Piccola Venezia

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75 Solid

Classic old-school Queens Italian that offers a window into the seldom-seen cooking of Istria, where Italy meets Croatia.

42-01 28th Ave., Queens, NY, 11103



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The lowdown

There’s a bit of the banquet hall in this neighborhood landmark, and although the harried waiter will assure you that the kitchen can make anything you want, any way you want it, stick to the dishes you don’t recognize. They’re likely from Istria, same as the folks in charge, and reflect an influence so northern it’s practically Austrian: the fortifying bean-and-cabbage soup called yota; bowtie-shaped fusi sauced with grappa and mushrooms; and the trademarked “Buco”lloni, jumbo tortelloni stuffed with osso buco. The smashed and fried potatoes “La Pook” have no Istrian derivation, though — they’re named for a regular customer, “the best dentist on Long Island.”

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

What you need to know

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