The informal, fairly priced restaurant for Italian-American favorites is a Long Island staple. But they’re not all the same. Here are three of the best, for pastas, pizzas and more. Bring an appetite. Become a regular.
Gino’s of Williston Park stars with its reliably first-rate food and friendly, openhanded style. Ideal for either dining in or taking out. Recommended: pizza with fresh asparagus and breadcrumbs; Sicilian pizza; grilled chicken-and-broccoli rabe hero; potato-and-egg hero; eggplant rollatini; lasagna; manicotti; spaghetti puttanesca; pasta with pesto; pasta with peas and onions; all Parmigianas; all soups; salads; escarole, broccoli rabe, spinach, with garlic and olive oil. Moderate
Gino’s of Williston Park, 628 Willis Ave., Williston Park, 516-746-2860, ginosofwillistonpark.com
Emilio’s of Commack is a local landmark, with genial service and dependable dishes. Prime-time crowds. Recommended: the Mamma Mia meatball and ricotta bowl; the ample, savory stuffed artichoke; pappardelle with vegetables, raisins, garlic, and olive oil; open-faced lasagna with meatballs; manicotti; scungilli fra diavolo; Old World marinara, Grandpa, Grandma, Margherita; white pizzas. Moderate
Emilio’s 2201 Jericho Tpke., Commack, 631-462-6267, emilios-restaurant.com
Carnival in Port Jefferson Station has an extensive menu and a devoted audience. Recommended: grilled octopus salad; seafood salad; pear-walnut-Gorgonzola salad; brick-oven pizzas; stuffed pizzas; hot antipasti platter; cavatelli with pesto; penne puttanesca; rigatoni Siciliano with grilled baby eggplant; chicken Parmigiana; sole Livornese; calamari marinara; tripe Neapolitan-style with marinara sauce; pork chops with vinegar peppers.
Carnival, 4900 Nesconset Hwy., Port Jefferson Station, 631-473-9772, carnivalrestaurant.net