If you hunger for good Italian food with comfortable, family-style ambience, then Aunt Bella’s is the place for you. The Coy family must be doing something right because Aunt Bella’s has been serving three generations of diners at this same location.
Richie Coy, hands-on owner, helped us decide on our evening’s fare from the long menu and the listing of weekly specials.
We shared all the servings starting with a bountiful assorted antipasto on a bed of lettuce under artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, salami, mushrooms, slices of Parmesan and topped with anchovies ($7.95).
Our next tasty selection was mussels in a marinara sauce - a little messy to eat but so worth it. The seafood, as are all their foodstuffs, was fresh since Coy told us all his long-time providers are local, in contact daily and agreeable to urgent deliveries. Therefore, he always has the freshest vegetables, meat, seafood and produce available.
Our next course was the popular Penne ala Vodka ($10.95); cooked al dente. On the menu are seven pastas that can be combined with your choice from 14 sauces ranging from Marinara ($8.75) to Seafood ($16.95).
For our main course, Coy suggested tuna from the special “From the light side” menu displayed on the table for my fish-loving partner and for me the ever popular Veal Cutlet Parmesan ($13.75) from the regular menu.
Sandwiches are also listed on the main menu. There are 15 ranging from Meat Balls – $4.75; to Sausage Parmigiana – $5; to Shrimp Parmigiana – $5.95. Pizzas on the menu ranged from $10.95 (cheese) to White Pizza ($15).
In addition to the regular and special menus, there are also catering and drinks menus. Catering can be either off-premises (minimum of 15 people) or on-premises (minimum of 25 people up to 50 to reserve the entire restaurant.)
Drinks include tea, coffee, soda, beer and wine by both the glass ($5.50) and by the bottle (Zinfandel – $15). Coy expects to have a full-serve-bar liquor license soon.
Desserts are always one of my favorite parts of a meal. So, we ordered typical Italian ones. Tartufo (a frozen ball of ice cream coated with chocolate) and a large Cannoli stuffed with creamy sweetened ricotta and bits of chocolate. Coffee and espresso completed the meal.
Dining at Aunt Bella’s was a pleasant, relaxing way to spend two unrushed hours in an unpretentious room where you feel like family.
46-19 Marathon Parkway
Little Neck, NY
PRICES: Moderate - Appetizers $4.95 – $10.25; Pasta $8.95 – $16.95; Seafood $11.95 – $14.25;
Entrees $10.25 – $14.95 and Desserts $3.75 – $4.00.
HOURS: Open 7-days - noon – 11 p.m.
TAKE OUT AND CATERING: Yes, on and off site
ACCESSIBILITY: Two steps at entrance.