Eric's Italian Bistro in Mineola: First bites

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Shrimp-and-chorizo risotto is an appetizer at Eric's Italian

Shrimp-and-chorizo risotto is an appetizer at Eric's Italian Bistro in Mineola. (November 2013)

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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

Eric's Italian Bistro is like two restaurants under one roof. It's a destination for Italian-American favorites and for creative specialties from chef-owner George Echeverria.

Echeverria has starred with local restaurants, including the now-closed Amicale in Huntington Station, Soigne in Woodmere and Andiamo in Mineola.

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Here, the appeal is from old-and-new dishes, including the creamy, lively shrimp-and-chorizo risotto; branzino prepared puttanesca-style, with capers, garlic, olives and tomatoes; roasted-vegetable ravioli finished with sage and brown butter; and a pear perfectly poached in Port, with vanilla gelato.

The dining rooms are comfortable, enlarged with ornately framed mirrors and a sunny hue. There are no hard edges. And holiday lights already adorn little trees in front of the spot, which once housed L.I. Law, a restaurant and bar.

It all puts you in a very good mood.

Eric's Italian Bistro, 70 E. Old Country Rd., Mineola; 516-280-5675.

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