Local Dining suggestions from Gondola Getaway
A local favorite Italian/American joint with checkered tablecloths and Vine wrapped trellises. You might accidently burst out in an “O Solo Mio.” They have been here in the Shore for more than 65 years. Famous for their portions and their unique pizzas where the cheese goes on first before the sauce. Locally world famous for their “ground” peperoni pizza. Every dinner starts with a cup of minestrone and suggested that you get there “house” salad with their own unique dressing. On the menu they have some great items like “Giant” meatballs and ground peperoni mac and cheese along with a good Clams Linquine and Lasagna. They are also the Restaurant chosen to cater our own locally world famous “Pizza Cruise” on board our large Gondola. This combo makes it the only place in the world where this experience can be had. Domenico’s likes to call it there only “floating” table. We like to call it the only Gondola floating Pizzeria! The owner is a good friend and makes sure all of the Gondola Customers get the VIP treatment!
Michaels Pizzeria and Michaels Ristorante
Naples Island actually has an authentic Neapolitan Pizzeria! The classic brick oven sits in the back and can be seen from every table. Everything hot on the menu comes out of the 700 degree oven. The pizzas are made in the classic Neapolitan tradition from dough to heat. Other Items like lasagna and sausage also is finished in the intense heat of the oven. There is a nice selection of craft beers and good wines. Their arugula salad has no par in Long Beach even as simple as it is with the perfect Oil/Vinegar blend and shaved parmesan. They also have the Italian requisite of good chili oil on the table. The service is spot on!
Right next door is Michaels other Italian endeavor of Michaels fine dining Ristorante. In all of its Zagat performing services it still has a local feel of Naples Island. The dining room is filled with locals and Zagat hunters alike. The food is Top notch Northern Italian. Though I prefer the Venetian style of “all’ Onda” risotto, their Milanese style is just about perfect. Upstairs has what I think is the “coolest” bar on the Island. With outdoor and semi outdoor dining with a retractable roof is as hip as it can get in the area. They have an exceptional happy hour every day from 5-7 with half off wine and apps. A great place to hit before or after a Gondola ride through the Island which Michaels sits on!
La Parolaccia, in Italian, literally means “The Bad Language.” In Italy, the Osteria is a modest place where friends and family gather to enjoy homemade food, great wine, and very often some “bad language” would be used.
La Parolaccia Osteria is a family owned and operated restaurant with a relaxed and intimate atmosphere where everyone is treated as family and comes to enjoy delicious pastas, pizzas, great wine and occasionally bad language, but strictly in Italiano. Its’ got a real lively feel with all the right noise, smells and service to be classified as a true trattoria. Pasta and Pizza done right under one roof. They carry on an old Roman tradition right here in Long Beach. It’s a bit up the road from us, only 10 minutes, but worth the experience
Café Gazelle Long Beach “local Italian”
Every heard of great hole in the wall? Well, this is smaller than that. It only seats about 18 people. The owner is the server who barely has to move to hand you your meal from the Chef. A very consistent menu, I don’t think they have changed it in 30 years. The specials are even the same. Did I say consistent? You will be surprised of how many veal dishes they serve. All pretty much scaloppini style. I like to call it a pasta and Veal joint… Same owner, same menu, same cook all adds up to a very small, consistent Italian joint that is heavily populated by locals. No reservations so take a chance or eat early or late!
Nico’s on Naples “American Seafood and Steakhouse”
A classic New American Seafood/Steakhouse with great pasta too! A very cozy atmosphere with local elegance. George the owner is always there to greet you. The service is local non Zagatish. We like to call it Local Neapolitan because they cater so well to the Local Islanders. The bar is a happening place where you will meet some interesting successful locals. Starchy white tablecloths and shiny silverware abound in the chic dining room that is shared with the lively bar. Upstairs there is more lush dining without the vibe of the bar which some prefer. It’s a bit more romantic upstairs. There is also a back room near the wine lockers that is great for a small group to take over. Very loungy room with a dining table and couches. Local, Local, Local where you can become one with just a reservation!