Looking for real Italian food, but can’t go to Italy? Then how about Maspeth?
Head chef and part-owner Michael Zampitelli, who is an Italian native turned Maspeth resident, brings nearly 40 years of Italian cooking experience to the neighborhood. Zampitelli owned a popular restaurant in nearby Glendale, which was forced to close in 2008 due to high rental costs.
Zampitelli, who has worked in the restaurant business starting as a teenager in Rome, wants to bring affordable, authentic Italian food to the neighborhood with Osteria.
Chicken cordon bleu
“Everywhere you go in the city, the neighborhoods are mixed. You can find everything,” Zampitelli said. “Personally I think in Maspeth there are no real Italian restaurants. You find diners and pizzerias, but no real Italian restaurants.”
Aside from Zampitelli’s extensive Italian cooking experience, Osteria’s food is authenticated by the ingredients, such as cheeses and olive oil, which are imported directly from Italy.
The menu at Osteria is wide and can satisfy many taste buds.
Starters include soups, salads and appetizers. One appetizer, the eggplant parmigiana, is covered with fresh mozzarella and Parmigiano cheese with a savory marinara sauce.
Spaghetti alla carbonara
Entrees include a range of pastas, chicken, veal and fish dishes.
Zampitelli’s spaghetti alla carbonara is a masterpiece at $11.95, for those not watching their waistline. The pasta dish is a mix of pecorino cheese, a creamy sauce and bits of bacon.
The chicken cordon bleu, at $14.95, is a hefty meal with big pieces of tender chicken, served with mushrooms and mashed potatoes.
Desserts on the menu include an Italian cheesecake with ricotta cheese and tiramisu, along with other Italian classics. And of course wines, such as merlot, are on the menu as well.
With Zampitelli’s return, some of his long-time customers have followed him to Osteria. He believes it’s because of the quality of his food and the friendly way he treats his patrons.
“Everyone who comes here we treat like family, that’s why they’ve follow me for many, many years,” Zampitelli said.
57-57 61st Street, Maspeth
Hours: Monday-Sunday Noon-11 p.m.
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