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Thirty reds, a dozen whites, five rosés, a trio of sparklers, two sangrias -- the stemware can add up in a hurry at Michaelangelo's Wine Bar. And that doesn't include the beer.
This snack of a spot uncorks opposite the Massapequa Park railroad station. The storefront sliver arrives as a savory, little noshery more than a wildly ambitious restaurant. But it's worth a visit. Owned by Josephine and Ronald Heins, the city-inspired, neighborhood magnet is named for Josephine's late brother, Michaelangelo Mirasola.
The friendly addition to local dining is good, though with fairly limited choices. The style takes in exposed brick, repurposed wood, mirrors and seating for about 30. Quaff away while Lady Gaga and Adele provide some of the early-evening background sound.
Ease in with a glass of prosecco, very popular on Venetian afternoons, when the appetizing small plates known as ciccetti enrich a daytime break. At Michaelangelo's, a serving of prosciutto, maybe wrapped around fresh mouthfuls of mozzarella, is the right company.
The bar's spicy, vinegared eggplant on ovals of baguette awakens your appetite. Consider picking a rosé or a riesling with it. Tomato bruschetta is ripe and good, with a bit of basil. For a livelier opener: Gorgonzola bruschetta, with cranberries, walnuts and honey. Share bread stuffed with olives, along with assorted olives paired with feta cheese.
There are a few salads, among them a spirited Gorgonzola-spurred one with walnuts; a so-so arugula with shaved Parmesan, tomatoes and grilled chicken; and a serviceable avocado number with romaine and more grilled chicken.
Instead, you may want to move on to the excellent boards of cured meats and cheeses. The kitchen has them in five sizes. Or create your own board, highlighted by prosciutto di Parma; mortadella; bresaola, or air-dried beef; and soppressata on one side, with Parmigiano-Reggiano, Taleggio, Gorgonzola, goat cheese, manchego and pecorino Sardo leading part two. The boards come with fruit, nuts, olives and good bread.
Panini, you're advised, are made with bread from Terranova Bakery, the East 187th Street landmark, near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Panini include grilled cheese, either American or mozzarella, and Caprese with tomatoes, olive oil and fresh mozzarella, and huskier sandwiches with grilled chicken. The favorite: "Super Sotta," with soppressata, fresh mozzarella and "basil paste." None needs the "side of balsamic."
Desserts are minor, unless you're seduced by a Nutella panino or "cannoli chips with cream."
A glass of port will do.