Seafood guazzetto, a brothy stew, is an aromatic appetizer at...

Seafood guazzetto, a brothy stew, is an aromatic appetizer at Caci North Fork in Southold. Credit: Randee Daddona

Long Island's most popular cuisine is Italian, and it's here in styles casual to formal, kitchens North to South. Here are four choices with contemporary appeal.

NONNINA, 999 Montauk Hwy., West Islip, 631-321-8717

This busy Italian bistro near the Robert Moses Causeway offers a modern setting and flavorful dishes, such as ricotta cavatelli Bolognese, bucatini all'Amatriciana, chicken scarpariello, shrimp oreganata and starters that include good pizzas, cheeses and cured meats. $$-$$$

999 Montauk Hwy., West Islip, 631-321-8717, nonninarestaurant.com

NOVITÀ, 860 Franklin Ave., Garden City; 516-739-7660,

Fine wines by the glass complement the fare at buoyant Novità. Try black linguine with charred octopus, guanciale and capers; radiatore Bolognese; baked cod with cauliflower and arugula pesto; roast chicken with Parmesan polenta; salumi; cheeses; and the four-cheese pizza. $$-$$$

VERACE, 599 Montauk Hwy., Islip; 631-277-3800

Come here for the cheeses and salumi; pizzas with fig and prosciutto or sweet Gorgonzola and pear; gnocchi Piedmontese with Taleggio cheese; black-pepper cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sweet sausage; and osso buco. $$-$$$

CACI NORTH FORK, 56125 Main Rd. Southold, 631-765-4383

Quietly slipping into Southold in late summer. the rustic spot is making a lot of noise now with its expertly prepared food. Chef Marco Pellegrini's seasonal cooking recently included an airy, delicious potato gnocchi, and pappardelle Bolognese with an outstanding meat sauce. And the richest pasta of 2014 must be Caci's tagliolini with quarter-and nickel-sized shavings of white truffle, a luxurious and wonderful dish.

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