The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
There are 20 regions in Italy, from Piedmont to Sicily. Finding an authentic taste of one requires some looking around. Here are three restaurants that cover plenty of territory, but give special attention to a single one.
LA PICCOLA LIGURIA, 47 Shore Rd., Port Washington; 516-767-6490
As the name suggests, this Port Washington mainstay is devoted to the cooking in and around Genoa. The regular menu is only a lead-in. Recommended: stuffed veal, grilled sardines, fried anchovies, pasta with walnut sauce, pasta with pesto, ravioli with chard, vegetable antipasti.
TRATTORIA DIANE, 21 Bryant Ave., Roslyn; 516-621-2591, trattoriadiane.com
A few years ago, Trattoria Diane took on a Roman accent. That’s emphasized primarily with the fine bucatini all’Amatriciana, which brings the cured pork flavor to tomato sauce; and the spaghetti alla carbonara, vivid with bacon and Parmesan cheese. The fried artichokes also suit the theme.
CASA RUSTICA, 175 W. Main St., Smithtown; 631-265-9265, casarustica.net
The pleasures of Casa Rustica are many, from lasagna to ravioli and lobster risotto to whole fish baked in a salt crust. Sicilian dishes sometimes are specials. Look for the flavorful pasta con le sarde, with sardines, fennel, raisins and pine nuts; swordfish rollatini; and caponata of artichokes.