Contrary to popular belief, when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a lawsuit. Enjoy Italian cuisine without fear of physical reprisal with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of fresh Italian fare and drinks at Da Franco Ristorante Italiano in Astoria.
When flavors from Da Franco's carefully composed menu of authentic Italian cuisine meet the nuanced notes of its fine wines, it's like the sun licking a marshmallow to toast it perfectly goldeny. Prep your palate with some elegant sips of Montalto Pinot Grigio ($6/glass), or slurp drops of the lemon and white-wine broth that bathes the garlic mussels of the impepata di cozzi appetizer ($7.95). Handmade, well-honed pasta favorites such as baked ziti ($13.95) and gnocci alla bolognese ($13.95) burst with sophisticated simplicity, while classic chicken, veal, and beef plates ($14.95–$27.95) add pep to even the pickiest palates. Costoletta di agnello, a garlic-lemon baby lamb chop placed lovingly atop a bed of broccoli rabe ($21.95), is a house specialty from the grill. For sea-faring fare, dive into jumbo pan-fried shrimp with gamberoni alla Milanese ($18.95) or fresh salmone alla primavera ($21.95).
Da Franco's owner, Franco Spatola, has been in the culinary creation business for more than 40 years. He currently puts his bowl of cranial noodles to work as co-owner of two other Italian restaurants—Forno Italia (also in Astoria) and Da Zia Carolina in Sicily—as well as a mozzarella factory in Ridgewood. Stop in to taste his time-honored recipes with close friends, family, or friendly strangers; all dining relationships are fostered by the restaurant's internal warmth. Or make a romantic flame catch the table on fire by fanning it with the summer breeze out on the patio.
- This place is truly extraordinary and could easily rank among the best Italian restaurants in the city. – Lori Florio, Queens Chronicle
- I've been here for at least five times since they open and I have yet to try something I don't like. – claudiaa3111, Zagat
- Franco has been running restaurants in New York for decades and knows the recipe for success. – I Dream of Pizza