Caruso's in Rocky Point: Lunch bonanza

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A lunch special at Caruso's in Rocky Point:

A lunch special at Caruso's in Rocky Point: seared branzino over gnocchi, broccoli rabe and tomatoes. Photo Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick

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A ten-spot may not always buy very much, but at Caruso’s in Rocky Point, it can snag you a lunch worth the trip. Included in the tab is soup or a salad, plus coffee or tea. Most seafood items incur a $3 surcharge.

The kitchen is under the command of chef co-owner Wayne Waddington, who also owns the fancier, pricier La Plage in Wading River. Nothing fancy about this pizzeria, with a large dining room on one side.

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The afternoon a companion and I stopped by, lunch began with soup — a robust minestrone and a hearty a bowl of lentil that would have been ideal had it not been lukewarm. I couldn't help but also wish for better grated cheese than the overchilled stuff in a little shaker I was presented with. (Sometimes, the pizzeria mindset migrates over to the dining room).

On the other hand, an entree of pappardelle in a spicy sausage ragu with littleneck clams ($3 extra) was just right.  And it was worth the upcharge for a perfectly seared filet of branzino, its skin crisp and lemony, plated atop a mélange of sauteed gnocchi, roasted tomatoes and broccoli rabe. Showstoppers, both.

Among options on the $10 roster are pork scallopine; orecchiette with sausage, broccoli rabe and giant beans, as well as chicken Parmigiana with pasta or vegetables. Lasagna, too.

Caruso’s is at 41 Broadway, Rocky Point, 631-744-1117.

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