Fine Italian dining: 4 picks
Italian restaurants grow wild on Long Island, ensuring you'll always have a good choice nearby. Here are four.
ERIC'S ITALIAN BISTRO, 70 E. Old Country Rd., Mineola; 516-280-5675
Eric's excels with traditional dishes, including lasagna, penne alla Norma, steak alla pizzaiola and chicken scarpariello with sausage. But you'll also enjoy the surprise of a stirring shrimp-and-chorizo risotto and branzino alla puttanesca.
NONNINA, 999 Montauk Hwy., West Islip; 631-321-8717
This spirited spot sends out satisfying pastas, including rigatoni with cauliflower and Piave cheese and ricotta gnocchi alla Bolognese. Saltimbocca, chicken alla Parmigiana, beef short rib, pizzas and the plate of cheeses and cured meats, too.
SERGIO'S, 5422 Merrick Rd., Massapequa; 516-541-6554
The mainstay of Massapequa comes through with dependably good stuffed artichokes, spaghetti and meatballs, tripe marinara, eggplant alla Parmigiana, pork chops with vinegar peppers, sausage and peppers, and a refreshing Sicilian salad of oranges.
VERDE WINE BAR AND RISTORANTE, 450 Commack Rd., Deer Park, 631-242-8902
What started as a Papa Joe's pizzeria is reborn as Verde Bar and Ristorante, a wine bar, modern restaurant and catering establishment across the street from Tanger Outlets in Deer Park. With updates on Italian-American classics and a few New American forays, it's the perfect place for a tasty, dependable meal.