Sa Vino's, Lynbrook: First bites

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Fresh basil and chopped tomatoes, plus a load

Fresh basil and chopped tomatoes, plus a load of Manila clams, distinguish the linguine with white clam sauce at Sa Vino's in Lynbrook. Photo Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick

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

A recent dinner at the new Sa Vino’s Pizzeria Restaurant Wine Bar in Lynbrook proved a lively one.

A plus, from the outset, was a waitress who was enthusiastic about both the food and wine she was serving. You'd be surprised how much that adds to an experience.

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To start, I was able to substitute the restaurant’s sesame-tinged Oriental dressing for the usual balsamic dressing (please, will somebody put an end to the overuse of balsamic) in a salad of mixed greens with pears, roasted almonds and Gorgonzola. Is it my imagination, or have I not had that same salad at a thousand other restaurants?

Far more distinctive was a fresh and fragrant version of linguine with white clam sauce ($13.95) done with fresh chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic and a load of Manila clams. Rigatoni Bolognese, al dente pasta in a chunky, flavor-intense cream-lightened meat sauce, turned out to be rich, fully satisfying.

Tony “the wine guy” Caracci is a presence behind the restaurant’s new wine bar. I was happy with his generous pour of a “Super Tuscan,“ ordered from a list of “interesting reds” on the table. For only $8.50, this turned out to be an excellent buy.

Sa Vino’s Pizzeria Restaurant Wine Bar is at 88 Atlantic Ave., Lynbrook, 516-596-1600.

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