A quick trip over the Throgs Neck Bridge brings locals still another option for dinning and catering, just minutes from Pelham Bay and surrounding communities.
With a group of recent and upcoming events and a catering for families and parties on Thanksgiving Day, Vivaldi Ristorante, located in Bayside, Queens, is one of a number of facilities that locals can call on for their next family or corporate event.
Located in an historic mansion that was once the home to early film star Rudolf Valentino and later a summer retreat for Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Vivaldi’s offers what its management terms “a contemporary interpretation of Mediterranean Italian Cuisine” in a building with views overlooking the public Clearview Golf Course, the Throgs Neck Bridge and Little Neck Bay.
“It is intimate service, very personal,” said Fran Harrow, a spokeswoman for Vivaldi. “It has beautiful views. It is centralized if you are coming from the Bronx.”
Boosters feel that Vivaldi’s catering facility has a more intimate feel than many large eateries because it was originally a residence.
It offers a restaurant with a Fireplace Lounge and hearth that seats 170, as well as an upstairs ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows that its employees say is ideal for parties of up to 250 guests.
“We do a lot of baby showers, bridal showers, christenings and quite a few weddings as well,” said Perry Papadakis, Vivaldi general manager, who also noted that the food in both the catering facility and the restaurant is of the same, high quality.
The best sellers are grilled octopus, fried calamari, and meatball dishes, he said. A stone oven is being installed for pizza appetizers, he added.
The ambiance in the catering facility is intimate because at Vivaldi’s, in addition to being in the mansion which has a home-like feel, the party in the ballroom is usually the only party taking place, said Harrow.
The restaurant has a casual, every-day ambiance while the upstairs dinning area is for more formal events, said Papadakis, who added that Vivaldi’s is a restaurant first, then a catering facility.
Vivaldi’s is at the site of the once popular Caffe on the Green. It leases from the city Parks Department. This came after a multi-million dollar exterior and interior renovation begun in 2009.
The restaurant reopened in summer 2013 after a long-term lease was inked by the Makkos Organization, which operates Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, and many other well-known eateries and event venues.
Based around the idea of the four seasons, Vivaldi’s gets its name from the Italian composer who created symphonies around that theme. Many of the dishes follow a seasonal culinary motif.
In addition to the upcoming events already offered, Vivaldi’s offers brunch with waiter service and an a la carte menu every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., wine Wednesday’s with discounts on bottles of wine, and live entertainment Thursday and Friday. The restaurant is closed on Monday.
There will also be parties on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and Vivaldi’s can be booked for events 365 days a year.
Vivaldi’s, at 201-10 Cross Island Parkway, has won Open Table’s 2014 Dinners Choice Award, Wine Spectator’s 2014 Award of Excellence, and the Best of Boro 2014 by Queens Courier.
For more information, visit www.vivaldiny.com and call (718) 352-2300.