3 new restaurants
Kent Monkan, whose restaurant The Brass Rail is a popular destination in Locust Valley, has just opened a gastropub in Glen Head. Heirloom Tavern moved into the site at the railroad station vacated last year by Fork & Vine.
Monkan termed Heirloom Tavern "an American gastropub." The menu includes bar plates ranging from a chicken-fried steak meatball slider to oxtail steamed bun; sandwiches from burgers and a meatball hero to grilled asparagus-and-Brie and a cheese steak; main courses from Painted Hills steaks to fettuccine lobster carbonara. Bar plates are $6; sandwiches, $15; pastas, $15 to $24; mains, $18 to $36.
Heirloom Tavern is at 32 Railroad Ave., Glen Head; 516-686-6633. -- PETER M. GIANOTTI
Monaco's Coal Fired Pizza takes over the storefront that housed Massa's Pizzeria and, for a short time after that, Christian's. The place is owned by the Pasquarosa family and, says Andy Pasquarosa, Roni Sanchez has been making pies in the same oven for the past five years, under both previous ownerships.
I stopped into the modest spot and tried both the personal-sized Margherita pizza, topped with fresh mozzarella, a bright tomato sauce and basil ($7.75), and the signature Monaco's pie ($10.75) with its hearty mixture of ground sausage, peppers, onions and fresh mozzarella. Both had puffy-crispy crusts with a nice char. And if the underside of the sausage pie didn't stand up to its topping, it's still good eating. A pallid chopped salad ($7), however, fell short.
A new branch of Oceanside's Mio Posto is spreading the marinara in Hicksville. The location (formerly the Spare Rib) already is packed to high decibels on weekends, with an hour's wait the norm on Saturday night. It's as if Old Country Road never saw an eggplant Parmigiana.
But Mio Posto understands how the formula works: good food, fair prices, very big portions. Even a half-portion at the family-style spot could feed two.
So, dive into that Sunday special sauce of meatballs, sausages and braciole, best atop rigatoni or penne. The house's fra diavolo sauce is calibrated to your specifications, so if you like it hot, this is your destination. And go with a group. A very hungry one.
Mio Posto is at 600 W. Old Country Rd., Hicksville; 516-605-23655/66. -- PETER M. GIANOTTI