Glen Cove’s newest Italian restaurant, La Pala, takes its name from the paddle used to get pizza in and out of the oven. You can see a lovely old “pala” hanging next to the wood-burning oven at La Pala, which opened in December.
Tending the oven this morning, and starting on the day’s fresh pastas, was Sal Apetino, formerly chef and co-owner at Il Forno Trattoria in Glen Cove (now closed) and before that the chef at Angelo’s in Queens.
La Pala has nine individual Neapolitan-style pizzas ($9 to $12) on its menu, along with seven varieties of “panuozzo,” a Neapolitan sandwich made with house-made, wood-oven bread that has been stuffed and then returned to the oven for a final blast of heat. The “classico” is stuffed with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arugula and roasted peppers; “sfizioso" features pancetta, smoked mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, arugula and truffle oil.
On the non-pizza front, La Pala has an extensive menu of Italian, Italian-American and New American dishes. Antipasti ($9 to $14) include eggplant croquettes, beef carpaccio, grilled octopus and chilled shrimp with avocado and mango salsa. Most pastas are $14 and include stuffed paccheri (giant Neapolitan rigatoni) with ricotta, salami and mozzarella, pappardelle with veal-pork-beef ragu and gnocchi with mini braciole and sausage. Among mains ($18 to $28): braised short ribs over risotto Milanese; Parmesan trio (veal, chicken and eggplant, served with gnocchi); blackened chicken with cherry peppers and cipollini onions, slow-roasted pork belly with clams, capers and cannellini beans, and paella with chicken, chorizo and shellfish.
It’s a comfortable, attractive restaurant, but it takes a little effort to find. On the west side of Glen Street (across the street from St. Patrick's Catholic Church) look for Covac Vacuums: La Pala is around back where the parking lot is.
La Pala is at 246 Glen St., Glen Cove, 516-399-2255