74 Main Street Kings Park, NY 631-269-2600
Casual restaurant serving Italian food.Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat: 3 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sun: 2 p.m.-9 p.m. Ambience: Good Service: Very Good Credit cards: Accepted Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Frankie the Waiter, a guy who seems to be channeling the Fonz, stops at the table to make sure all is going well. It is. In the background, Frank Sinatra belts out "Fly Me to the Moon." Could a restaurant appear to be more typically Long Island Italian? Yet Ciro's manages to both inhabit and break with stereotype. Credit a singularly caring crew plus some original touches. COME FLY WITH ME Chef Robert Mejia's appetizer standards are better-than-standard: a crisp, cool, creamy Caesar salad, briny baked whole littlenecks oreganata, mellow eggplant rollatini. Lots of lump crab meat and very little bread define crab cakes, served with corn relish and a piquant rémoulade. One side dish intrigues me. "What's burnt broccoli?" I ask Frankie. "Exactly what it sounds like," he says. The crunchy charred garlicky florets are surprisingly good, a mistake gone right. A showstopper is the delectable, colorful chicken a la Ciro's - juicy, savory bone-in poultry with sausage, potatoes, onion, peppers and broccoli. A large order, at $24, easily feeds four. Chicken Francaise doesn't break any new ground, but it's citrusy and satisfying. More I'd come back for: meltingly tender gnocchi in a bright filetto di pomodoro sauce, lush meatballs over spaghetti as well as linguine bathed in a marine-sweet, garlic-enhanced white clam sauce with whole littlenecks. Worth ditching a diet for: the moist, rich tiramisu and the signature Napoleon, puff pastry layered and coated with freshly whipped cream. Yea for that. STORMY WEATHER A basket of pedestrian Italian bread, toasted and dry. Worse yet is salty pasta e fagiole made with mushy penne. MONEY-SAVING TIPS Tuesday is pasta night, when $11.95 buys any pasta from the regular menu, along with soup or salad, dessert and coffee. On Wednesday, "parmigiana" night, $13.95 (choose among chicken, veal, shrimp and eggplant parm) is a similar deal. Ciro's accepts reservations for parties of four or more.