A new Italian restaurant has opened in Great Neck, one of the few Long Island communities not awash in red sauce. Katerina Ristorante Italiano is opposite the LIRR on South Station Plaza in the space previously occupied by Station Grill, Lamed Vav, The Carousel and, reaching back into the ’90s, Fuji-ya.
The restaurant is a collaboration between seasoned Manhattan restaurateur Antonio Cerra (Il Gabbiano, Da Antonio, Padre Figlio), his daughter, Kathy (Katerina) Cerra, and managing partner Cary Rosner. The chef is Alberto Argudo, who was executive chef at Padre Figlio until it closed in 2014.
Argudo’s menu ranges all over the Italian boot — Caprese salad and rigatoni alla Norma from the South, risotto and pappardelle from the North. Sourcing is a priority, with bronze-die pasta made in Gragnano near Naples, Berkshire pork, beef from butcher-to-the-stars Pat LaFrieda and cheeses from Ideal Cheese in Manhattan. Appetizers run from $10 to $20, mains from $26 to $52. Pastas range from $22 to $29 and are also available in ¾ portions for $6 less.
Rosner said that wine was central to the restaurant’s concept. The three owners tasted hundreds of wines before coming up with a list of 29 bottles all of which sell for $29. The list is mostly Italian, with a little California thrown in, and goes way beyond Chianti and cabernet sauvignon. Among the selections are a Vernaccia di San Gimignano from Tuscany, Verdicchio from Le Marche, Primitivo from Puglia and Vermentino from Sardinia.
Lunch and dinner are served Tuesday to Friday, dinner is served Tuesday to Sunday.
Katerina Ristorante Italiano is at 20 S. Station Plaza, Great Neck, 516-466-0000.