No matter where on Long Island you live, you're probably moments away from the nearest pizza-pasta-Parm spot. While there's no formal name for such places -- pizza-rante? pasta-ria? -- they're instantly recognizable: A pizza counter on one end, a sit-down restaurant on the other.
PRIMO PIATTO, 138 E. Main St., Huntington, 631-935-1391, primopiattorestaurant.com
On a warm night, you'll want to sit outdoors at this welcoming pizzeria-trattoria. In colder weather, a booth in the rear dining room is a choice location -- preferably with a bowl of al dente spaghetti and lush, tender meatballs. Or bucatini chi sarde, an authentic Sicilian pasta dish with a rich sardine sauce laced with pine nuts, raisins, saffron, bread crumbs and wild fennel. A quick slice of Neapolitan from the pizza counter up front can see you through at other times.
EMILIO'S, 2201 Jericho Tpke., Commack, 631-462-6267 emilios-restaurant.com
Opened in 1980 and remodeled several times since, chef-owner Emilio Branchinelli's iconic spot (which spawned Pasta-eria in Hicksville, Fanatico Italian Bistro & Bar in Jericho and Passione della Cucina in Carle Place) offers standout pizza. Several fresh pastas are available for dishes such as "homemade" rigatoni alla mama with meatballs, ricotta and tomato sauce. The chicken Parm is a winner.
CARUSO'S, 41 Broadway, Rocky Point, 631-744-1117
Chef and co-owner Wayne Waddington has transformed this plain-looking but spacious neighborhood pizzeria into a serious dining destination . His skillful use of prime ingredients brings new meaning to old classics. Try the perfectly fried calamari, pappardelle with spicy sausage ragu and roasted clams, rich homestyle lasagna or rigatoni in a hearty yet refined Bolognese sauce.
RIELLA'S HOMESTYLE, 3103-3105 N. Jerusalem Rd., Levittown, 516-719-5333, riellashomestyle.com
At this tastefully appointed spot, the pizzeria is partitioned off from the dining room. If you're not grabbing a slice of Sicilian, consider sharing a whole white clam sauce pizza. In the dining room are such standouts as the warm "Gianfranco" salad, baked clams, shrimp fra diavolo and chicken Francese.