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Nov 23, 2008 02:58 PM

Circa Ristorante Enoteca

Has anyone else tried this place? It opened a few weeks ago on Jericho Tpke in Mineola. The new owners (some relation to Rothman's Steakhouse) did a great job of making it a very hip, trendy looking place. We planned to go with friends last night before the review came out in Newsday. The food was quite good, but the noise was deafening. Tables are closes, which doesn't do much for the noise level. We thought our waiter was good, but there were other things lacking. Water glasses not filled, silverware was not replaced, that kind of thing. In the Newday review, there was a remark made about the manager coming around. I didn't see him if he did. We asked in advance about corkage, because we like to bring our own wines. $20 each came to $60 for the 3 bottles we opened at a table for 4. Seeing as I didn't see bottles of wine being ordered by other tables, I would have thought there would have been some notice by the manager, but there was none. Their wine list, as is the entire menu, is quite reasonably priced, so our corkage brought in a nice additional profit for them, I would say. Seeing as it is so local for us, I will try it again, but will be hard pressed to want to spend another Saturday night there. I am sure we will even try them for take-out. After all, it is in the same shopping center as our take-out Chinese is.

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  1. Hi, I also read the review on Newsday. It doesn't sound like Sat. night is the time to dine here. I myself hate to go to restaurants when I can't hear myself talk, that's not relaxing to me. And the tables being too close is another negative. What did you eat that was so delicious that I should be motivated to go here? At this point I wonder why you would want to go back again.

    5 Replies
    1. re: debster

      The only reason I would go back again is because it is so local for me, and I am not a lover of La Parma or Matteo's. I had the chopped salad, which was very good, and veal saltimbocca, which I also enjoyed. I will definitely not go back on a Saturday night.

      1. re: robinsilver

        I agree, I don't like Southern Italian food either. I used to be a big fan of Parkside but that got played out too. Most of the time we either go for sushi (Kotobuki, Blue Fin), Mexican (Besito), Continental (West End Cafe), L'Incontro (No. Italian) or Mim's for everything in between. With the economy as it is we don't like to waste $150+ on a meal if it's just mediocre. I think I will pass on Circa for the time being, thanks for posting the review and your reply.

        1. re: debster

          L'Incontro is definitely one of our favorites, and we go close to once a month to meet friends who come from New City. It is worth the trip.

          1. re: robinsilver

            Are you talking about L'Incontro in Astoria? Or someplace in Nassau.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I've been meaning to try Circa for a few months and tonight finally had the opportunity. It was very good and I would definitely go back.

        1. Hi Robin, I went here on your suggestion. I agree that t's a nice restaurant and the food was good. But the bread basket was not replaced by the busboys nor were the water glasses refilled. So we had to ask our waitress for both. It wasn't that noisy on a Sat. night, maybe bec. we were sitting in the corner. But overall I give it a fair. So I won't be returning in the future.

          1. I have eaten at Circa about 5 or 6 times now in the last 6 weeks. I eat out a lot, I live on Long Island, eat in the city frequently, travel a lot and tend to think my opinion on restaurants is above average - Circa is great!

            Everyone has different experiences, that is a given. I have eaten on different nights of the week including Saturday, Sunday, Thursday on each occassion I have gone to Circa - and so far the food was great! The service is perfect, they actually work fast in the kitchen from what I have found.

            The atmosphere is great, and it is definitely worth a try. This is a great addition to Long Island. I can attest to the following dishes be very delicious:

            Circa Chopped Salad
            Eggplant Rolitini
            Chicken Milanese over Arugla
            Gemelli Pasta - Broc Rabe, sausage over fresh pasta (they offer whole wheat as well, I have had both and it is delicious)


            1 Reply
            1. re: CityFoodNY

              I am happy to report that we had dinner with friends at Circa again last night, and had a much better experience. We were seated in a corner next to the wine room, so it probably kept the noise level down. I agree that they don't refill water glasses or the bread basket, but we asked when we wanted, but it would have been a nice touch. For the price, however, you don't always expect that level of service. Corkage fee, I am happy to report, is down to $15. We had a nice discussion with the owner about wine, because we noticed a few bottles of our favorite wines in the cellar, which are not on the wine list. They are personal bottles that the owner keeps stored. The portion size on the entrees is also not as skimpy as I felt it was the first time we were there. Also, for the specials, they have them printed out on a small card with prices, which is a nice touch. The service was efficient, food was brought at the same time, and was not auctioned off, (you know, the who gets the ...).
              We are happy to have a nice place in the neighborhood to go into for a good meal at a fair price.