Tucked in behind the already renowned Alba Ristorante and Pizzeria, I found a treasure.Stepping into the dining room on a Thursday night reminded me of my own Italian family gatherings: a room filled with music, laughter and an abundance of food.
We were welcomed by the owners, and most gracious hosts, Giacomo (Jack) and ZinaVirdone, who have been greeting their guests for over32 years, here at Alba. Originally from Sicily, they have certainly brought that old-world charm to Queens.
The appetizers arrived along with a warm basket of bread.The calamari were nice and tender, and both they and the whole baked clams were seasoned perfectly.
For our entrees, we chosetwo of the specials of the day, Chilian sea bass with capers served over a bed of spinach and roasted potatoes and fettucini ala mer, widepasta tossed in a light cream sauce andtoppedwith chunks of salmon, large shrimp and sea scallops.Both dishes were fresh andpresented beautifully. They werepreceded by a light, crisp salad.We complemented this delectible meal with a glass of wine.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the music started.Thursday night at Alba is a night of dinner and dancing to the charming sounds of Italian singer Francesco Sclafani, as well as some wonderfulguest singers.The room was filled with Italian warmth and hospitality, as everyone danced the night away.
Our evening was topped off with our host and hostess, Jack and Zina, presenting our friend Luisa with a birthday cake and inviting everyone onto the dance floor for the traditional “birthday dance.”
Alba Ristorante and Pizzeria is certainly a gem — more than a place to get a great meal, it’s an experience not to be missed.
The restaurant is located at 137-65 Queens Blvd., in Briarwood. It’s open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight. Telephone: (718) 291-1620.