420 North: Service, selection, sumptuous


| padler@queenscourier.com |

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On busy Northern Boulevard, just a mile east of Little Neck, sits a new restaurant that is worth the short drive, 420 North. It’s easy to remember because it’s the address too.

With easy parking, I entered the handsome, newly-renovated space that features an ample, beautifully-designed bar and attractive, warmly-lit dining room.

The hostess took us to a beautifully-set table and introduced us to our waiter.

The Italian continental menu is unique in that the restaurant has a wood-fired hearth enabling the chef to create dishes that range from artisan pizza to a juicy seafood paella.

Our meal began with a selection from their multiple choices of appetizers. I particularly liked the lump crab cakes, pan seared and served on spring greens with a tasty dill mango Remoulade. One of my husband’s favorite dishes is baked clams, and the ones at 420 North are done just right. The whole clam is topped with garlic herb breadcrumbs. Our friends had the classic onion soup, with plentiful tender onions and topped with a rich Gruyère cheese melted to a crustiness. We also sampled the semolina-dusted crispy and tender fried calamari.

I liked their chopped house salad with Romaine hearts, amply topped with tomatoes, onions, roasted peppers and artichoke hearts, all tossed in a pungent, perfectly-balanced red wine vinaigrette. Of course there is also a classic Caesar salad topped with amply-shaved Parmesan cheese in a perfectly-blended dressing that didn’t overwhelm the salad.

I couldn’t resist trying one of the personal pizzas and I was glad I did. The fungi pizza of wild mushrooms, overflowing with fresh mozzarella cheese topped with white truffle oil, was delicious.

We shared a dish of pappardelle, topped with a porcini mushroom cream sauce and cooked al dente, just how I like it.

After ordering wine from their ample, well-priced menu we selected our main course. The paella, cooked in their wood-fired oven, was overflowing with shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, tilapia and chorizo sausage in a tasty sauce; it was accompanied by rice. It’s a must-try dish!

Another unique dish is their chicken 420. It’s a perfectly-cooked, moist, oven-roasted chicken with sausage, peppers, onions, potatoes and ample garlic served with a tasty Broccoli Rabe. It goes by many names, but this combination on the bone is hard to find.

Of course we had to sample some of their home-made desserts. They are both tasty to the palate and beautiful to behold.

At 420 North the service is attentive and professional, highlighted by the personal touch offered by one of the partners always in attendance to mingle with guests and make sure everything is to their liking. It certainly was for us, and I can happily say, try it — you’ll love it!