Porto Bello Pizzeria
4318 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria
HOURS: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
CUISINE: Pizza, Italian
CREDIT CARDS: Yes, all major
Once a small family-run pizzeria, Porto Bello Pizzeria is now a full-service restaurant with a dining room and a menu expanded from pizza to an assortment of pastas, meats and seafood entrees.
Since Porto Bello Pizzeria opened its doors in 1999, it has been committed to its customers by keeping the value of its food high, but not increasing the prices of their dishes.
The restaurant’s vibe was very welcoming with the proper amount of lighting, comfortable seating and great service.
My colleague, Natalia Kozikowska, and I started the evening with a basket of warm bread and butter, and a slice of fresh bruschetta topped with tiny tomatoes, red onions and mozzarella on toasted Italian bread.
Our server, Andrew, suggested the hot antipasto platter for two as our starter dish, which included two-mozzarella sticks, eggplant rollatini, fried zucchini and fried calamari.
The platter was a great kick off to dinner, especially the eggplant rollatini, because the cheese and eggplant was in perfect proportion to one another.
The fried zucchini with a side of marinara sauce was full of flavor with the right amount of crispiness.
The main course came with two zesty pasta dishes, one being the rigatoni fiorentina, which included chicken, fresh spinach and mozzarella tossed in a delicious creamy pink sauce with rigatoni. The second dish was their classic and superb pasta with a creamy vodka sauce.
Even though our appetite was full, we couldn’t resist the variety of desserts listed on the dessert menu.
Dessert was the highlight of the night because we savored every sweet bite. I ordered the chocolate tiramisu and Natalia ordered the orange sorbet. The tiramisu was very light and soft with the perfect amount of sweetness. The orange sorbet was a sweet and refreshing delectable.
Porto Bello provided a wonderful dining experience in a family-friendly atmosphere.