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In Queens, Regal Food at Manetta’s

“Slow down, you move too fast/You got to make the morning last . . .” Or the evening, at Manetta’s Ristorante, in Long Island City, just over the Queensboro or 59th Street Bridge, which inspired the Simon & Garfunkel song in one of the great rock albums ever, Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme, 1966.

“Long Island City has been gentrified recently as a little Manhattan when it comes to NYC living (there are lofts galore), artists and restaurants,” says Phyllis Manetta, chef of the family-owned restaurant.

Manetta’s is worked by three generations of family members at all levels, she explains. “If we were to follow the ‘life’ of a dish, from inspiration/conception, to the buying of ingredients, the preparation of the stocks/sauces, the final cooking, and ultimately the delivery, the care of a Manetta family member is there to ensure the quality,” she says.

Specialties from both North and South Italy are appetizers, Fried Calamari, Imported Buffalo Mozz and Burata, Stuffed Mushrooms; pasta, Gnocchi della Casa, Ling Nere, Pappardelle della Nonna; and Entrée/Secondi, Veal Siciliana, Salmone al Forno, Bistecca dello Chef, Agnello. Pizza’s great, too: Quattro Stagioni, Mona Lisa, Vongole and di Bufala. Daily specials are also featured.

The restaurant was founded in the summer of 1992 by Phyllis; she and husband Mario are from Pignataro Interamna in the Lazio region on the Italian peninsula.

Daily specials feature only grass-fed, hormone-free and organic beef, pork, veal, chicken and rabbit dishes, and the majority of the daily special fish option are wild and pole caught. 

“We encourage our guests to pay close attention to our locally sourced daily specials, as this is often the list from which family members will order from when they are in the restaurant,” she says, with a big smile.

At the 59th Street Bridge, slow down and speed up, to Manetta’s.