Every neighborhood needs a dependable Italian restaurant, a place with few surprises on the menu, where everything is (mostly) done well. Bramasole Italian Restaurant, on Jericho Turnpike on the border of Garden City Park and New Hyde Park, is good news for those who want a quick trip to dinner.
In the same freestanding building that most recently housed the short-lived Vintage and, before that, Testaccio at the Gardens, Bramasole is named for the house at the center of Frances Mayes' Italian idyll "Under the Tuscan Sun" (and the movie of the same name). There's nothing very Tuscan about the menu, but pasta specials, a DJ-hosted dance night and a knockout — though unorthodox — saltimbocca are probably more on point anyway.
We gave the menu a good grilling last Friday night, and most of the standards we ordered held up well. The big disappointment was the flounder Francaise ($22), breaded and drenched in a glutinous lemon, butter and white wine sauce. But the seafood salad ($16), loaded with shrimp, calamari and scungilli was vibrant and lemony, large enough to be a whole meal. The veal saltimbocca ($24), topped with a hearty helping of prosciutto and mozzarella over a bed of spinach, was big, bold and entirely satisfying to a companion known for his bottomless appetite. And the grilled shrimp over broccoli raab ($23), although loaded with garlic, had the exact right char and texture. Also on the menu, more than a dozen pastas, many of which are well under $20.
Nothing overly innovative, but nothing that offends. Just right for the neighborhood.
Bramasole Italian Restaurant is at 2232 Jericho Tpke., Garden City Park, 516-216-5710, bramasolerestaurant.com