Ristegio's review

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Location: 641 Rte.112 North Patchogue, NY 11772

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Description: On a dim stretch of Route 112 in North Patchogue is Ristegio's, a restaurant that expertly ... More »

Richard Lanza is throwing a homecoming party in North Patchogue.

Lanza, who starred at Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville, grew up in the Patchogue-Medford area. His first food job was in the neighborhood. And he's definitely back.

Lanza's stage is a big, brick-and-stone monument, rising on a dim stretch of Route 112. As a restaurant, it stands out like Vegas in the desert.

The name Ristegio's is a combination of the owners' names, as in Richard, Steven and Joseph Lanza. Inside, theirs is a sprawling, hard-surface, often noisy space, with two dining rooms, a sushi section and a centerpiece bar with four TVs so no major sporting event goes unnoticed.

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One wall, with a window on the wine room, features enough stone-like facing to deplete Home Depot. The best way to describe the artwork: assertive. But there are subtler touches, too.

Most important, they stem from the professional service and the inviting food. General manager Andy Kormendi, who ran the long-gone, much-missed Louis XVI in Patchogue, expertly steers the staff here. And Lanza smoothly segues through New American, French, Italian and Japanese cuisines.

His sherried, coral-shaded lobster bisque is a refined opener. But equally recommended is the husky stew of Nueske's slab bacon and beans with brown sugar, tomato and pomegranate molasses -- a deluxe pig-out.

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Pretty good tempura-battered artichokes are backed by lemon-garlic aioli. Crabcakes could be crabbier but get a boost from roasted-corn salsa and sauce remoulade. A tasty flatbread with prosciutto, caramelized pear and Fontina cheese; or one with plum tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, could be shared while you're deciding the rest.

There's hefty, satisfying baked macaroni and cheese finished with Black Forest ham; and an outstanding main dish dubbed "stuffed pasta pillows," light, plump and savory packets with a four-cheese filling in a meaty, first-class spin on Bolognese sauce.

Chile-rubbed, bacon-wrapped pork medallions and the "8HR" braised short rib are equally generous. Roasted corn, edamame and purple-potato succotash support nutty, pan-seared diver sea scallops. Black forbidden rice buttresses respectable, sesame-crusted salmon; couscous and roasted tomato vinaigrette, pan-seared, rosy Montauk yellowfin tuna.

Ristegio's sends out traditional sashimi, sushi and sushi rolls. Notable choices include the fluke and yellowtail. The house's namesake roll combines tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and avocado; the 112 roll, spicy crabmeat, cucumber, shrimp and spicy mayo.

Artful cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake and Greek yogurt panna cotta with "bruleed" figs top the desserts.

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Join the festivities.

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