Luigi's Pizzeria, Mineola: First Bites

The moist, pillowy meatballs at Luigi's in Mineola The moist, pillowy meatballs at Luigi's in Mineola come with a hefty dollop of ricotta. (Sept., 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday Joan Reminick

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

An initial visit to the new Luigis Pizzeria in Mineola revealed that the place has its high points.

Chef Charlie Kellers house meatballs ($12.95), a lush and pillowy combination of beef, pork and veal, came topped with marinara and a dollop of seasoned ricotta. Very good. Fine flavor in his spaghetti cacio e pepe ($10.95) made with butter, extra-virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and Parmigiano cheese. Problem was, the cheese adhered to some pieces of pasta, causing them to clump together.  Thats the way the dish is, I was told by the counter server.  It was taken back and replaced with linguine primavera ($14.95)   julienne vegetables with roasted tomatoes and garlic, a commendable rendition of the vegetarian classic.

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About the pizza: A grandma slice was OK but didn't approach the quality of the artisanal pies produced by the now-gone wood-burning oven of its predecessor, Flip Pizza.

To read more about the transition, click here.

Luigis Pizzeria is at 526 Jericho Tpke., Mineola, 516-294-7400.

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Above: House meatballs, with ricotta

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