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Oct 29, 2012 08:08 AM

Italian stuff, Eastern Long Island

Does anyone know of anything selling italian stuff, kind of like Penn Mac, in suffolk?

There are all sorts of shops with pasta, and meat, and sicilian wine is around, and groceries sell weirdo italian vegetables now and then, one grocery store even carries canned imported pasta con sarde sauce. . . but are there any places that are more inclusive? Looking for semolina that isn't sold at bob's red mill prices (might as well be mitt's red mill), odd ball dried pastas (sardinian couscous) and i don't want to look at every damn italian shop because i swear their must be 40,000 of them, but none of them i coudl call a one stop shop.

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  1. Lombardi's market in Holbrook has amazing Italian specialties.
    Scotto's in Hampton Bays is excellent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Motosport

      is lombardi's market related to the "mama lombardi's" in (or near, i forget) holbrook?? if so i'm sold.

      1. re: Motosport

        A quick google search says that it is indeed the same company.

      2. Del Fiores in Patchogue and Rocky Point.

        3 Replies
        1. re: coll

          I drive past this place all the time and never go in. I'll have to check it out.

          1. re: j8715

            They're both sort of small but carry an amazing amount of top shelf Italian, plus their ravioli are hard to beat. And if you want semolina, just ask and they will give you a bag from the prep area at rock bottom price. Just tell them if you want coarse or fine.

            1. re: coll

              there are so many of these little shops it is hard to sort the good from the bad and they are all so small I'm sure there is one in patchogue with awesome cannoli and one in bellport with mozz and another in wading river with sausages etc etc. other than going into every single one, i don't know how to sort them out. I haven't been very excited with the restaurants in the area, but they have revived the idea of Neapolitan cooking for me, trends be damned.

        2. Just out of curiousity - what, exactly do you consider "weirdo italian vegetables"?

          5 Replies
          1. re: Bacardi1

            oh things i never saw living in pennsylvania: those bulbous purple and white sicilian eggplant, cardone/cardoon, fresh (ie uncured) olives. . . maybe fresh favas but now i forget if i ever saw them before moving to LI, maybe fresh, undried prunes but it seems like all the slavs in pennsylvania should have had those.

            Nothing that weird, not like sea cucumber weird.

            1. re: j8715

              Have you tried any of them?

              Purple (or violet) & white striped Italian eggplants are my hands-down favorite. The skin is more tender & the fruits have less seed. Very flavorful. My favorite variety (that I grow in my garden) is "Rosa Bianca". Worth searching out if you like eggplant.

              As for cardoon, I'm on the fence about it. Gratineed some once & was less than impressed. Okay, but not something I'd go out of my way for. Sort of reminded me of celery without the celery flavor.

              Fresh uncured olives aren't for me either. I'm sure they're wonderful, but I'm just not up to bothering with the curing process when there are so very many excellent already-cured products on the market these days.

              Prune Plums are DELICIOUS!! Small, but sweet & intense. They make a mean plum tart.

              1. re: Bacardi1

                I can't remember if i tried the eggplant. Probably not because I'm a cheapstake and the regular purple ones from NJ are so inexpensive.

                Cardoon is ok. I remember reading something about how great Mario Batali thought they were, but they weren't something I would rave about.

                The uncured olives no. I don't like the green ones anyway and I don't know if all the work of pitting and curing them would really be worth it.

                The favas no. I'm too lazy to peel them. I regret not getting the italian flat beans when I saw them, but I didn't realize what they were.

                The prunes no. I would eat them, but the connotation of the word "prune" is too much for my wife. I would have to eat the whole cake or whatever myself.

                Forgot in the other list to add cipollini onions on the first list. I'll get around to those sometime, I just need to find a good recipe.

                1. re: j8715

                  Agree with you about Fava Beans as well. I'm too lazy to sit & peel the skins off even the small amount that would equal 2 servings. I can't recall ever seeing them offered for sale frozen (& already peeled), but might try them that way if I ever come across them.

                  I've had Cipollini onions pickled, & they were delicious. I also added them to a Coq au Vin once, & they were much nicer than regular White Pearl onions as well. Would love to try them as a dish on their own, but dear husband isn't an onion fan, so I'd have to eat the whole thing myself.

                  Oh, & while I agree that specialty eggplants can be pricier (unless you have a good farmers market - ours sells all eggplants for the same price), they're very easy to grow - even in containers. Might be worth the price of a packet of seed or some nursery seedlings if you like to garden.

                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    goya sells them frozen and shelled at least. Not really sure if they are peeled.