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Looking for a restaurant in small town USA? Marthas Vineyard II is for you.
Robert Moses boasted that his Whitestone Bridge would bring the boroughs closer together, but Whitestone still retains its individuality. Four years after the first Marthas Vineyard opened in swanky 1982 Jackson Heights, Marthas Vineyard II came to 150th Street, Whitestones main drag.
Just a month and a half ago, No. 2 finished renovations. Always known as a good deal, this Italian seafood restaurant is probably an even better deal today. Its hard to recognize the place with marble below the chair railing, glass bricks and sleek, new stainless steel buffet. (A private party room for 50 behind French doors is upstairs.) Tablecloths are burgundy and the overall effect is a bit somber at this point, waiting for the finishing touches like votive lights and wall hangings. You know how it is when you renovate. It takes time.
Early evening or at luncheon, dining at Marthas Vineyard II is colorful. Then you can view Main Street as the residents stroll along and the cars drive by. Ladder truck No. 167 with a large American flag flying from the rear went North, then returned South as I lunched.
The all-you-can-eat buffet Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. was a must for me. I found the offerings impressive. It was seafood plus two chicken dishes: chicken Cordon Bleu was one, my dear, chicken Francese the other. Thats pretty high on the dining scale. The pasta was linguini with white clam sauce, and there were snow crab legs, which prove irresistible to some who dip the cracked legs in butter gleefully. Broccoli was the veggie, red, ripe tomatoes, the salad. And yes, theres fish fillet as well as peel-and-eat shrimp with cocktail sauce. Add to that hot garlic bread, and wonderful chunks of cantaloupe and honeydew. And all for $12.95 (for a limited time only). Other times you might find mussels from New Zealand, eggplant Parmigiana, fried calamari, seafood kabob, fillet of sole stuffed with crabmeat, stuffed clams or Norwegian salmon. The selection changes daily but always includes salad, bread and fruit of the season.
My dessert was a wedge of cheesecake, the creamy kind, the inch-high kind, with strawberry swirled through in a crumb crust. This is the dessert at Marthas Vineyard II.
Lunch another day was quite remarkable. I loved it. the hot antipasto was heaped high with seafood goodies: crisp calamari rings, stuffed shrimp, baked clams, fried fillet, breaded zucchini sticks plus a sauce boat of spiced marinara sauce on the side. You couldnt do better than that. Everything was wonderfully hot and crisp kudos to the chef. I doggie-bagged the calamari and yes, Im adding it to a tossed salad.
Tomato, onion and mozzarella salad sounds like more of the usual. Marthas is not again, kudos to the chefs. Here the tomatoes are chunked, the onion sliced and halved and mozzarella cut in strips. Then its all tossed with a mild, somewhat sweet vinaigrette with garlic and olive oil. This is the way to go. (Home cooks take note.)
Next came a plate of broccoli in garlic sauce (no green beans today) cooked finer than Jacque and Julia in tandem. So fresh, so crisp, and just a perfect bit of garlic and oil. (Home cooks note this, too.)
Soda, beer and wine are served in individual bottles. (Actually given to you. You have to open it and I struggled. But I did like having a tiny bottle all my very own.) It makes two servings.
The combination of Italian and seafood is a natural. And chefs Tony and Sammy handle it beautifully. Marthas Vineyard II also delivers takeout to Whitestone, Malba, Bayside, College Point, and parts of Flushing. Catering? Yes.
The Bottom Line
Italian seafood restaurant. 43 seats. All-you-can-eat seafood buffet Monday through Thursday. 17 hero sandwiches, many with seafood. Raspberry swirl cheesecake is the dessert.
Hot seafood antipasto (stuffed shrimp, baked clams, calamari, fried fish, fried zucchini)...$7.95
Mixed appetizer platter (fried zucchini sticks, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce)...$6.95
Fried calamari (hot, medium, sweet sauce)...$6.95
Angel hair primavera (with shrimp or chicken)...$5.95
Marthas platter (two lobster tails, stuffed filet of sole, & stuffed shrimp)...$16.95
Filet of sole stuffed with crabmeat...$9.95
Shrimp & calamari (hot, medium or sweet sauce)...$9.95
Lobster Tails and Shrimp...$11.95
Fish & chips (no side order)...$5.95
Hours: L & D 7 days
Location: Cross Island Parkway exit 14. Across from post office
Credit cards: All major. No American Express
Children: Own menu (fried shrimp, veal Parmigiana & fries
Private parties: To 50 (private room upstairs)
Off-premise catering: Yes
Smoking: Smoke free
Noise level: Fri & Sat night moderate
Handicap access: Yes
©2002 Community News Group
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