On this dreary day, something sunny: La Piccola Liguria.
I remember first enjoying the restaurant in 1990. It's even better today, with enough daily specials to celebrate the seasons and the market, as always nearly doubling the size of the regular menu.
These days, you can taste what must be the last of the vitello tonnato and what's surely the first of the pumpkin pie.
It's hard to pass up the crisp and delicate ricotta-stuffed zucchini blossoms; and the equally addictive catch of fried anchovies. They're a fine pair of openers. So are the vegetable antipasti you'll notice en route to your table; and the artfully composed white salad of fennel and endive. If you're holding onto summer, know that the kitchen sends out lush pesto. When the weather gets chillier, look for braised beef with polenta. Consider the whole red snapper for two.
There's professional Italian cheesecake on the inviting trolley. And, yes, that pumpkin pie is very good.
La Piccola Liguria, 47 Shore Rd., Port Washington; 516-767-6490/91.
Fried anchovies at La Piccola Liguria.