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San Marzano makeover in Merrick
With both its quarters and its menu expanded, the remodeled San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria in Merrick was a warm refuge on a chilly night, thanks to its wood-burning pizza oven. Service, however, was a bit cool and detached.
New to the menu were pastas and entrees. A big hit was bucatini with meatballs ($13), the pasta was nicely al dente, the marble-size meatballs savory and light. I found it hard to visually differentiate between the eggplant Parmigiana ($11) and the baked penne with sopresatta ($12), both presented in identical bubbling cheese-topped casseroles. Both were pretty good, in a creamy, cheesy way.
On the new roster of appetizers: arugula salad ($10), fried calamari ($11) and antipasto ($9).
The restaurant's original list of pizzas and calzones remains essentially as it was.
San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria is at 38 Merrick Ave., Merrick, 516-546-3300, smarzano.com.