Dishing with Dee: New Il Bacco in Bayside throws grand-opening bash

By Dee Richard

On Sunday night, the Wednesday Il Bacco regulars held their last food-and-drink bash. It was a bittersweet evening. We have all been hanging out there for the past 15 years. The redeeming aspect of Il Bacco’s last evening was that it had a ribbon-cutting and grand opening the next night a few doors down on Northern Boulevard off Little Neck Parkway in Little Neck.

Il Bacco’s new spot, at 253-24 Northern, looks great. The decor is gorgeous. In addition to a larger bar and restaurant, it features delicious brick oven pizza.

In order to tap into the lucrative catering business, the second and third floors were converted into catering spaces. The third floor also has a roof garden, making it perfect for cocktails at a warm-weather affair. There are also three elevators installed on the premises. It looks as though every necessary amenity has been carefully thought out. Lots of luck to Joe Oppedisano.

Although there are no shortages of restaurants in that area, there was a need for a larger quality space and that is exactly what Joe has produced. Bayside’s Valentino’s had better move over as there’s a new kid on the block. Queens now has a daily double dose of high-class establishments and it’s soon to be a trifecta as Joe Franco, the original owner of the old Café (now Valentino’s) on the Green, in January will start the construction of his new Caffé on the Green or whatever name he chooses to give it.

Joe bought the Whitehouse Restaurant in Whitestone as well as the parking lot and the house next door. He also said he has spectacular plans for a third great new place, which will make it hard to decide where to go to showcase your event. Someone should notify Zagat.

The new Il Bacco ribbon-cutting took place at 6 p.m. with the reception following. It was supposed to be over by 9 p.m. I left at 9:30 p.m. and the place was still going. One of the bartenders left at 2:30 a.m. and one of the guests said he finally packed it in at 4:30 a.m. Joe, with a party crowd like that, you are going to have to sell an awful lot of pizza to pay for that tab — especially since during the course of the evening close to 1,000 people must have come and gone through his doors.

On Thursday evening, the Holly Civic Association held its monthly meeting in the conference room in Flushing Hospital. State Sen. Frank Padavan was the evening’s guest speaker. The members said afterward how much they enjoyed the presentation. Padavan brought them up to date on both Albany and their own local events. He also brought and left a large box of literature which went a long way to explain the whys and wherefores of things as well as cards containing city and state agency contacts and their respective phone numbers.

At the end of the meeting, the senator was presented with a cupcake with a lit candle to wish him a happy birthday. Oct. 31 is his birthday. A happy birthday with many more to come!

On Friday evening, we stopped at the Blue Bay Diner for a bite to eat and ran into state Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn at a table with about a dozen constituents. Nettie is one of my favorite pols. I love that woman and how she stands up against all odds to get things done. Keep up the good work, Nettie!

Saturday night was a big bash. It was the 100th anniversary celebration of St. Luke’s School in Whitestone. It was at the North Hills Country Club in Manhasset, L.I.

The honorees were the Sisters of St. Dominic, Paul Nicaj, Olimpia “Barbie” Stavile (posthumously), Peter Zuccarello and Deirdre Ring Zuccarello. The Zuccarellos and the Zerillo Corporate Plaza sponsored the event. So many people turned out to help celebrate and they contributed toward making it a huge success. Even the political types turned out. The ones who were there when I was were Padavan, City Councilman Dan Halloran, Ed Braunstein, Paul Vallone and Elio Forcina.

Don’t forget the second-annual Bowne Park Halloween Festival for the kids benefitting St. Mary’s Health Care System for Children. It will be held Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is sponsored by Garden Works, Urban Irrigation, Queens Garden Nursery, the Costal Preservation Network, Paladino Printing and Graphics and neighborhood businesses. Activities will include a live concert, costume prizes, pony rides, free refreshments, face painting, pumpkin painting and tattoos. Dress as your favorite Wizard of Oz character. Donations are appreciated. For info, call Pat Farrell at 718-932-0800.

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