Il Fagiano Ristorante, a neighborhood Italian eatery hidden on a residential stretch of Utopia Parkway in Whitestone, is a Find with a capital “F.” Be prepared to be surprised because Il Fagiano brings a taste of Italy to Queens.
Come casual, come hungry - it is all about the food. Once you are seated in the spacious dining room, get ready for a great meal. You can bring a lot of friends, because the tables can easily be moved to accommodate large parties.
The menu is divided into six sections: The Antipasti that include hot and cold appetizers; the Salads; the Pastas, with a wide selection of favorites for every palate; and sections for Chicken, Veal and Fish. There are also daily specials to complete the well-chosen menu options.
Our group started with the hot antipasto. This included a platter of grilled and fried vegetables and seafood. The grilled shrimp and calamari were perfect, as were all the other selections. The large platter of food was devoured rapidly.
For the main course we ordered the grilled veal chop. It was cooked to perfection with a light and flavorful seasoning.
The Osso Buco special was succulent and, according to my guests, the best they have ever tasted. The Sea Bass special was fresh, and topped with assorted shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops.
To our surprise, even the usually prosaic chicken parmigiana was exceptional. We were left with the feeling that whatever we ordered would be prepared to perfection.
The desserts were typical for most local restaurants. The standout among them was the carrot cake. We also enjoyed the Italian cheesecake and frozen parfaits.
The prices for main courses ranged from $12 for pastas and chicken dishes up to $25 for the grilled veal chop. Most fish and veal dishes are priced under $20. The portions are generous, and the main courses are served with potatoes and vegetables.
Did I mention that both the bread and coffee were excellent and ample?
We live in a borough of neighborhoods and restaurants like Il Fagiano contribute to the wonderful and colorful fabric of life we are blessed with as New Yorkers.
Eat, drink — the secret is out. Look for the sign of the pheasant, Il Fagiano.
Il Fagiano Ristorante
17-12 Utopia Parkway
Whitestone, N.Y. 11357
Web site: www.ilfagiano.com
Hours: Open seven days for lunch and dinner
Sunday to Thursday from noon to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m.
Credit Cards: All major cards accepted.
Full Bar - Special party menus available.
Catering - available for both on and off premises.