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Garden City Park: Outside at Uncle Bacala's

The patio at Uncle Bacala's in Garden City

The patio at Uncle Bacala's in Garden City Park, July 30, 2010 (Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

As an apartment dweller, I’m always on the lookout for outdoor dining. On Friday night, I took in the new patio at Uncle Bacala’s in Garden City Park. Jericho Turnpike might not strike you as the most bucolic setting for dining alfresco, but the restaurant has cleverly blocked the view of (and much of the noise from) the street.

They know me at Uncle Bacala’s—or, rather, they figured me out while I was taking the picture above—so I did not dine anonymously. I started out with a daily special of mozzarella-and-prosciutto-stuffed fried squash blossoms whose batter had a hint of sweetness that grew on me as I ate. Linguine and clams featured delicious little Manila clams and crisp bits of pancetta although I wished the broth had been clammier.

For dessert I was encouraged to try the “waffellini,” a vast spread of waffles, banana chunks, blueberries, strawberries, ice cream and caramel sauce. (Waffellone would be a better description.) This is the kind of dessert that appeals to the gluttonous kid in all of us. It seemed out of place at an Italian fish restaurant but, then again, this was on Jericho Turnpike.

Uncle Bacala’s is at 2370 Jericho Tpke., Garden City Park, 516-739-0505.

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