154-11 Powell’s Cove Blvd.,
Cuisine: Authentic Italian
Credit Card: Accepts all major credit cards
Reservations: Available by phone
Open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday 12 to 3 p.m., Dinner 5 to 10 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday 5 to 10 p.m.
Due Ponti of Whitestone provides the kind of cityscape background to your fair-weather dining experience that is reserved for most Hollywood movies.
They provide fine Italian dining indoors and out. While weather permits, they have an open patio that extends to a wide dock that offers beautiful views of the Long Island Sound and the Throgs Neck Bridge.
With a new chef, John Cicinelli, Due Ponti will begin changing their menu according to the season. Cincinelli, who studied his art in Milan at the Ristorante Marchesi, and for 15 years was on a culinary sojourn throughout Italy and France, said he will feature heartier fish and meat dishes more popular in Northern Italy for the colder seasons. In the warmer months he’ll bring back the more vegetable laden dishes popular in the south.
His mantra is, “Make it authentic and make it good!” He notes that many restaurants in the area offer mostly Italian-American fair. He points out popular shrimp parmesan dishes and states that restaurants in Italy would never pair fish with dairy. “This place is too beautiful for shrimp parmesan,” he exclaims.
In October, he hopes to start a tradition of wine tasting at the location, beginning with wines from the Lombardi region of Italy. “We’re gonna start off in the north and go south,” he said. He’s thinking the tasting, which he wants to include a five course meal, will be about $65. “It will be worth every penny,” he said.
Cicinelli is tossing around the idea of having the restaurant celebrate a traditional Italian Carnevale with the wait staff dressed up and all the merriment that goes along with it. “I’m gonna put this place on this map,” he said.
Cincinelli, who once owned and operated a three star restaurant in Battery Park, said, “We can get four stars here.”
He also enjoys dazzling with the simplicity of dishes like bouchot mussels with fresh thyme, white wine, garlic and shallots. Cincinelli explains bouchot mussels are grown on ropes; they are bigger, cleaner and meatier.
Another simple dish, Arancini are stuffed rice balls with Ragu and cheese, then coated in bread crumbs. What may seem like a heavy dairy dish, is actually quite light fair. It is lightly creamy with its delicate bread crumb exterior.
His pappardelle with Bolognese style ragu is the perfect dish for a cool autumn evening while dining outside. The large flat pasta noodles, which he makes himself, are cooked al-dente and the heartiness of the meat sauce warms the stomach nicely.
For his heartiest dish, he has a seared steak in gorgonzola sauce with red wine beef reduction. Cincinelli is no stranger to popular Italian-American dishes such as chicken parmesan which he serves with his homemade pasta in the center not to distract from the chicken.