Senso Unico
Credit: Senso Unico

I’ll admit it: I’m a stubborn Manhattanite. This means that I don’t really enjoy going to other boroughs for anything… especially in the dead of winter. It takes a lot for me to really travel outside my humble abode, and if one thing can do it for me, it’s food. So color me happy when I headed to Sunnyside, Queens over the weekend to experience just how wonderfully delicious Senso Unico really is.

Senso Unico is only minutes away from the 46 Street/Queens Boulevard stop on the 7 train. The space itself is small and intimate, which rang perfect for the kind of experience that me and my friend had.

Chef/Owner Vincenzo Garofalo, who runs Senso Unico with his wife Laura, expertly created a menu for us that went beyond the word tasty. Given his experience at legendary locations like Le Cirque and Siro Restaurant at The Pierre Hotel, it didn’t come as much of a surprise that we were provided with such finesse with every dish he made.

His menu is simple and to the point. It’s not overrun with a zillion dishes that will just eat up your time when you are trying to figure out what to order. Antipasti (appetizers), Insalate (salad) and Primi and Secondi (entrees) each have items that are scrumptious from the first bite to the last.

Their Cuoppo is something spectacular if you are in the mood for all things fried. He prepares shrimp, calamari and more in a deliciously fried way that comes with a spicy aioli to dip. Another standout in the antipasti section was the Polpettine. Tomato braised meatball, parmesan cheese, basil. Three ingredients that come together beautifully into one big mouth (mine).

If there is one dish that I would recommend getting more than all the others it’s the Gnocchi al Pesto. Gnocchi is something that is consistently judged poorly on shows like Top Chef, as it really is an art to make them that needs perfection. Chef Garofolo’s version is perfect with a phenomenal taste that I’m still raving about all this time later. Easily the best gnocchi I’ve had in a while.

If you still have room for dessert, try his Beer Tiramisu. Yes… beer flavored Tiramisu. It comes in an adorable glass and is packed with sweetness and bitterness that sings together beautifully.

The bottom line is this: if you want great Italian cuisine, come to Senso Unico. Get over the distance and enjoy what Chef Garofalo will provide for you. You’ll thank us in the end.

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