On The Green
Caffé on the Green: 201-10 Cross
Island Pkwy., Bayside. 423-7272.
Hours: Closed Mondays. Tues.-Thurs.,
Friday, noon-11 p.m.;
Saturday, 5-11:30 p.m.;
Sunday, 3-10 p.m.
Parking: Private lot with valet
Credit: All major cards accepted
Havent you worked hard today?
Isnt your partner in life special? Arent you special?
Then treat yourself to a lunch or dinner
worth sitting back, enjoying and delaying life right until you finish the last drop of
cappuccino. Its easy to find . . . just stop in to Caffé on the Green.
And the Caffé is easy to find on the
service road of the Cross Island Expressway (youve seen the signs for it or its
beautiful trimming of white lights about the windows and trees). As for the
"green" . . . thats the Clearview Golf Course, if you track sights by
landmarks, and it makes for a beautiful setting outside the oversized windows of this
simply beautiful home turned fine dining restaurant.
The dapper Joseph Franco has been the head
of this home once owned by Rudolf Valentino for the past eight and a half
years and the restaurant has evolved into a warmly lit haven of murals, tapestries,
stained glass and light piano music from the lounge/bar (live entertainment five nights a
week and cigar, cigarettes and pipes allowed in the bar area).
Careful not to fill up on the warm bread
and Melanzane (eggplant) spread, my companion and I ordered Vongole al Forno (Baked Clams,
$8.75), which had all of the Italian flavors you would expect perfectly balanced so that
none would be over-powering.
I tried the Pasticcio alle Paradiso (three
pastas baked with fresh spinach, ricotta and mozzarella in a light tomato and basil sauce,
$15). The menu warns that it is supposed to take 20 minutes to prepare, but if it does, I
didnt notice. A delightful blending of cheeses and pastas, the Paradiso was light,
flavorful, and I am looking forward to the half that I simply could not finish but was
sure to take with me.
My companion had the Cacciucco Fiorentino
(baby lobster tails, shrimp, scallops, calamari, clams & mussels in a light spicy
tomato sauce, served on a bed of linguine $22.50). When I asked how it was, she commented,
"you can quote me, give me a few minutes, Im enjoying it" and
made me wait. Her final conclusion was, "a little on the spicy side, perfect portion,
lots of seafood with not too much linguine, moist, tender and fresh."
There was no room for dessert, which ranged
from Haagen Dazs ice cream to "Holy Cannoli" (all for $6), but never leave
without finishing your meal with a relaxing cappuccino. Its all part of dining the
way you deserve to dine.