For a blend of the modern and traditional, both on your plate and in your surroundings, you can’t beat the recently remodeled Barosa restaurant in Rego Park.
Now celebrating its eighth anniversary, Barosa has a new look that’s timeless, with deep, rich oak on the floor and walls, a screen with translucent white panels that separates the expanded dining room from the bar without completely cutting them off from each other, and new window treatments all around.
The renovations, which mark the third time Barosa has improved its look and expanded its seating areas to better serve the discerning diner, were done this summer. In addition to its larger dining room, the iconic Italian eatery now has a brand-new bar, new bathrooms and a host of new interior details including the woodwork and drapery.
The result is an atmosphere that perfectly reflects Barosa’s menu: classic and up-to-date all at once, with a welcoming, neighborhood feel.
That’s no surprise, since the owners, Joe LaRosa and Frank Barbone, are “just a couple of neighborhood guys who grew up in Middle Village.”
“It’s very family-friendly here,” LaRosa said. “In the eight years that we’ve been here, we’ve taken great pleasure in seeing the whole entire neighborhood come by and make this a meeting spot. I’m grateful to see the same people, for the last eight years, keep coming back.”
Two doors down from the restaurant is Barosa’s brick oven pizza parlor, which also got a fresh look when the renovations were done. Passersby know it from the neon sign rising from the roof and the warm light thrown by the textured glass sign next to the door.
The pizza place has many of the classic Barosa elements like its neighborhood feel — vintage photos of Middle Village line the walls — open seating area and new bar. But it also has a separate menu with lighter fare like panini and heros, as well as less expensive versions of the main restaurant’s pasta, chicken and seafood entrees. Doing right by the public in difficult economic times, ensuring that people can still enjoy a night out with a good meal on a budget, is much of the idea behind the separate menu, LaRosa said.
“Our new pizzeria and takeout is something we are really excited about,” he said. “The feedback from our customers is that they feel the pizzeria side is less formal than the restaurant, and that they love the feel of the place, with the blackboard menus and brand-new bar. The new space also makes it much easier for us to sit down with our customers when outgoing catering is what they desire.”
But it’s the pizzeria’s full line of authentic brick-oven specialty pizzas that really makes the annex stand out.
“We now make an 8-by-8 personal Sicilian pie, each baked in its own pan. I believe our sauce-on-top personal pie could be the best pizza in the city,” LaRosa said.
Over its eight years Barosa also has opened a party room and wine cellar downstairs and added seating in a glass-enclosed area off the main room, which gives diners an al fresco experience without the wind or noise that can interrupt a meal.
And good meals are what Barosa specializes in: classic Italian food including a wide variety of pasta specialties, chicken, veal, steak, seafood and more — all with a homemade taste, all prepared by the same chef the restaurant has had since it opened, and all served by a dedicated, friendly staff in proper attire.
On Tuesdays, diners get an extra treat: crooner Jim Altamore singing the standards live. You better believe Sinatra’s on the playlist.
And there’s the well-stocked bars with their new TVs overhead, great for mingling after dinner or for just having a night out with friends. Both the bar at the main restaurant and the one at the pizzeria are grade-A spots to see and be seen any night of the week.
Speaking of grade A, that’s just what Barosa earned from the city, and it’s posted on the door.
Barosa restaurant is located at 62-29 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park, right on the corner of 62nd Road, and the pizzeria is at 62-37 Woodhaven. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday — with the bars staying open later than that. Free valet parking is available seven days a week, and Barosa caters parties of any size.
You can make reservations for five or more at (718) 424-1455 and see the menus, view the photo gallery and more at Barosa’s new website, barosas.com.