Tag Archives: Vivaldi

Dining: Vivaldi is better than ever

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


When George Makkos, who shares the ownership of Terrace on the Park, took over the longtime Bayside favorite Cafe on the Green, I knew the restaurant would be in professional hands. And with Billy Pappas running the place, it has exceeded all my expectations. Now they have tweaked the menu with some new dishes and a wonderful player piano.

On a recent cold night I entered Vivaldi and was instantly warmed by the glow from the fireplace and the melodious sounds of the piano playing favorites from the ‘50s. The bar was filled and my formers who were there waiting for me were biting into a crispy pizza Margherita (pizza was just added to the menu from $11 to $13) and sipping on their drinks. It was hard to pull them away from the cozy bar.

We made our way into the main dining room that seemed to have a golden glow from the muted lighting to the warm dark woods and soft beige golden walls. We were ushered to a square table for eight that I like because it’s great for conversation. And near us was another round table that accommodates 12 people. Across the room there were well-spaced, candlelit tables covered with white tablecloths. I loved that the staff offered me a black linen napkin so I wouldn’t get white threads on my black slacks. The attention to detail here began the moment I sat down.

Although there is a well-stocked crispy crusted bread basket to nibble from, I wanted to sample one of the new appetizers. We ordered the pizza special and it was loaded with sausage, peppers and onions on a thin, crispy crust. It was mouth-watering and delicious.
We also sampled and shared a succulent burrata with pepperonata, which was firm on the outside and soft on the inside. We were wiping the plate to get every last taste. Next time we will order more than one. My favorite.

Marinated grilled octopus served with chick pea salad and yogurt with an olive purée was so good we immediately asked for another order.

The night we were there, there was a perfectly prepared linguini with half of lobster fradiavolo on the menu. The portion was so big we all shared it.

There are classic Italian dishes with my all-time favorite chicken scarpariello presented with a bountiful plate of sausage, onions, cherry peppers and thickly cut fried potatoes. There is also a classic chicken parmigiana, as well as chicken or veal marsala.

There are multiple fish choices and we had the black sea bass with sautéed bell peppers and broccoli rabe embellished with a light garlic olive oil. It fell off the fork and was a big hit as we each asked for a bite.

What’s good about having a few friends who are willing to share their food is that I can sample multiple choices from the well-priced menu.

Of course the ending is as delicious as the beginning. Being a group of women we had the crispy apple tart topped with vanilla ice cream and asked for seven forks! But we added a sampling of little donuts that came out of the kitchen almost too hot to eat with a raspberry jam dip! Delicious!

With the piano added in the bar and live music on Thursday night it’s a great place to go for a small bite by the fire or a wonderful meal. Vivaldi has also added a brunch on Sundays for $24.95, offering a mouth-watering choice of lobster omelet frittatas, lemon ricotta pancakes and much more.

Try Vivaldi for lunch, brunch or dinner Tuesday through Sunday. You will love every bite served up by the warm and welcoming staff.

201-10 Cross Island Parkway, Bayside
Complimentary parking and wheelchair accessible



Vivaldi: Life begins anew

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


It’s had several reincarnations but Vivaldi has got it right.

The beloved Cafe on the Green was a go-to place for fine food, wonderful ambiance and a warm welcome from operator Joe Franco.

Now, it’s Billy Pappas at the door and around the room mingling with patrons. The site overlooking the Throgs Neck Bridge is in good hands once again.

They recently opened for lunch and I was so happy to be there. As I got out of my car and walked up to the front door I couldn’t help but smile at the beautiful landscaping surrounding the building and the gorgeous flowers at the front door. They set a tone as I walked inside and was greeted by the hostess.

The handsome bar is enhanced by the stone fireplace and warm woods and banquettes used in the open area of the dining room. The room is very inviting, but we chose to sit in the larger dining area adjacent to the large terrace. It was filled with sunlight and overlooked the beautiful gardens and weeping willow tree on the adjacent golf course.

But I know Vivaldi’s greatness is the food, which sings. I began my meal with the best fried calamari I have ever eaten. The chef has enhanced the crispy fish with caramelized onions and a wonderful blend of spices. I also liked the roasted red peppers in a tangy marinara sauce.

Of course there are salads. I liked the combination of ricotta salata with red onions, olives and mint in a lemon vinaigrette. And the tasty tomato soup with basil and topped with crusty croutons had a lovely texture.

The bread basket is not to be ignored. It is served with a rich olive oil for dipping the crusty bread. I kept nibbling because it was irresistible.

For the main course there was an outrageously delicious dish of spicy lamb sausage with sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, spinach, tomato and pieces of feta. It ignited my palate and I enjoyed each bite.

For pasta lovers there is a must-try rich ricotta gnocchi. And the catch of the day is prepared as you request it. There are also chicken and vegetarian dishes.

Of course no meal is complete without dessert and we had a sampling of several. Vivaldi has its own pastry chef and he should be given an Oscar for taste and presentation. The Italian cheesecake melted in my mouth but I relished the small, warm donuts that had a raspberry sauce for dipping. Of course there is a chocolate treat in their hazelnut torte. What a wonderful way to end a delightful meal.

I can’t wait to sample their new Sunday brunch. They are open every night except Monday for dinner. See their specials for ladies on Thursday nights.

Try it, I know you’ll love it!

201-10 Cross Island Parkway, Bayside
Major credit cards accepted
Open seven days
Saturday & Sunday brunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Online Reservations
Wheelchair Friendly
Accepts Credit Cards





Bayside restaurant Vivaldi celebrates grand opening

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

Vivaldi, at 201-10 Cross Island Parkway, celebrated its grand opening on July 23.

“I feel excellent for being able to bring it to opening day today,” said operator George Makkos. “I’m happy to be here.”

The restaurant replaces Patrizia’s of Bayside. It was also once Caffe on the Green and Valentino’s on the Green.



New owner looks to end unlucky streak at former Patrizia’s of Bayside site

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The new owner of a luckless Bayside restaurant site is determined to end a streak of bad breaks at the locale.

“We’re going to bring it back to its original glory,” said George Makkos, whose newest restaurant, Vivaldi, replaces Patrizia’s of Bayside.

The 201-10 Cross Island Parkway building had been a revolving door of new management since the popular Caffe on the Green closed in 2009.

Valentino’s on the Green took over after that, but was soon followed by Patrizia’s. Patrizia’s shut down after less than a year in business.

Vivaldi is set to open for dinner in the first or second week of June.

“I don’t want to compare myself to anybody,” said Makkos, 51, of Manhattan. “I cannot speak for anybody else. I can only speak for what I stand for, and I stand for quality, perfection, impeccable service and attentiveness to the customer.”

A Parks Department spokesperson said Makkos has a record of running successful upscale restaurants. The president of 123 Restaurant Group, he operates several wedding venues and catering halls in Queens, Manhattan and Long Island, including Battery Gardens and the Venetian Yacht Club.

Makkos said the menu will feature homemade dishes cooked to original recipes concocted by Caffe’s former executive chef. He added that Vivaldi will use the finest ingredients on everything including brick-oven pizza.

While the menu and prices have not been finalized, Makkos said there will be “gracious portions for a value.” Food options will also change to refl ect the season, with lighter dishes in the summer.

Vivaldi is in the process of obtaining a liquor license. The restaurant will be open seven days a week. After the June launch, it will expand to offer lunch and catering along with dinner.