Tag Archives: Italian Restaurant

Fiamma 41: Old-world cooking in great new spot


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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CHRIS BUMBACA

Recipes from a generation ago that originated in southern Italy have crossed the Atlantic and are now being recreated in Fiamma 41, an Italian restaurant located on 41st Avenue just off of Bell Boulevard.

Owners Alex and John Bonavita have adopted their mother’s recipes, which she learned before moving to America, and use them to create a variety of delicious dishes. The recipes are also from the time she spent in Rome and Florence.

The brick exterior and interior gives off a classy and old-fashioned feel, while the modern bar serves as a potentially popular hangout spot, with several televisions in the joint. Portraits of famous actresses from back in the day, such as Marilyn Monroe, hang on the wall.

Fiamma 41’s staple dish is the Napolitano pizza. It is an artisan-style personal pizza, 12 inches in diameter, and a great dish to share with another person (or for one if you’re extra hungry like I was). The pizza is made in a Valoriani oven from Tuscany that can reach 1,000 degrees, and is made of terracotta. Fiamma is Italian for “fire” and the restaurant does not use gas to cook their pizza.

The salsiccia e broccoli rabe pizza was delicious. It is a white pizza served with spicy Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella and — the best part of the dish — the perfectly bitter broccoli rabe. The crust was even enjoyable, and you could tell the dough was fresh.

Not in the mood for pizza? No worries. The menu also features awesome pasta and seafood options. The linguine frutti di mare is an eclectic seafood dish that was delightful. The dish includes linguine pasta served with marinara sauce, along with mussels, clams and shrimp. The marinara sauce had the perfect touch of garlic, while the mussels and clams were well-cooked and scrumptious. The shrimp bits were bite-size and juicy.

If you still have room for dessert, the tiramisu is on point. The homemade recipe is complemented perfectly by a drizzling of chocolate and sugar.

Whether you are looking for a place to grab a few drinks with friends, go on a date or dip out of the office for an enjoyable lunch, Fiamma 41 is definitely the place to be.

Fiamma 41
214-26 41st Ave., Bayside
718-225-5700

Hours:
Monday: closed
Tuesday – Thursday: 12 – 10 p.m.
Friday: 12 – 11 p.m.
Saturday: 12 – 11 p.m.
Sunday: 12 – 10 p.m.

 

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La Bottega in Howard Beach


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

La Bottega may be considered a newcomer to the rivalrous row of restaurants on Cross Bay Boulevard, but it’s no rookie.

Since it opened up on the Howard Beach strip in June, La Bottega has become the neighborhood go-to spot for Italian gourmet. In fact, on a Friday evening, the restaurant is packed way before the dinner rush comes in by 5:30 p.m. — and for good reason.

La Bottega boasts an impressively large menu, with close to 70 different types of paninis and 26 salads — including avocado, roasted salmon and cajun shrimp.

Although La Bottega is a franchise, each restaurant is individually owned, giving customers the best of both worlds — a diverse and changing menu with a name they can trust.

Unique from other restaurants, this La Bottega offers a delicious selection of homemade, mouth-watering, rich and creamy gelato — made fresh every day — and irresistible sangria, courtesy of head server Fabio Urrutia. Comparable to the sangria served in Spain, Urrutia’s recipe keeps customers coming back. In fact, at least half of the tables in the packed restaurant were topped off with the delicious blend of Brandy, Merlot wine, sugar, oranges and grape pears.

As for an appetizer, to rejuvenate your taste buds, try the calamari arabiata. A dish for two, the arabiata is served with onions and hot cherry peppers over a delicious bed of fried calamari. It’s perfect for those who like spice, and for those — including this eater — who usually stay away from fiery foods.

If you’re having an understandably tough time choosing an entrée, try the restaurant’s newest dish, the tonno alla griglia — sushi-quality tuna grilled and served with a vegetable ratatouille, with a basil and homemade pesto sauce. The dish is only a little over a week old, but it has quickly become a best-selling contender.

Other crowd favorite entrees worth checking out include the ravioli d’astic con gamberoni — lobster ravioli sautéed with shrimp and crabmeat in a vodka cream sauce — and the veal gorgonzola, which comes with veal scallopini in a gorgonzola cheese sauce.

The Casella brothers — Salvatore, Jr., Gabriele and Sergio — owners of La Bottega in Howard Beach, said they stay on top of competition by putting in their own flair to the menu. Come for the sangria, for the gelato, the fine food or the friendly and attentive wait staff. The flair at La Bottega is molto bene!

La Bottega Bayside on Urbanspoon