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Cafe Testarossa in Syosset: An update

Grilled octopus with escarole, crushed tomatoes and chickpeas

Grilled octopus with escarole, crushed tomatoes and chickpeas is an appetizer at Cafe Testarossa in Syosset. (Sept. 2014) Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti

Cafe Testarossa is running on all cylinders.

The restaurant, now almost equal parts Italian and New American, is more than two decades old. It has had a few lives over the years.

But the food currently is sharper and better than before, whether you're in the mood for spaghetti and meatballs or a heritage pork chop on sweet potatoes.

A very good starter: marinated and grilled octopus, tender, flavorful, finished with escarole, crushed tomatoes and chickpeas. Also recommended is a tasty special of pan-seared halibut with an "aioli breadcrumb" crust. And the cantilevered, caramelized banana napoleon crackles perfectly.

If you haven't been here in while, come back. If you've never been, reserve a table. Expect a smooth ride.

Cafe Testarossa, 499 Jericho Tpke., Syosset; 516-364-8877.