Driven by a craving for pasta e fagioli, I landed at Torcellos in East Northport one recent afternoon. What I found was an irresistible lunch deal which, at $9.95, included soup or a salad plus half a hero or lunch pasta — or else soup plus a salad. That combination turned out to be my choice. A soft drink was also included.
Lunch began with the pasta e fagioli I had been jonesing for — forthright and full-bodied as ever, rife with pieces of prosciutto. Next course was a Cobb salad.
Now, by definition, a Cobb salad should include a specific combination of ingredients over greens: roasted (which usually ends up meaning grilled) chicken, avocado, hard-boiled egg, bacon, blue cheese and tomato. Over the years, though, the genre has been interpreted in so many ways, it’s hard to ever know what to expect.
The Cobb at Torcello’s didn’t have any chicken or blue cheese (except in the dressing, served on the side) but harbored lots of crisp bacon, avocado, egg, tomato and — an unorthodoxy — cucumber. It came up a surprise winner. What I discovered was that I actually prefer the salad without chicken, since what one usually gets is dry white meat anyway.
The lunch prix fixe runs Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Torcellos is at 1932 Jericho Tpke., East Northport, 631-499-8792, torcellos.com.