1343 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY 1100
Reservations 516 352-323
King Umbertos is a restaurant that brings back so many memories. The first time I ever ate at there was on my very first date with my husband. Little did I know that we would spend our first Valentine’s Day there and many more future family functions. The beauty of King Umberto is that the quality of the food is always consistent and it represents home. King Umberto is a family run pizzeria and restaurant (they are side by side). It is home of the infamous fried cappellini (definitely not a dietitian’s choice, but surely a crowd pleaser) and one of the best slices of Grandma Pizza on the island! They also serve all the traditional, healthy, yet delicious Italian dishes. My ultimate favorite is the sautéed broccoli rabe. I know from experience to ask for this specialty with light oil. In fact any time vegetables are sautéed you should always ask for light oil.
We haven’t been to King Umberto in quite a while, since it isn’t as close to home anymore, but ventured back last week with the family. As soon as we entered we were warmly welcomed! The matradee greeted us at the door kissing everyone and inquiring about our lives. We sat down and were immediately served our “usual”, a bottle of Pino Grigio Santa Margarita and a bottle of Cabernet. They serve fresh, warm pizza bread on the table to start (which I stay away from because there are so many other delicious things to eat). Traditionally, our Italian family likes to start with pasta, followed by an entrée and then salad. Because I love the main course so much, I skip out on the pasta.
I started my meal with the Pasta Fagioli: Ditali pasta, cannellini beans, in a tomato vegetable broth. It is light, fresh, and delicious. For my main course I usually order something from the Simple Grilled menu or a special. Last week I ordered the special: Striped Bass Nicoise – pan seared bass, with garlic, tomatoes, olives, capers and artichoke hearts. It is served with risotto, but I skipped that and ordered a side of broccoli rabe instead. It was cooked perfectly! The portion is very generous so I saved some to take home. Many of the dishes are rich in garlic, a powerhouse antioxidant that makes any meal taste delicious! As for dessert, I have learned being married into a super Italian family that the meal should always end with a “digestive” as they would say, aka, an after dinner drink. I skip dessert and order a limencello – brings me back to Italy!