2000-05-17 / Restaurant of the Week

Restaurant Of The Week

By Teresa Barile

Fine Cuisine And Great Atmosphere At Bartolino’s

Dining out is always a pleasurable experience at Bartolino’s Italian Restaurant.It’s time for a visit to partake of wonderful meals, served piping hot by a very courteous wait staff. Recent renovations created a second dining room just as cozy as the first, where Bartolino’s pizzeria once stood.Just beyond an impressive facade with rich French doors lies the new dining room, complete with terrazzo tiled floors, soft lighting and tables covered in crisp linens. A well stocked wine cabinet flanks the dining room and offers excellent vintages fromItaly, France,California and Chile.

We absorbed the ambience while we savored delicious appetizers of Portobello mushroom strips sautéed in garlic and oil and topped with melted cheese. The oysters casino, broiled with crispy bacon, were fresh and clean.Another popular choice is the eggplant rollatini, filled with fluffy ricotta or mussels posillippo in white wine broth ($6.95). Also tempting is a bowl of the chef’s homemade escarole soup or pasta e fagioli, with tender white beans. If you prefer a cool start to your meal, try the fresh seafood salad with a tangy vinegar lemon dressing, or a caprese salad with thick slices of tomato and mozzarella.

The dynamic partnership of Bobby and Lisa Puccio tends to every detail to ensure a consistently pleasurable dining experience. The second dining room in the rear of the restaurant has French doors that open to reveal a small outdoor patio for summer dining. As cool breezes waft through this room decorated with neoclassic columns, you’ll feel as if you’re dining in a Roman garden. By the way,this room is perfect for your next private party.With all those graduations and anniversaries coming up, give Lisa a call to arrange an ideal party.

Bartolino’s serves delicious fresh fish and seafood, such as their filet of salmon Bartolino, seared to keep in all its flavorful juices. It is then sautéed with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus for a wonderful meal. A side dish of potato or pasta makes a good partner for this dish.Shrimp marinara or fra diavolo, with a spicy sauce, are plump and tender, served with linguine ($15.95). Salmon asa ciento is served over a bed of freshly sautéed spinach.

It’s difficult to decide among all the tempting veal and chicken dishes, so we’ll just have to go back again for the ones we missed. We did try the veal Florentine, with prosciutto and provolone and finished with a light spinach cream sauce, and found it to be delicious and rich in flavor and texture.Broiled veal chops are prepared Italian style with tangy vinegar peppers ($15.95). Chicken vagostella topped with prosciutto and mozzarella in a mushroom wine sauce remains a popular dish ($14.95). Juicy T-bone steaks are always available and cooked to the diner’s liking.

Pasta dishes are generous in flavor and portion, and include penne with broccoli rabe and sausage ($13.95) or more traditional favorites such as spaghetti Bolognese in a rich meat sauce.Gnocchi al pesto are fragrant in their sauce of basil, garlic and pine nuts.

Bartolino’s is proud to feature "Bindi" desserts, imported fromItaly. Try the frutti di bosco, a berry tart in a light pastry shell. Toscanella combines layers of flaky puff pastry with pastry cream and chantilly cream, topped with a chocolate ribbon for a dazzlingly delicious treat. Profiteroles are bite-sized cream puffs, filled with light cream and slathered in rich chocolate. Of course, espresso or cappuccino is standard.

Visit or revisit Bartolino’s soon for delicious food served in a lovely atmosphere by courteous waiters. They’re closed onTuesdays, but open for dinner from 3 to 11:30 p.m. other weekdays and from noon to 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Bartolino’sItalian Restaurant

34-15 Broadway

Astoria

728-7522


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