Sunnyside has a newcomer to its restaurant scene this week when new Italian-inspired Venturo Osteria & Wine Bar officially opens tomorrow night. The restaurant has been in soft-open mode since last week, inviting neighborhood folks to try their slow-food fare in the 1,200-square foot dining room and their backyard patio. It's a space that connects with Queens' history, with wood beams from an 1882 home in LIC. Whitewashed brick walls lent a rustic air, while a large mural, pastel paintings and vintage mirrors add color and playfulness.
Chef Michelle Vido offers a menu inspired by seasonal foods, focused on local purveyors like Brooklyn Grange, who grow vegetables specifically for the restaurant. The menu changes, but meals begin with sea salt and cracked pepper focaccia, baked daily in-house as with the rest of Venturo's breads, pastas and pastries. They also make their own cheese, overseen by pastry chef Eve Bergazyn, currently offering mozzarella with sungold tomato salad and a ricotta with pistachio oil, both served with flatbread.
Black kale comes dressed with an umami bomb of anchovy-garlic vinaigrette, pecorino, croutons and a poached egg. Pansotti pasta filled with vibrant red beet and mascarpone filling gets tossed in a lemon-butter sauce. The FLOTUS pappardelle, so named for the President's favorite pasta dish made by his wife, comes tossed with shrimp, Fresno chiles, blistered tomato petals and basil.
In addition to regular a la carte dining, the restaurant offers Community Dinners, a multi-course menu for tables of three to four. On the menu now: "pork on pork porchetta," a pork shoulder rolled inside a pork loin and served with lentils and stuffed peaches; and Sicilian-style whole roasted chicken with cauliflower, almonds and caper berries.
Dessert plays a big role here as well, like the Baby Jesus Cake, a big hit at "brother" restaurant Vesta in Astoria. Rice pudding arancini with raspberries and lemon curd and an almond semifreddo fill out the opening dessert offerings. Expect Italian-centric cocktails using hard-to-find ingredients plus lots of limoncello. Their house cocktail, the Amaro Cup, uses Campari and fernet, which gets mixed with simple syrup and muddled mint, cucumber, lemon and orange.
44-07 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside, (718) 406-9363; venturovino.com