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Cinque Terre in Huntington Station: First bites

Cinque Terre in Huntington Station serves a fritto

Cinque Terre in Huntington Station serves a fritto misto of fried shrimp, calamari, sepia and red snapper on June 17, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Cinque Terre, the long-awaited restaurant now in the former home of Panama Hatties, is a warm, traditional addition to Long Island's ever-growing number of Italian spots.

It's decorated with evocative photos of the Cinque Terre, five towns that cling to the dramatic coastline between Genoa and Pisa. But this Cinque Terre is more generally Italian than specifically Ligurian.

Cinque Terre is owned by Anthony and Pam Page, who also operate the comparatively casual Verona in Farmingdale. This is an ambitious enterprise, with opulently appointed dining rooms. The style, however, is open-handed and eager to please.

So, try the fresh, pan-seared sardines, accented with lemon, capers and tomato; and pick the trofie pasta, tightly wound twists sauteed with tomato puree and pesto. Consider the oven-roasted red snapper, finished with more tomato puree, olives and caramelized onions. The fritto misto is generous.

They're all respectable and pleasing. So's Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre, 872 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station; 631-923-1255.

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