So, we were looking for dinner following my daughter's gymnastics meet last night in Medford. The only place we really know in that area is La Marguerita brick oven pizza, but we weren't really in the mood for slices (which are excellent there) and had three starving kids. Heading for Friendly's in the Stop 'n Shop plaza on Horseblock and Patchogue/Medford Rd., I noticed a new (to me) place called Cafe Gia Pizza & Pasta. Turns out they've been there a bit over a year. Typical for Long Island, pizza on one side and restaurant on the other. Everything new-looking and spotless and the staff was quite welcoming. Plasma TVs arrayed around the room showing a soccer game. Plenty of booths and a few tables.
They start you off with a large basket of warm french bread and butter and "pizza bread" with tomato and plenty of garlic. We devoured it in seconds and they quickly brought another basket. Menu is typical red sauce italian, everything from eggplant/meatball parm to chicken marsala, various pastas, etc. Entrees ranged from $11 to $17 or so – an osso bucco special was $22. We started with a hot antipasto platter that included 3 shrimp oreganata, 3 stuffed clams, three stuffed mushrooms and a large eggplant rollatini. All were piping hot and delicious. My wife and I also split a house salad, which had plenty of black and green olives and a tasty blue cheese dressing.
For mains, we shared the chicken francese (my wife's ultimate test for a new italian place) and fettucine alfredo. Both were excellent, pasta was perfectly al dente and deliciously cheesy, and the chicken was tender and the butter sauce had a good hit of lemon. Kid’s meals were fine, and my older daughter’s pasta fagiole was tasty.
Service was very attentive and friendly, and everything that came out of the kitchen looked great. Bill for five of us (including one glass of wine) was $65. In all, much better in my opinion than the Medford Pastaria and nearly as good as our favorite “family” Italian, La Piazza in Plainview. We’ll be back.