La Bella Cucina Ristorante - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the June 2009 Juniper Berry Magazine

La Bella Cucina Ristorante

Photo: Giovanni & Joanne Mangogna, daughter and son-in-law to Joe Passanante

Middle Village is very fortunate. We are about to get a new Italian restaurant, which will open, hopefully, this summer.

Joseph Passanante, who has a restaurant background on his resume, owns the restaurant that he calls, La Bella Cucina, translation, the beautiful kitchen. If you have watched the newly constructed building emerge, you know how attractive it looks and shows every sign of being a fine dining experience at moderate prices. For those of us who make reservations, we are all in for an epicurean food delight for our dining pleasure. The menu will be varied with Southern Italian dishes and fresh seafood daily the main stars, along with desserts that will include homemade ice cream!

La Bella Cucina will occupy 4,000 square feet at the site on Juniper Boulevard South and it will have accommodations for 125 people in the dining room. The dining room will have a piano player at specified times, probably on weekends. There will be a huge bar where one can have a drink and also eat a meal, with seating to make your bar visit comfortable. Immediately next to the dining area there will be a take-out brick oven pizza area where a diner can eat at the counter, if that is their choice.

The restaurant will also have outdoor dining, that will show off, with a green house effect, immediately adjacent to the dining room. That area will have the accommodation for about 50 people.

La Bella Cucina will be open from 11am to midnight 7 days a week and will have parking on the premises.

Joe Passanante, the owner, was born in Campobello, Sicily in 1946 and came to America in 1968. He is married with children and grandchildren and currently lives on Long Island. He started out working as a tradesman and laborer and continued to challenge the American Dream by working tirelessly to achieve the success he has experienced in our great country.

Joe Passanante knows his way around restaurants because he has owned several of them on Long Island. We look forward to seeing him and Caroline Connors, his assistant, who lives in Middle Village and who helped me with this article, at the JPCA Town Meeting in Our Lady of Hope on June 25th when they will be introduced to the community.

Residents in the community have stated that they can't wait to try those delicious Southern Italian and fresh seafood lunches and dinners at La Bella Cucina! This new ristorante which, by all accounts will emphasize ambiance, with all the bells and whistles, at affordable prices, should be a big asset to our town of Middle Village. Joe Passanante personifies the American Dream and all its possibilities of achievement with hard work and sacrifice.

We wish him continued success with La Bella Cucina!