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Italian tapas night at Bistro Etcetera, Port Washington

Patrons dine at Bistro Etc. in Port Washington.

Patrons dine at Bistro Etc. in Port Washington. (Dec. 10, 2011) Credit: Photo by Yana Paskova

One of my Port Washington informants emailed me recently to extol the virtues of Bistro Etcetera, the New American that opened in 2011 and received two stars from Newsday. It’s the kind of friendly, dependable restaurant that every town deserves.

On Wednesday evenings, the bistro becomes more of a destination. Chef-owner Karen Melanie prepares an eight-course Italian-inspired tapas menu. Recent courses have included bruschetta, salumi and Italian cheese, grilled calamari, arancini (rice balls), grilled lamb chops “scottadito,” gnocchi with pesto, cannoli and the chef’s signature orange-olive oil. The price is $42 (an additional $15 buys three paired wines) and dinner is served from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Advance reservations are recommended, but Melanie still has a few places open for tonight. Call by 4 p.m. to book a table.

But wait there’s more! Wednesday is also singer-songwriter night, when diners can enjoy acoustic performances of both original works and covers. Tonight, Craig Greenberg will take the mic from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

On non-Italian-tapas nights, the bistro's menu features an eclectic lineup of globally inflected classics. On a recent evening, we enjoyed exceedingly warm service along with steamed mussels with roasted garlic, spring pea soup drizzled with lemon-green-onion oil, a roast half chicken with charred baby carrots, and a striped bass fillet with wild mushrooms, wilted spinach, roasted grape tomatoes and risotto cake.

Bistro Etc is at 43 Main St., Port Washington, 516-472-7780, bistroetc.com.

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