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Good Italian on long island is a myth!

I have just spent two hours trying to find a single good Italian restaurant in Nassau County, and I've come to the conclusion that it just might not exist. I grew up on LI and have lived in Manhattan for the last 10 years. I must be spoled because everytime I try an LI Italian restaurant, it's garbage. Overcooked pasta, tangy tomato sauce with a scoop of sugar added, soggy eggplant, 8 inch think veal milanese... that about sums up my opinion and experience.

After speaking to everyone I know to try and find a good place for this weekend, I have made zero progress and I think I know why - because LI restaurants mostly stink. If anyone knows something that I don't, please opine.

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  1. Pasta Pasta and Nocello? These are two I've heard about from friends on Long Island.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dolores

      If you're talking about Nocello in Northport, I wouldn't go within 1 mile of that place. It's old school "continental" without the decent food or good service.

    2. How about Guilio Cesare?

      1. Try 18 Bay in Bayville. One of the chefs is ex-Batali and the food is very refined.


        Also, Luigi Q in Hicksville looks like a regular Long Island restaurant, but the owner is from Puglia and will, upon request, cook real Italian food.

        1. If your looking for something, lets say, Babbo-ish on LI, ain't gonna happen. Having said that, a few places I think are decent are Stressa in Manhasset, Rialto in Carle Place, Dodici and Dario in RVC and Lucca in Bellmore. IMHO.

          1. Get out of LI proper just a few miles and go to Douglaston, Queens which isn't far from Great Neck area. Go to Il Tuscano. You won't be disappointed.

            1. Per un Angelo, on a side street off Sunrise Highway in Wantagh. Excellent service and food.

              1. Have you tried Bennys in Westbury? Just like Grandma used to make. Too bad you're in Nassau; when you said "Long Island" I thought, how can she say that when we have both Annona in Westhampton and Tuscan House in Southampton. Both taste just like you're in Italy, with atmosphere to match.

                1 Reply
                1. re: coll

                  Eastend : Another vote for Annona. Beautiful pastas here!
                  Westend: Don Pepe's in Ozone Park. Best linguini and calm sauce ever !

                2. King Umberto in Elmont. Tesoro in Westbury.

                  1. Another vote for Il Toscano. Not cheap, but excellent. The food is fresh and creatively prepared.There are a lot of nice touches like homemade mozzarella and desserts. And the wine list is amazing. I don't know why it gets short shrift on this board. But that's okay. It's already crowded enough.

                    1. Try Piccolo Bussolo in Westbury.......or Picollo Parma in Mineola......no need to boast...you will see !

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: engarcon

                        Piccolo Bussolo-- I am pretty sure is family style, so you get big portions, very good!!!

                      2. Pompeii in West Hempstead.... awesome...

                        1. What kind of Italian you looking for. northern, southern family style. fancy, casual moderate, expensive?plenty of good italian on L.I. many of the restaurant listed in the replies are in fact very good, nyc does not have a monopoly on all the good restaurants in n.y. For expensive Mio in roslyn is outstanding, as is IL Mulino of roslyn(not quite as good as the original(but close). I agree, piccolo bussola on westbury is very good for family style, as is La Parma in Huntington and east Williston. Il toscano in douglaston is also very good(great lobster special). Piccolo in Huntington also excellent, La Ginestra in glen cove is good. La piccolo Liguria in Port is also excellent.

                          1. I like Dimaggios on port blvd in port washington... i'm not a italian fanatic but I think the food here is awesome, and a lot of my friends think so too!