Casual Italian restaurants are the go-to option across Nassau and Suffolk. Here are three very good ones, with savory food and fair prices.
Centro Cucina in Greenvale is a mainstay, comfortably homey but with some flair, too. Recommended: fennel-and-orange salad, grilled vegetables, sauteed eggplant rolled and stuffed with goat cheese, trenette in pesto, spaghetti with octopus; and midday, panini such as the Menfi, with fried eggplant, ricotta salata and tomato and the Sciacca, with grilled chicken, broccoli rabe, and smoked mozzarella.
Centro Cucina, 43 Glen Cove Rd., Greenvale, 516-484-3880, centrocucinacafe.com
Fanatico in Jericho is related to Emilio’s in Commack, and a dependable, easygoing stop. Recommended: all pizzas, the “Mamma Mia” meatball bowl with ricotta, roasted peppers, garlic bread and red sauce; cauliflower oreganata, “mozzarella bar” choices, assorted Parmigianas, red snapper Livornese, fried calamari with hot cherry peppers, lasagna, and eggplant rollatine.
Fanatico, 336 N. Broadway, Jericho, 516-932-5080, fanatico-restaurant.com
Primo Piatto in Huntington wins you over with friendly service and spirited Italian and Italian-American specialties. Recommended: bucatini with sardines, bucatini all’Amatriciana, pappardelle alla Bolognese; brick oven pizzettes, including one with anchovies, capers and olives; chicken Milanese; bruschetta with caponata of eggplant; and arancini, or rice balls, filled with ragu.
Primo Piatto, 138 E. Main St., Huntington, 631-935-1391, primopiattorestaurant.com