Best Italian restaurants on Long Island

Spaghetti Calabrese, made with red, yellow and hot

(Credit: Kathy Kmonicek)

We ate our way across Long Island to narrow the field of our favorite Italian restaurants and found the ones that prepared popular dishes the best. Here they are, separated by county, for your driving pleasure. Buon appetito!

  • Angelina's in East Norwich. (?Jan. ?22, ?2015)

    Angelina's $$ | Italian 1017 Oyster Bay Rd. East Norwich With a menu similar to Angelina's II, Angelina's is housed in a more modest setting but offers the same favorites, including minestrone, baked clams oreganata, broccoli rabe and chicken sausage on polenta and gnocchi Bolognese.

  • Critic rating 2
    Angelina's II in Syosset.

    Angelina's II $$$ | Italian 30 Berry Hill Rd. Syosset In a cozy house setting, staples include spaghettini puttanesca, sea bass Livornese and lobster fra diavolo.

  • Critic rating 2
    Arturo's in Floral Park. (Jan. ?11, ?2015)

    Arturo's $$$$ | Italian 246-04 Jericho Tpke. Floral Park A veteran on the Nassau-Queens border with traditional cuisine and, sometimes, a sweet-voiced table-side singer who knows the standards and more. Welcoming and consistent. Chef Mimma D'Anna's menu features cold antipasti, torta primavera, stuffed artichoke, spaghetti carbonara, fusilli Amatriciana, steak pizzaiola, veal chop Milanese, cannoli, cheesecake and zabaglione.

  • Critic rating 4
    Airy gnocchi accompany a savory, tender, zeppelin-size beef

    Benny's Ristorante $$$ | Italian, Restaurant 199 Post Ave. Westbury Benny's earned four stars when it opened in 1995, and it still deserves them today. Must-haves include an airy gnocchi with a savory, tender, zeppelin-size beef braciola in brown sauce; a juicy, double-cut pork chop; and fettuccine alla carbonara. To finish: superior zabaglione on berries.

  • Critic rating 2
    The rigatoni Siciliana, with eggplant, tomatoes, basil and

    Centro Cucina $$ | Pizza, Italian 43C Glen Cove Rd. Greenvale A hardworking eatery that's bustling in the evening and pretty busy midday, too. It's a casual, unpretentious cafe, where the pizzas (try the creamy four-cheese) shine, as do the husky panini. Also good: lobster fra diavolo, smoky grilled red snapper, pear-and-pecorino salad.

  • Exterior view of Dodici.

    Dodici $$$ | Italian-American 12 N. Park Ave. Rockville Centre The Renaissance lives at this attractive (and often noisy) spot with vaulted ceilings, graceful columns and Michelangelo reproductions. What counts most is the carefully executed Italian fare, from the resonant white bean soup to the puffy-crusted pizzette to a special of gently stewed pork osso buco with an opulent saffron risotto. For a finale: rum-soaked bread pudding and airy tiramisu.

  • Critic rating 2
    The dining room at Franina.

    Franina $$$$ | Italian 58 Jericho Tpke. Syosset Very good Italian food and even better wines, plus smooth service and an inviting atmosphere. Chef Victor Zitoli's seafood salad, pappardelle Bolognese, grilled whole branzino and orata, linguinette with clam sauce, lobster fra diavolo, beef braciola go first, followed by zabaglione.

  • Critic rating 2
    An exterior view of Il Mulino.

    Il Mulino $$$$ | Italian 1042 Northern Blvd. Roslyn Estates The din is high, the lights are low and neither the crowd nor the waiters can get enough of themselves. Nonetheless, this Long Island branch of a New York City mainstay remains a hot table. The gratis antipasti alone (Grana Padano, sausage, sauteed zucchini and garlic bread) are enough to make a meal. Other highlights: house-made pastas (porcini ravioli in truffle-flecked Champagne cream sauce), risotti and delicate Dover sole. Finish with fresh berries and zabaglione. You'll pay plenty for the show.

  • Cannolis in the main dinning room at King

    King Umberto $$ | Pizza, Italian, Pasta 1343 Hempstead Tpke. Elmont Reigning in southwest Nassau since 1976, with a motto of "real Italian ... real good." Really accurate, too. Time-capsule decor. Stuffed artichoke, crisp "baci balls" of mozzarella, roasted peppers and prosciutto, orecchiette with cauliflower, chicken scarpariello, rigatoni Bolognese, roast pork and cannoli are consistently good.

  • Critic rating 1
    Interior of La Bussola restaurant.

    La Bussola $$$ | Italian 40 School St. Glen Cove For some 30 years, a magnet for locals and a lot of visitors looking for straightforward Italian food, mostly southern, sometimes northern. Stuffed eggplant, baked clams, escarole-and-bean soup, penne with broccoli rabe and sausage, linguine puttanesca, swordfish oreganata, lobster fra diavolo, steak pizzaiola, stuffed and skewered veal rolls lead the menu.

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