On a rather nondescript stretch of 108th Street in the 64th Avenue area of Forest Hills, we were loking for the old red-naugahyde booths of the vintage Mario's Italian Restaurant, which had long given way to a fruit stand. Along with a hungry wife and birthday mom sharing the Corolla with our two daughters, Emma (she's eight) spotted EMMA's, a bright spot in the night...and, gladly, it's more than pizza, which comes fresh from a WOOD-fired brick oven...there's a full menu and bar...with a professional, pleasant wait-staff (including the eponymous Emma) and food that has sparkle...a welcome beacon especially for Queens.
We shared almost everything, including a nifty cold antipasto, with quality proscuitto and red peppers, caesar salad that had solid anchovy flavor and that Pizza, it was tasty, but not as fascinatingly mind-blowing as the CALZONE, worthy of a mention alongside Grimaldi's under the B'klyn Bridge, not for its size, but for the great homemade dough and freshest cheeses. It was mouth-watering and had the special wood-char flavor I crave. (Oh, by the way, the sauteed side of broccoli in garlic and oil is another winner). Mom and the wife had the chicken parm. and cacciatore, which I found slightly less thrilling, but they were happy, and that counts - A Lot! It's not easy finding decent chow around the Macy's Queens Center, unless of course you're in love with the Food Court...but this was a mere 5 minutes away. The sprightly staff brought the evening to a close with a candle-topped rich and rewarding tiramisu cake, as we sang the Birthday song...
So, while our usual Forest Hills favorite was the ever-popular Nick's, EMMA's proved to be a FIND.
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