If Queens was not a borough of New York, chef Andrew Zimmern says, it would be the best “food city” in the world. However bold the claim is, Fontana, a Greek neighborhood staple in Bayside, is one of those places that should put any doubt about it to rest.
Soup lovers should try the avgolemono — a rich mix of lemon, chicken, rice and vegetables. Aside from being a great starter at the eatery, the excellent soup will warm you up in the cold winter months.
The family-owned restaurant has a small-town, community feel, with area residents ordering their regular dishes and speaking to the waitresses by their first names. They all know Jimmy Mastoras, the restaurant’s owner, who is eager to please the customers.
Fontana been around for 34 years and is located at 200-02 Northern Blvd. And, with such great cuisine and ambience, it’s no wonder that the eatery has been around for so long in a highly competitive environment.
Aside from its stellar service, Fontana is also decorated for the holiday season, with Santa, a menorah and reindeer on its windows and a Christmas tree inside.
Zimmern’s skill means you don’t have to go all the way to Astoria for a great gyro, either. The Bayside restaurant offers a mouthwatering version of the Mediterranean dish with an excellent pita bread and delicious chicken that goes great when dipped in Fontana’s creamy tzatziki.
Treat your palate with the restaurant’s chicken kebab, a great main course meal, as is the souvlaki, an exceptionally appetizing dish skewered to tender perfection with a masterful mix of salt, pepper, oregano and paprika. Both are as good as you’ll find anywhere in Queens. And Fontana has a rich spinach pie.
Even if you’re looking for something non-Greek, like pizza, Fontana is likely to satisfy, offering an exceedingly tasty take on the classic New York dish.
For the sweet-toothed, the baklava will definitely not disappoint. The tasty hybrid of ground cinnamon, phyllo dough and ground nuts goes great with some coffee after your entree. And of course, there’s always ice cream to be had.
Although the highly professional service, layout and vibe of the restaurant makes for a great dining experience, Fontana also offers takeout and delivery, as well as catering.
The restaurant can be found online at fontanagyros.com and its phone number is (718) 631-0147.