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Trattoria L'incontro - Astoria, NY. In 1999, under the direction of Chef Rocco Sacramone, Trattoria L’incontro opened its doors. Chef Sacramone’s goal was to provide his guests with the highest level of quality and service thus ensuring a unique dining experience.
Trattoria L'incontro Astoria - 2018 Editor's Review
Part of the thrill of being a foodie in Astoria is trying out all of the different cuisines that are available in this multi-cultural neighborhood.
One thing, though, that foodies really enjoy doing, is visiting a restaurant whose kitchen is run by a celebrity chef. To one degree or another, we are all seduced by fame in this media-driven world we live in. There's an undeniable thrill to eating a meal that was cooked by a person who you've watched countless times on television. That is if the chef in question is actually cooking your meal. As we all know, that's not always the case.
Which begs the question; what exactly defines the qualities inherent in being a celebrity chef? Well, appearing on television certainly helps. Having a popular cookbook on the NY Times best seller list? Check that box off. Receiving a coveted Michelin Star? Can't hurt.
But when you come right down to it, the one factor that has defined celebrity chefs through the years, was their ability to attract a large and loyal following by creating dishes that connected with people; food that brought joy to their palate.
Word of mouth did the rest. As the chef's reputation grew so did the demand for his services from Kings, Queens, Presidents, captains of industry and movie stars. And this all took place long before reality TV and the Food network ever existed.
One such chef who is defined by reputation and accomplishment is Rocco Sacramone.
A thoughtful yet gregarious man who pours every ounce of passion in his body into his food, Rocco does not need a controversial, sexy TV show to attract people from all over the city to his quaint Astoria restaurant. Chef's cooking does the talking for him.
Foodies, families, celebrities, couples on a date and tourists all flock to his restaurant Trattoria L'Incontro, in order to enjoy chef Sacramone's spin on rustic, traditional Italian dishes. Rocco Sacramone's delectable menu is destination dining at its' very best. And, aside from the food, ambiance and old-world, courtly service, one of the best things about Trattoria L'Incontro is the fact that getting there is so convenient.
By subway, you can travel from mid-town Manhattan to Astoria in little more than fifteen or twenty minutes. Food heaven isn't really that far away after all.
Rocco is the chef who helped put Astoria on the map as a "bucket list" neighborhood for foodies, not only in NYC but Long Island and parts of New Jersey, as well. Trattoria L'Incontro opened its' doors in 1999. The food here has stood the test of time without ever becoming bland, predictable or boring. That's because chef Rocco is constantly experimenting with new and succulent fillings for his signature stuffed plates of pasta, as well as sauces and seasonings for his fish, poultry and beef dishes.
Cooking has been an important part of Rocco's life ever since he was a small boy, back in his hometown of Orsonga in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Young Rocco loved to watch his mother Tina at work in the kitchen. After coming to the United States, Rocco found a job, after school, as a dishwasher at a local Italian restaurant. From there, Rocco climbed the culinary ladder, working at a variety of kitchen and front of the house jobs.
But, all the while, Tina taught her son how to make the family recipes that formed the basis of Sunday dinner at the Sacramone home.
Hard workers like Tina just can't retire completely. Over the years, Tina has been known to pop into the kitchen at Trattoria L'incontro and whip up a huge pot of her celebrated Sunday sauce and meatballs. Rocco definitely got his wonderful personality from his mother.
Before you even sit down, you'll be captivated by the restaurant's delightful ambiance. The walls are decorated with hand-painted murals which depict rustic scenes from Rocco's childhood hometown.
High ceilings provide an air of elegance and there is a majestic open brick oven inside the dining room. The area is spacious and you never feel crowded when dining here. The noise level is comfortable. You can actually have a conversation with your dining companion here. Which isn't always the case with most restaurants nowadays.
Every day brings tasty new specials to the menu. The waiters recite the delicious ingredients almost as though they were actors, with flourish and style. It's obvious that everyone involved loves working here.
In Italy, they start off almost every meal with an appetizer or antipasto selection. Chef Rocco has some good ones for you to choose from including the creamy Burrata which is seasoned with pignoli nuts, basil and olive oil and then wrapped in Prosciutto. The melanzane alla Tina, named after Rocco's mom (it's her recipe, after all), is eggplant stuffed with spinach and mozzarella cheese. It's so good you'll want to order seconds, but try to hold off. Don't ruin your appetite for Chef's entrees and pizza.
One of Rocco's many signature dishes is the Fettuccine Abruzzesi, which consists of sun-dried zucchini, Pomodoro, Mascarpone cheese and a touch of pesto. Perhaps the heartiest dish on the extensive menu is the lasagna della mamma. Layers of al dente flat noodles are filled with succulent ground beef and a blend of ricotta, Parmigiano and mozzarella cheese.
As far as Rocco's famous stuffed pasta is concerned, you can't go wrong with the mezzaluna or half-moon shaped ravioli that are filled with mascarpone cheese and covered in a seductive sauce of brandy, asparagus and chopped walnuts.
Risotto can be rather hit or miss even at the best Italian restaurants. The chef has to walk a fine line between having the rice turn out too dry or overly soup-like inconsistency. Rocco knows how to turn out a memorable plate of risotto, for sure. For a risotto that you can't find on any other menu, give the arborio rice with pears, gorgonzola cheese and arugula a shot.
Carne and pesce selections range from a juicy porterhouse veal chop in mushroom sauce and braised short ribs over polenta to a very flavorful shrimp scampi. The baked wild salmon with roasted red peppers is also bursting with flavor.
For a tasty lunch, you might want to try one of Trattoria's flavorful individual pizzas, made in their brand new brick pizza oven! Chef Sacramone places his unique stamp on these pies as he does with every other dish here. Been there and done that with your basic red sauce and cheese pie? Then why not opt for the Napoletana with toppings like capers, anchovies, fresh tomatoes and black olives? Or the Sfiziosa? Topped with truffle oil, this delightful pizza has a crust that's stuffed with robiola cheese and prosciutto.
Don't be surprised if you see the chef himself make an appearance in the dining room during the course of your visit. On Trattoria L'Incontro's FaceBook page there's a quote that reads "Life without pasta is like a heart without love".
Those few, simple words sum up Rocco Sacramone's culinary philosophy and the treasure trove of delights that await you at this one of a kind restaurant.
The restaurant features high ceilings, hand-painted murals done by a local artist which reflect images of Rocco’s hometown and an open brick oven in the dining room. The cuisine is a combination of traditional classics and state-of-the-art fare. All of the dishes are prepared with an emphasis on using the freshest, prime ingredients, keeping the integrity of traditional dishes while incorporating a new style, with the focus on taste. Private events and business meetings are accommodated in our private room for up to thirty-five people and our side room for up to sixty-five.
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Address: 2176 31st Street
City: New York
Mon CLOSED - CLOSED ,
Tue 12:00pm - 10:00pm ,
Wed 12:00pm - 10:00pm ,
Thu 12:00pm - 10:00pm ,
Fri 12:00pm - 11:00pm ,
Sat 12:00pm - 11:00pm ,
Sun 1:00pm - 11:00pm .