Monday, February 6, 2012
Sac's Place Offers a Slice of Home
This past weekend, my We Heart Astoria colleagues and I had the wonderful experience of visiting Sac's Place Italian restaurant. After lots of meaningful exchanges with them on various social media platforms, we agreed on a date and time to get together and break bread. We went in not knowing what to expect and came out as devout converts.
Just like its exterior suggests, Sac's Place is a simple yet cozy Italian joint with formal sit down and casual take out options. The dining space is split up into the restaurant and the pizzeria, and we sat in the former, which is located in the front. I love the cozy feeling it evoked and a lot of that has to do with the dim lighting, rustic embossed wooden tables and a lovely fireplace.
We noticed a few large parties enjoying a celebratory Friday night dinner, one of them apparently ringing in a big birthday. It spoke well of this place and the staff seemed accommodating and welcoming to everyone's needs. People felt comfortable to enjoy a big occasion here, and overall, I got the feeling that Sac's brings in a lot of loyal customers.
We couldn't wait to order something delicious, and pizza was of course one of the prime suspects. Aside from that, we went kind of light, ordering a salad course, gnocchi and some polenta to share. In the end, we were happy with all our options, as we didn't get overly full and got to enjoy everything to full capacity.
Pizza - The kind folks at Sac's recommended we start off with a small classic pie, and that's exactly what we did. I liked the conservative portion, as it was the perfect way to whet our appetite. Each bite produced a lovely sensation, as you got a generous amount of fresh mozzarella, their homemade marinara sauce and lots of fragrant oregano. Even though the latter ingredient was pronounced, it certainly wasn't overpowering. And let's not forget the delicacy of the brick oven crust that had just the right amount of char on the bottom.
Apps - We ordered two apps, which happened to be on the specials menu, including a fresh cucumber salad with sliced red onions and feta cheese as well as a polenta dish with eggplant, cheese and their fresh marinara sauce.
Both dishes were amazing but for me, the salad was the clear stand-out, as it was simple, fresh and so vibrant on the palate. Each ingredient complemented the other really well, the cheese adding some nice tang to the clean, gentle flavors of the cucumber, and the red onion and red wine vinegar, putting some zing into the whole equation. Needless to say, we polished this salad off pretty quickly.
Gnocchi - Each one of us loves gnocchi, and we couldn't wait to try Sac's version. I'm happy to say that it delivered, with delicate, oblong shaped pieces that were deliciously hugged by Sac's signature marinara sauce. If you're looking for something simple and classic, I'd highly suggest this dish - and despite what a lot of people say about gnocchi, these particular ones were nice and light, and airy.
Dessert - Because we shared everything, we saved room for dessert and chose two options, including the homemade apple pie a la mode and an almond ice cream, chocolate glazed treat. Out of the two, I had a strong preference for the latter, as it was a little unusual and had a definitive almond flavor that spoke volumes. I don't have to tell you that I adore anything glazed with chocolate, so that was an extra bonus on my end, and the raspberry sauce on the bottom didn't hurt either.
Service and Cost:
As I already hinted above, the service was friendly and hospitable, and through some conversations, we found out that all the recipes that make up the menu have been passed down from generations. There's just a feeling of home when you sit down to a meal here and the staff treats you like family - it's really refreshing.
Costs are affordable and include:
Antipasti - $7.95 - $10.95
Coal Oven Pizza - $5 - $20.95
Pasta - $5.95 - $16.95
Fish, Pork, Chicken - $12.95 - $20.95
Sac's Place - 25-41 Broadway, Astoria NY 11106
N/Q Train to Broadway