The three-week-old Ragazzi Italian Kitchen & Bar in Nesconset looks like a chain restaurant. It isn’t. .
The big, slick, handsome newcomer occupies the former digs of Pizzeria Uno, across from the Smith Haven Mall. It's co-owned by restaurateur Roger Bedoian (a partner at the former Mangiamo and Tello in Huntington and, before that, manager of Cafe Baci and the former Cafe Spasso in Westbury), and cardiologist Salvatore Trazzera. Executive chef Fausto Sorto cooked at all of Bedoian’s past restaurants.
In planning the new place (which has no affiliation with Ragazzi's, a North Carolina-based chain), Bedoian decided to emulate the wildly successful Cheesecake Factory in a smaller-portions lunch menu, diverse list of salads and specially designated parking spots for “curbside” takeout.
On a recent afternoon, I stopped by for a quick bite and was pleased with the 10-inch "personal" Margherita pizza, crisp of crust and oozy of topping (mozzarella, tomato and basil). A Mediterranean salad was bright and fresh, if not overly original.
Ragazzi Italian Kitchen & Bar is at 2950 Middle Country Rd., Nesconset, 631-265-8200, ragazzi-ny.com