My friend Laurie and I pondered over where to have dinner. Searching on the internet got us looking at a restaurant that I haven't been to in years. Prima Pasta, located at 161-50B Crossbay Blvd. in Howard Beach. What I recall about this Southern Italian restaurant is that one of there "things" is that you pick a pasta and you pick a sauce for a low price. I think that 20 years ago it was $5.99. Now it's still low at a price of $8.95 and if you opt for the fresh pasta, it's only a buck more!
Hey wait! For the $9.95 you're looking at: gnocchi, lasagna, stuffed shells, cheese tortellini, cavatelli, manicotti, cheese ravioli, and baked zita!
That is not even the hype there! Owner Antonetta Modica had put in coal brick ovens for the pizza. A one-person size (if you're not sharing) costs $6. Okay, you pay extra for toppings for both the pizza and pasta. Your basic pizza is made with fresh mozzarella! I even took one home. Antonetta told me where she got them from (not made on the premises) and it's someone who makes it starting with the milk, rather than from the milk curd. Sampling it had me tasting a fresh mozzarella with an almost consistency of the inside of a burrata.
So, we're ready to choose our pasta and sauce when our waiter, Pablo, tells us about the All Day Tuesday prixe fixe menu a modo mio. You choose soup or salad. We both ordered the Ceasar Salad. Then a pasta of either Penne Vodka...we both opted for this...or Marinara. Entree choices: Chicken Parmigiana or Frances; Veal Marsala or Cacciatore; Tilapia Oreganata; Eggplant Parmigiana; and Shrimp Parmigiana. Veal Marsala for me; Tilapia Oreganata for Laurie. Then you also get coffee or tea and a mini-cannoli. Are you ready for the price? $16.95.
The meal began with Pablo bringing out a pitcher of water with limes in it...there is always some fruit in the water. Bread basket consists of garlic knots and what would be described as strips of pizza with sauce. I recalled that when people our outside waiting on line to get in, they bring out the strips for people to nosh on.
Salad dressing for the Caesar Salad made me recollect how much I loved their dressing! Pasta course gave me a remember that delicious sauce. Both entrees came with fresh string beans, carrots, and a piece of potato that I think was cooked in a broth.
There is certainly a great deal more to their menu. What both Antonetta and chef Felix pride themselves on is that they use fresh ingredients. Check it out on www.primapastany.com Parking? Fuggedaboutit...it's free!
IT'S BEEN AWHILE BUT
3 months ago