The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Benny's Ristorante in Westbury has earned high ratings for years. Based on a recent visit, it still does.
The traditional Italian restaurant has taken a few contemporary turns, but what will make you want to return is the exceptional preparation of classic dishes. That's coupled with excellent service in a serene dining room. Basically: a restaurant for adults.
Standouts include a vivid version of bucatini con le sarde, an evocation of Sicily, with sardines, raisins, pine nuts, bread crumbs and home-grown fennel. Pasta with clams and sausage becomes a savory spin on surf-and-turf.
The familiar pairing of eggplant and pasta turns whimsical when perfect eggplant rollatine arrives filled with goat-milk ricotta and buttery threads of capellini. Double-cut pork chops with hot peppers and potatoes is homey fare carefully refined. Outstanding cannoli, too. And the house's zabaglione remains one of the best on Long Island.
Maybe you haven't been to Benny's since the Clinton Administration. Or have never eaten there. Either way, the recommendation is simple: Go.
Benny's Ristorante, 199 Post Ave., Westbury; 516-997-8111.