In The Family
Luigi’s Family Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria
205-15 35th Avenue, Bayside
Credit: All major
Hours: Saturday to Thursday,
10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Delivery: Free at lunch and dinner, $9 minimum order
Every time I eat at Luigi’s Family Italian Restaurant
and Pizzeria in Bayside, I feel like I’m spending a Sunday afternoon at my
The food is authentic and delicious, the service is
friendly and fast, the atmosphere is relaxed and casual, and the price is
right – perfect for a quick bite or a complete dinner.
During my latest visit to the restaurant – which has the
quaint charm of a typical New York pizzeria – owner Luigi Romano sat and
chatted with my companion and I as we tried a variety of luscious Italian
treats, from his specialty Marinara Pizza ($2.25 per slice), with spicy
marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and a crispy thin crust, to
delicious Panini sandwiches with grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, roasted
peppers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and goat cheese on homemade
bread ($4.25). Both dishes were flavorful, delicious, and light, with a
perfect blend of tastes.
Romano talked to a few other customers while he served us
our next course, which included an Antispasto Salad ($9) with ham, cheese,
salami, olives, roasted red peppers, green peppers, eggs tomatoes and
lettuce and a hearty portion of Fried Calamari ($6). The salad was crisp,
fresh, and tasty, with just the right amount of dressing. The calamari,
which came with a zesty tomato dipping sauce, was the lightest I’ve ever
had. It was cooked perfectly and didn’t leave a drop of oil on our fingers
when we picked it up.
Next, Romano brought out a taste of his Penne Vodka
($11.75), which featured pasta al dente, a delicious, creamy sauce and
sundried tomatoes for sweetness. Romano explained that the dish was one he
introduced to the restaurant, and said, “My father kind of likes more
traditional stuff. You know, spaghetti and meatballs . . . I use old family
recipes, but Pasta Vodka is one I introduced.”
My companion and I then tasted a bite of Romano’s
Chicken Marsala ($11.25,) which featured tender chicken smothered in a
sweet, tangy and light Marsala wine sauce. Romano also gave us a meatball to
taste and some garlic knots. The huge meatball was seasoned as well as
grandma’s, and the garlic knots were not oily or overpowering.
To finish off the meal, Romano brought us some hot coffee
and two of his famous Zepoles – or fried dough balls – with powdered
sugar, which were tastier and less greasy than the local fair variety.
So if you’re looking for five star quality in a casual,
relaxed atmosphere, drop by Luigi’s and say to Romano – and tell them
the Tribune sent you.