Mon and Wed-Thu, 5pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sat, 5pm-11:30pm; Sun, 4pm-10:30pm; Tue, closed
E, F, M, R at Forest Hills-71st Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Several good Forest Hills eateries sate Queens’ hunger for chow from the Boot, but Alberto Restaurant is the locals’ primary source for traditional northern Italian fare in gracious surroundings. This is not a casual stop for calamari and pizza. Couples who arrive in jeans will feel underdressed, even if owner Silvana still proffers the warmest of welcomes. A cocktail pianist who thankfully detours around the Billy Joel oeuvre ups the destination-dining factor, while waiters in shirts and ties supply a bit of pomp. Church-salvaged stained-glass panels accent the high brick walls, while the handsome mahogany bar boasts beautiful Art Nouveau globe lamps. The almost-retro menu lists numerous long-simmered soups, and pasta dishes forgo trendy squid ink and frizzled sage leaves in favor of classic cream- or tomato-based sauces. Good choices include homemade spaghetti with marinara and an ample, nicely garlicky seafood risotto harboring what seems to be an entire colony of ocean-sweet shrimp. Baked and broiled entrees veer into Continental territory with scampi and prosciutto-and-mozzarella-stuffed veal. Naturalmente, there’s a rolling cart of desserts.Recommended Dishes
Scampi Alberto, $12; gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, $19; risotto with seafood, $26