For decades, whenever I go to Forest Hills I head to The Family Restaurant, offering Italian cuisine and crispy-crusted pizza, on bustling Queens Boulevard for lunch and dinner, and I’m happy to report to you that it is as good as ever.
The wood-paneled decor with linen-covered tables is warm and inviting. On one wall are the pizza ovens and on another is a fully stocked bar with a large selection of wines and beer for every taste and budget. The well-spaced tables with flowers make the room intimate. In the rear is a private room for parties of up to 50 people.
But as with any restaurant, the food and ambiance are important, but the welcoming staff is critical. This restaurant has it all. The owner, Robert, can be seen greeting guests many evenings and the manager, Peter, there for decades, ensures your comfort. The professional waiters have also been in place truly making you feel like they’re extended family.
They have survived the very fickle restaurant industry trend of turnover and short life by providing consistently excellent food for 44 years!
The day I visited I sampled their crispy thin-crust pizza made with creamy mozzarella cheese and luscious rich tomatoes. There are multiple choices for toppings but I’m a purist and like it this way. But they offer a “pizetta” size so each guest can have his or her personal favorite. My friends had the meatball with mushrooms and onions. Both mouthwatering.
But that’s just the start. I chose my favorite entree, salmon filet grilled and prepared just how I like it, medium rare and accompanied by my choice of vegetables. Most of the entrees are offered with salad or pasta. There are over a dozen different pastas to choose from and in fact my guests chose rigatoni and fagioli and linguine in a vodka sauce with shrimp as their main courses. Each one was perfectly prepared and so large a portion that each of them took home the leftovers.
From steaks to poultry to veal to fish there’s something for everyone at reasonable prices. For a more informal meal, there are overstuffed hero sandwiches starting at $6.50 and the whole pizza starts at $6.00 with a large Sicilian pie at $16.00 that a whole family could share. They even offer customized pizza by the slice.
Of course no meal is complete without dessert, and here they offer their famous homemade cheesecake, cannoli and rum cake. For the tartufo fans they serve it surrounded by rich whipped cream. There is also a selection of sherbets, too. A delicious finish to an authentic Italian meal.
For those living within a few miles there is free delivery available and curbside delivery of take-out orders. Although it’s a challenging area for parking they solved the problem with valet parking Monday through Sunday. They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. and weekends until midnight. So try it, you’ll love it, too.
The Family Restaurant
110-80 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills
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