Big, buoyant and immediately packed, Iavarone Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria has opened in Plainview.
Seating about 160 diners, the new, casual restaurant from Iavarone Bros., which also operates a similar but smaller spot in New Hyde Park, is a week old. The family business, founded in 1927, is most famous for its Italian specialty markets in Woodbury, Wantagh, New Hyde Park and the original in Maspeth, Queens.
The Plainview venue includes a pizzeria lined with subway tiles and sporting stools, a counter, and a takeout section. There's also a full bar. But the main section is a bright, handsome dining room decorated with polished wood that holds banquettes and tables that seat up to 10.
"It's going pretty well," said co-owner Joe Iavarone, though he acknowledged that early on it hasn't always been easy "getting the food out in a timely fashion." He said that about 300 diners were eating there on Saturday night. "We've been happy with the response." Iavarone said he expects the restaurant to be running more smoothly within "three or four weeks."
The Plainview restaurant is on Old Country Road near the high-end Country Pointe development of condominium suites, villas, and townhomes.
It's more than twice the size of the Iavarone Kitchen & Pizzeria in New Hyde Park, formerly known as Iavarone Cafe, situated in the Lake Success Shopping Center.
Prices at the Plainview restaurant range from $10 to $19 for appetizers; soups, $7 to $10; salads, $10 to $18; pizzettes, $12 to $15; pastas, $16 to $28; and main dishes, $20 to $42 — the high end covering grilled veal chops and veal chops Milanese.
Wines are $25 to $105, many displayed in a storage unit with shelves and racks facing the dining room. There's an extensive, popular, takeout menu; and a range of traditional pizzas.
Good selections currently include pizzettes with either crumbled meatballs or eggplant; fresh pappardelle San Gennaro with crumbled sausage, tomatoes, scallions, and fresh mozzarella; an opener of meatballs atop whipped ricotta; and the generous arugula salad with Gorgonzola cheese, fennel, butternut squash, pomegranate, and Granny Smith apple finished with an apple-cider vinaigrette,
Iavarone Kitchen in Plainview now is open six days from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and closed on Monday. It's expected to open on Mondays in October.
Iavarone Kitchen & Pizzeria, 1575 Old Country Rd., Plainview, 516-888-4400, ibfoods.com