Pardon The Punctuation...If you're not in the mood to deal with the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and want some home style Italian cuisine, Just one stop on the subway towards Queens is Bella Via in Long Island City. This spot was recommended by my dear friend Ronnie Mund aka "Ronnie The Limo Driver" from the "Howard Stern" show and he knows his Italian food. After a long day walking around Manhattan I hopped on the 7 train and got off on the Vernon exit to meet up with Ronnie and his lovely girlfriend Stephanie for this lovely dining experience. Being the super punctual person that I am, I got there about 30 min early and made my way to the bar where bartender "Carmine" gave me the low down on what I had to have there. First off they serve Johnny Walker Gold at the bar for $12 a drink. For you scotch drinkers out there that is a friggin awesome price for what is usually at least a $20 drink. Here's the rub.
SCHIACCIATA CON ROBIOLA E` OLIO DI TARTUFO: with robiola cheese and truffle oil. This is a cow's, goat, and sheep's milk cheese that is rich in flavor and the truffle oil compliments the rich cheese seamlessly. Make sure you order it because it's one of those dishes you won't find on every menu and it's definitely worth a try.
POLIPO IN INSALATA ALLA CIPOLLA ROSSA: Octopus salad with potatoes and red onion. The octopus was fresh and the dish had the right amount of acid to cleanse the palate before my main course. Solid menu item.
STINCO DI AGNELLO BRASATA AL BAROLO: Lamb Shank braised with Barolo wine. They had me at Barolo! Slowly braised to perfection with fresh vegetables on the side. It's a lot of food so I recommend sharing on this one. Would order this a hundred times over.
If you want to venture out of the city and don't want to be surrounded by the Brooklyn hipster vibe, make your way over to Bella Via and who knows...you might hear someone say "Whoa whoa whoa..stop the clock" just a table away. Thanks to Ronnie for suggesting them and Carmine for takin such good care of us. I'll be coming back for sure the next time I'm in New York.