Alberto- Steals Multiple Hearts at a Time on Metropolitan Ave.

On Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, New York lies Alberto restaurant, a hidden gem you can only find here in the outskirts of the concrete jungle. Alberto restaurant is proudly owned by Roberto and Silvana Chiappelloni, who arrived from Italy with a dream to bring their traditional dishes to share with their fellow Queens natives.

As you walk through the doors of Alberto, the ambiance of stained-glass windows and the warmth of the surrounding brick walls provides a cozy, intimate and especially romantic setting. It has one large dining room, with a quaint bar towards the entrance, so guests will want to arrive at 5 pm when the restaurant opens if they want to enjoy a quiet, intimate conversation.

Alberto’s elegant touch of white-clothed tables adorned with stained-glass candles will make you feel like royalty. If you have a fine wine taste on a beer-bottle budget, this restaurant may or may not break the bank for the evening. College students may find the bill to exceed their very tight budget. However, if you are looking for a place to take a first date or simply want a special treat, Alberto restaurant is the place for you.

Their menu offers various dishes ranging from traditional Italian meat to pasta to seafood. However, there is no need to look any further than their specialty dish, Tortelli Alberto. This dish consists of Piacenza pasta filled with three cheeses and spinach covered in a light cream sauce. The aroma of this dish will make you feel as if you are back in Nonna’s kitchen on a Sunday evening. Soft to the bite with rich flavors, this dish is an absolute delight. Although the price is $22, it’s worth the quality and the amount of food you receive. In addition, the lasagna, also set at $22, will give you a mouthful of both sweet and savory flavors between its homemade marinara sauce and the meat and the cheese layered between the pasta. While the lasagna is highly notable, this dish does not compare with their specialty dish. Meals consistently arrive hot to the table. The food wait time was no more than 15 minutes when ordered around 5:30 pm.

If you are 21 or older, pair these traditional Italian dishes with one of many fine wines in the house. Complimentary bread and biscotti are both served after dinner. The cube-shaped bread may not be worth ruining your appetite. For autumn, pumpkin biscotti is the highlight complimentary dessert. With a subtle taste of pumpkin spice and sweet nutmeg accompanied by a delicate, but hard crunch, it will make you crave an extra plate. If you have more guests at the table, you may want to ask for more biscotti because one individual can devour a plate of four. If you are looking for a more extravagant dessert, the tiramisu is a must-have. With a light, airy texture the cake is just the right amount of sweet; covered in chocolate with an added crunch from the lady finger cookies centered in the middle. This dessert only costs $8.25.

While the food may be top-notch, an occasional uninvited visitor such as a fly might be a slight turn-off as well as the overbearing service. Waiters at Alberto are friendly, but you may receive a waiter or two who may overstep their boundaries by intruding in on conversations, asking too many times “how is your meal?” and having crude remarks when it comes down to who will pay the rather expensive bill. With this aside, Alberto restaurant is certainly worth returning to, especially for their Tortelli Alberto.

Alberto restaurant is open Monday through Sunday with various openings and closings depending on the day. The restaurant is located at 9831 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills. Dinner reservations are recommended if you plan to attend at the height of dinner time regardless of whether you are a party of two or more. The rating of the ambience along with the food is a solid 4.5 out of 5. This restaurant allows guests to order take-out, but does not provide delivery. Take-out tastes just as delicious as if you were dining in for the evening. The entrance of the restaurant is wheelchair accessible. While the restaurant owners believe their prices to be reasonable, it is quite expensive. For an entrée, wine, and dessert the price can range from $30-$60. While Alberto may not be reasonable for college student customers on a very tight budget, it is certainly worth the splurge for a date night out on the town.