Spring in Tuscan Hills
QUEENS, N.Y. – This year spring arrived earlier than usual in New York City. Throughout the city, flowers and trees, especially cherry blossoms, sprouted in mid-March. Nonetheless, an idea usually associated with spring is that it is often used in literature to personify new beginnings, a rebirth or renewal. Spring is at its peak during the month of May, and is also a time of year when we may prepare for a high school or college graduation, Mothers’ Day, or a baptism or barmizvah. One way to culminate and capture any of these memorable moments or beginnings is by going to an exceptional restaurant and enjoying the delicious food.
Therefore, one extraordinary restaurant that I would recommend highly is Tuscan Hills Italian Restaurant, located in Forest Hills, Queens. I know what you are thinking; you want us to travel to a restaurant outside of Manhattan? Why not? In fact it would add to your experience and meet the spring theme of, try something new.
Many Manhattan restaurants are great but can fit into the category of “been there, done that.” Traveling to Tuscan Hills would offer a unique experience for all those invited. For example, a good friend of mine who is Danish travels toNew York City at least once a year. He stays in Manhattan and does the usual tourist thing. Since he has been to New York several times and eaten in very nice restaurants, I proposed trying a new eatery and scene, unlike the bustling sounds of Manhattan. Without trepidation he thought it was a great idea.
My wife and I, as well as our friends, have traveled to eat at Tuscan Hills several times. It is owned and managed by Executive chef Roberto Lamorte and Marco Del Peschio. They are from Livorno, Italy and while arriving in NYC several years ago, they brought their culinary skills to Trattoria Dopo Teatro, in the Times Square district. After several years of honing their gastronomic talents, they decided to open their own restaurant on the corner of Queens Boulevard.
Before my Danish friend and I arrived at the restaurant, I had already recommended several dishes that he might want to try. I truly enjoy ordering the Pici alla Fondelli—Montalcino; homemade twist fettucine tossed with wild boar ragout and black olives. Wild boar is one of the many known game in Tuscany and the meat makes a tasty sauce. In addition, I usually start with my appetizer; burrata with truffle oil served over prosciutto-oh soooo yummy!
As soon as I entered Roberto greeted us, as he does all his customers. The co-owner and his staff have created a very relaxed, family atmosphere, typical of many great Italian restaurants. Before one enters the restaurant, there is a very long red draped curtain; it almost serves as a time machine from theUStoItaly(Tuscany). Once we went through the curtains, the Tuscan aromas gradually go through your nostrils and your palate eagerly awaits with anticipation the arrival of this delicious food.
Suddenly I hear, “Alfonso, aspetto un attimo”, says Roberto, in less than a minute he reappears. I thought he was going to direct us to a table, instead he came back with…MY SCARF? Apparently, without realizing, the last time I was here was a few months ago, I had forgotten my scarf. For this reason, and aside from the exquisite food, I highly recommend visiting this restaurant because of the many actions of warmth and kindness that he and his staff emote. That is what truly makes this place special; it gives all customers its undivided attention. Of course, the food must be exceptional also and my Danish friend was immediately impressed with what he ordered.
He ordered the Pappardelle Sienesi,– home-made ribbons pasta with pancetta, artichoke and parmesan cheese in a white wine sauce, while I had the usual Pici alla Fondelli. He thought it was very tasty and the dish was accompanied by a delightful presentation. Ironically, my friend who usually orders a particular Tuscan wine in Denmark when he goes out with his girlfriend or family, saw one of his favorites on the wine list, Chianti Placido at a reasonable price.
Tuscan Hills Restaurant will add to your experience whatever time of year you go with its mouth-watering cuisine, and unbelievable charm, but why not go sooner rather than later and feel reborn, so you too can experience a special moment.
Tuscan Hills 115-20 Queens Blvd. Forest Hills, NY 11375 www.tuscanhillsnyc.com