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Italian restaurant reinvents itself

Spaghetti and clam sauce is served at the

Spaghetti and clam sauce is served at the Iavarone Italian Kitchen + Pizzeria in New Hyde Park on April 24, 2015. Credit: Newsday/ Marjorie Robins

With the backing and strength of the venerable grocer Iavarone Bros., the new Iavarone Italian Kitchen + Pizzeria recently opened in the Lake Success Shopping Center, next to the market’s showplace store in New Hyde Park.

Some things are old, many new. The restaurant had operated as the Iavarone Cafe since 1996, but needed an update, a “high-energy’’ look, according to general manager David Vitale. The handsome 80-seater has been completely renovated with a crisp, urban feel. There's a pizzeria up front and a sleek dining room in the back.

“We’re giving our customers a lot more TLC,’’ Vitale said.  

What goes back a long way are the chefs in the kitchen, said Joseph Iavarone, partner in the restaurant with brothers Pasquale and John. “They’ve been here for 17 years, he said, “but we modified the menu and tried to go to a more competitive price point.’’ 

While the menu remains resolutely Italian, featuring hefty portions of entrees like bone-in chicken scarpariello with sausage, peppers, onions and potatoes ($23) and a familiar portfolio of pastas ($12 to $17), the Iavarones have tried to keep up with the trends: A chopped Tuscan kale salad with peanut ginger dressing ($10) is a big hit with diners, Vitale said.

Heads up: Parking headaches are surely in the future for this popular neighborhood place, since Shake Shack will soon be moving in a few doors down.

Iavarone’s Italian Kitchen + Pizzeria, 1534 Union Tpke., New Hyde Park, 516-488-4500

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