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Nov 17, 2008 03:55 AM

Il Poeta on Metropolitan (Forest Hills)

Went back for the second time to the new Northern Italian place on Metropolitan and again it was superb.
Great service, super food and reasonable price (appetizers ~$10; entrees around 20 bucks, nice chianti for 30/bottle) - Highly recommended.
98-04 Metropolitan Ave (just east of Woodhaven Blvd) (718) 544-4223.

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  1. what did you have, and since this is your first post, please elaborate on other restaurants in the area that you like as well, otherwise, you might be perceived as a shill for this place, and if it is good, as you say, you might risk having the posts removed. So, please elaborate, on the meal. Thanks.

    6 Replies
    1. re: janie

      I had the chicken with a parmesan crust in a lemon/white wine sauce the first time around, and the veal ossobucco the second time. Both were excellent, as were the veal scallopine and red snapper w caperberries (?) had by my girlfriend. I've had better ossobucco (Il Toscano in Douglaston) but it was pretty darned good.
      The fried calamari appetizer was very well done both times- not as good as Manducati's in LIC, but surprisingly, better than that of Tavernetta, which I held as the gold standard in Central Queens.

      1. re: dbosullivan

        thanks for the details, do they have a website with menu available? I am a longtime customer of Tavernetta, they have the absolute best grilled chicken hero with fresh mozzarella and shallot vinagrette.....have you tried their new location? They raised their prices and I wish they had some less expensive entrees for lunch besides the hero's. I hope they will make it during these leaner economic times. I hope to try Il Poeta, thanks for the post about it.

        1. re: janie

          I think they're working on it- the owner said it would be

          1. re: janie

            I've been over to Michael's (Tavernetta Europa) new location two or three times. My problems with it are:
            Way too noisy
            They fragged the calamari appetizer by adding fried zucchini
            The getups are ridiculous
            Still great food but it's lost a little in my eyes. That and it's no longer three blocks away.

            1. re: dbosullivan

              yeah, the outfits were really funny, when I stopped by for a new menu, I thought maybe it was just a grand opening thing. The waitresses were dressed liked french maids from an early 70's Euro porn flick. And his outfit, was just downright disturbing.

              I liked that the other place was this kind of funky free standing little spot, now it's just another doorway in a strip of anonymous stores. I think he would have been better off moving somewhere else if he needed more room.

              1. re: janie

                Would you say that the food is pretty consistent?

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Are you part owner of the place? We ate there last week, and you bet I'm not coming back anytime soon.
          Il Poeta is located among four other Italian restaurants of my liking, so I imagine more competition and a new Chef would make it even more interesting for the consumer, but boy was I wrong!!
          Finding parking was easy, the place was nicely decorated, nothing over the top, we were seated promptly, and the menu was small yet elaborate so my expectations were high. And then everything went downhill.
          When a menu is small, the list I expected was for the item on it to be available, specially on an early Saturday evening when the weekend is just starting.
          Since I was on the mood for some risotto with seafood and the two in the menu were not available, I was offered risotto au safran (saffron), which not only is a side dish (not a main course) but is also French, not Italian. One of the specials of the days was Ossobucco with risotto so I opted for that, and my wife selected pasta w/salmon.
          Food took its time to arrive, which sometimes its a good sign, but not the case here.
          The Ossobucco was delicious, but too small of a portion, the risotto was overcooked and might as well been purchased at a Chinese fast food restaurant (THAT bad). My wife's pasta was average at best.
          When I received the bill, my "special of the day" was almost double of the most expensive item on the menu. Specials of the day might be a Chef's new creation of something new and fresh, not a dish that can be overpriced because it isnt listed on the menu, that only shows the place lack of class.just like the house wine that even though tasted cheap, it wasn't reflected on the price.
          If anyone recommends this place, he is either an owner or a friend.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Thewhitetiger

            I have to say- I went there with a group of five ppl around two weeks ago. It was friday night and the place was crowded. The best thing about the night was that they sat us right away- that is the only good thing I can say-
            we had the worst service you could ever imagine-
            we ordered appetizers, a bottle of wine and dinner-
            the waitress repeated everything and wrote it down to make sure it was correct. It wasnt and we corrected it
            she advised that one of things on the menu was not "in season", which was odd, bc the place only had been opened this winter-
            they brought out the apps (which the owner or manager helped bring out) and everything was wrong-
            we advised them, and gave them the order again
            they then brought back out our apps and still one thing was missing- It should be noted that three of the apps were salads-
            the food at this point was okay- they were salads, however, two ppl did not like the ceasar-
            then the waitress came and read our order back to us again to make sure it was right-
            dinner was brought out and again an order was wrong
            we gave her the order again, and she brought it out and still was wrong- honeslty we just gave up-
            the manger saw all this was going on and did nothing to fix it- at the very least, he should have taken over the service of the table-
            to top it off- the food was medicore-
            I had one of the chicken dishes, which was average and on the small side-
            I would never go back and would never recommend the place to anyone-
            considering the place is competing with a buch of other restuarants in the imm. area, they should try harder

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. My wife and I went this past weekend. We were in the mood for Italian. I started my search in the city and she said we should try Il Poeta. We only know it because our favorite wine store, The Wine Room, recommended it highly. And because we really like their wine, we decided to try it. We were not disappointed. We had the special appetizer, burrata. It has a little truffle oil on top. Can't go wrong with burrata. We split 2 main dishes, gnocchi and a red snapper special. The Gnocchi was amazing, but the red snapper was just ok. We also had a great Nero Di Avola wine. We ended up talking to a partner/owner, I think. He was very nice. Anyway, we loved it. I have to say we were there on a Saturday night around 10:30 and the place was still packed. In this economy, this is a great sign. I would hate to be in a place that I really like and find it empty.
              Anyway, Metropolitan Ave is really restaurant row in Forest Hills. You would think Austin would be it, but it's not.