Mannino's attracts crowds to its fine, high-end restaurant on Jericho Turnpike in Commack. But the Smithtown branch has its own appeal, especially for pizza.
The shopping-center spot is divided between tablecloth restaurant and booth-and-counter pizzeria. You are brusquely advised that you can't eat a pizza in the sacred restaurant room, even if the pizzeria is packed. So, sometimes it becomes a waiting game. There are a couple of stools, just in case. Stick around, have a soft drink from the refrigerator and consider the choices, by the slice or whole.
Standout: the eggplant pizza ($22.95), available only as a full pie. The eggplant is sliced thinly, lightly seasoned, breaded, fried and added to the tasty crust along with ricotta, marinara sauce, and basil.
Competition comes from the round Grandpa pie ($18.95), with mozzarella, sauce, red onion and bread crumbs; and the "Old World" white pie ($19.95), finished with mozzarella, ricotta and Pecorino Romano cheese.
They're worth the price, and whatever else you may have to endure.
Mannino's, 40 E. Main St., Smithtown; 631-724-0210.