looks like they might be expanding though into the space next door. As for Portofino, its a fun restaurant to go to with the kids, but I'll agree that its not the best food...lots of burnt garlic.

                      2. Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Decided to eat at Dee's. Kids were happy with their pizza and pasta and grandma was happy with her pasta dish. The service was excellent and the waitress even sang "Happy Birthday". I felt the seafood special pasta was over priced for the amount of seafood in the dish, but it was tasty.

                        1. As mediocre as The Family Restaurant is, have to say their linguine w. clam (white) is quite sublime.