This is our special occasion spot! Ever since I moved to Astoria, nearly every birthday, anniversary, and Valentine’s day has been celebrated at Vite Vinosteria. This lovely restaurant hits the perfect note of classical charm, without getting too formal. As soon as we enter, we are greeted by an attentive fleet of suspender-clad waiters, who seemingly transport us to the sidewalk osterias of Rome.
The menu is full of classic Italian dishes, supplemented by their specials list, which highlights seasonal ingredients. My go-to is the creamy burrata starter, followed by the pappardelle alla bolognese. All of their pasta dishes are homemade and served in the silver pan they were cooked in, ensuring that every dish is piping hot and no sauce has been sacrificed in the re-plating process. They also have an impressive wine list, mostly Italian of course. I find the most economical is to order the carafe of wine if I’m dining with a group.
The dining room is cozy, decorated with moody colors and antiques. There is a bar to the right, populated by Italian expats and Astoria locals. In the warmer months, I like the outdoor seating, which is surrounded by lush plants and vines that climb up to the awning. I love sitting by the herb boxes, where wafts of fragrant basil and rosemary accompany my dinner. Italian charm follows you all the way into the bathroom, where a CD repeating Italian language lessons adds a quirky touch.