Named after the volcano in Naples, Italy, “Il Vesuvio” comes across as a typical pizzeria. However, nothing is typical about their pies. With hearty chicken marsala slices or a refreshing and simple Grandma’s slice, even pizza becomes a meal. But I was there for something beyond crust and cheese.
My party and I ordered a diverse selection of entrees. The menu does not stray far from your usual Italian fare, but sometimes simplicity is perfection. To begin, a Caprese salad, using the most fundamental of Italian ingredients, fresh slices of mozzarella and ripe tomatoes, dressed elegantly with olive oil perched atop crisp green lettuce. The classic minestrone soup had a light and flavorful vegetable broth that has a homemade feel to it, loaded with diced squash, zucchini, carrots, celery and onions.
For my entree, I enjoyed a notorious Italian dish called spaghetti carbonara. The creamy texture of the eggs partnered with the pancetta gently rests on nests of spaghetti, bound by parmesan cheese to create a sauce neither runny nor sparse. One friend was served linguini puttanesca, and was pleasantly surprised by the piquancy of this particular dish as well as the complexity of the olives, capers and the undertone of anchovy. Ziti primavera was served to my diet-conscious colleague, who was content with the thick slices of zucchini and other fresh seasonal vegetables. Not one to risk things, my not so daring friend went with the old standard of spaghetti and meatballs. The bite-sized meatballs were packed with flavor and the al dente pasta was served with a sweet marinara sauce with fresh basil.
Tiramisu, one of my all time favorite desserts, did not disappoint. Feeling lighter than most tiramisus, espresso and rich marscapone enveloped every inch of this soft cake. The tartuffo, an Italian ice cream dessert sealed in a chocolate shell with a cherry in its core, was a rich alternative and as fun to play with as it is to eat.
With no reservations required, we left Il Vesuvio with a new favorite place to go for pizza or pasta. A down-to-earth staff meets your whims with a smile and fresh baked focaccia is plentiful to sop your sauces after your meal.
39-34 Bell Blvd.
Bayside, NY 11361
Free Delivery in Bayside
Minimum Delivery $10
Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday until Midnight