The holiday season is moving right along. Here are three restaurants where the entire family can slow down and enjoy time together plus some very good Italian-American specialties.
388 Restaurant in Roslyn Heights is a comfortable, easygoing spot, openhanded, and on target with dishes to be shared. Recommended: fresh mozzarella; cold antipasto; baked clams; chicken or meatball Parmigiana sliders; seafood salad; rigatoni Bolognese; linguine with white clam sauce; baked ziti with ricotta; chicken Milanese; rack of lamb; shrimp marinara; red snapper Livornese; grilled salmon; Italian-style cheesecake; warm biscotti with cannoli cream. Moderate.
388, 388 Willis Ave., Roslyn Heights, 516-621-3888, 388restaurant.com
Emilio's in Commack is a magnet for robust Italian-American dishes and savory pizzas, served by a friendly staff. Recommended: Mamma Mia Meatballs appetizer; rice balls; eggplant rollatine; calamari arrabbiata; stuffed artichoke oreganata; rigatoni Bolognese; lasagna; ravioli; fusilli campagnola; chicken Parmigiana; chopped vegetable salad; Gorgonzola, arugula, and pomegranate salad; Margherita pizza; white pizza with five cheeses; roasted cauliflower pizza; scungilli fra diavolo. Moderate.
Emilio's, 2201 Jericho Tpke., Commack, 631-462-6267, emilioscommack.com
Ciao Baby in Massapequa Park earns an exclamation for big portions and big flavors, with a pretty big repertoire, too. Recommended: Sicilian rice ball; Italian potato pancakes; long hot stuffed peppers; sausage and peppers; burrata with grilled crostini; chicken scarpariello; eggplant lasagna; bass oreganata; bucatini with jumbo meatball; "Sunday beef ragu" with bucatini; Nonna's Old World Meat Platter; brick-oven Margherita pizza; fig, prosciutto, goat cheese pizza. Moderate.
Ciao Baby, 5074 Sunrise Hwy., Massapequa Park, 516-799-5200, ciaobabyrestaurant.com