Some restaurants suggest a "soup of the day" or a "daily special." While others offer "seasonal menus" or "early bird specials."
goes a few steps further. The Forest Hills eatery has periodic prix fixe menus featuring regional cuisine from certains parts of Italy.
It might change in a few days as the owner tries to rotate menus every two weeks, but presently La Vigna is showcasing the smells and tastes of Sardinia, an island off the mainland where seafood rules the day...and the kitchen.
Octopus sauteed in olive oil and garlic with tomato sauce, fish broth and fava beans headlights the appetizer section. Sardines sauteed with herbs, garlic and olive oil are another selection.
Chunks of rabbit with sauteed onions, white wine, garlic and olive oil is one main dish. Other entree options are fish stew in a light tomato sauce and thin spaghetti with mixed seafood in a red or white sauce.
Other regions that go on temporary display include the following:
- Lazio in west central Italy, where artichokes and zucchini rule the day;
- Campania in the south, where pizza and calzones were allegedly invented;
- Tuscany in the central region, the birthplace of Chianti wine and Moraiolo, Leccino and Frantoaino olives;
- Liguria in the northwest, where Genoa and the Italian Riviera are located and pesto was first created;
- Veneto in the northeast, where Venice sits. The birthplace of Proseco wine, this area is known for cheeses, salamis and tiramisu; and
- Sicily, another island off the mainland. Sweets like cassata cake, cannolis, fig cookies and marzipan hail from there.
This Mother's Day, La Vigna will continue the prix fixe tradition with a three-course meal for $35.95. After starting with soup, salad or an octopus dish, patrons can choose between ravioli or spaghetti and then chicken, veal, steak or shrimp entrees.
La Vigna also has a spring menu, a lunch menu and a party menu. Not surprisingly, the wine list contains fine options from all over Italy, plus selections from Spain, California, New Zeland and Australia.
Address: 100-11 Metropolitan Avenue
Hours: Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.; Friday, noon to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
Prices: Lunch prix fixe, $15.95; regional dinners, $29.95; regular entrees, all under $30; wines, all under $9.