249-11 Northern Blvd., Little Neck
Cuisine: Northern Italian
Credit Card: Yes, All Major
Hours: Mon/Wed/Thu 5-10:30 p.m., Tue Closed, Fri/Sat 5-11:30 p.m., Sun 5-10 p.m.
Since 2001, the Conti family has welcomed guests into their dining room, which offers a warm, intimate atmosphere that brings a taste of Northern Italy to Northern Boulevard in Little Neck. The staff at Conti’s Ristorante makes you feel right at home as they deliver each homemade plate.
Conti’s moderately-priced menu offers an extensive wine list along with all the essential appetizers, pasta and main courses that can be found at most Italian fine dining restaurants. The main attractions, however, can be found in the specials that Head Chef Mario Babic works up on a daily basis.
One standout cold appetizer was the delicious lobster cocktail, served with crabmeat, chilled avocado and asparagus, all presented elegantly on the plate like a work of art. No Italian dinner can be complete without an exceptional pasta course, and the Fuzi alla Grappa fit the bill this evening. This thick pasta, served with mushrooms, offered a taste that was deceptively filled with flavor and will surely leave diners craving for more.
The main course that was the most attractive this evening was the Bronzini. This Mediterranean sea bass was served with tomatoes, onions and capers and was a rare treat that won’t be forgotten any time soon. The salty, tender fish had a distinct, mouth-watering flavor that stood out on its own and was served with fresh spinach and green beans.
To finish off the evening, the homemade napoleon is a must-have dessert and a favorite of owner Walter Conti. The flaky layers of pastry, custard and vanilla will melt in your mouth and ensure you leave with a smile on your face. There is also a live pianist on Mondays and Thursdays. Despite the impressive specials, the biggest attraction is the cordial staff, according to Eric and Robin Schwartz, two regular guests from Roslyn.
“The staff is professional and friendly, which is an incredible combination,” Eric Schwartz said. “I feel so comfortable here. I became a regular after my first time.”
- Jordan Gibbons