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Spaghettini Pizza Trattoria review

Pasta primavera with a fresh assortment of vegetables

Pasta primavera with a fresh assortment of vegetables is a success at Spaghettini Pizza Trattoria in Mineola. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Mineola -- home to Nassau County courts, Winthrop-University Hospital and numerous businesses -- is a town with a major appetite. Answering the call for satisfying local eats is Spaghettini, a sleek new pizzeria-trattoria, which shares family ownership with the diet-friendly Skinny Pizza mini-chain.

Relax. Nobody's counting calories here. Chef Franco Brunetti, who hails from southern Italy, offers a menu that combines time-tested recipes from the Vetrano family with his own Italian repertoire.

To start, consider sharing a jumbo rice ball with a molten mozzarella center. It's halved, baked until golden and topped with marinara — comforting, even if the rice needs a touch more salt. Then, there's octopus bruschetta, tender cuts of cephalopod combined with a chopped tomato mixture that's heaped onto grilled hunks of rustic bread.

One night, the pizza counter up front produces more-than-respectable Neapolitan and grandma pies, available whole or by the slice. An individual-size Margherita pizza boasts a cracker-thin crust that doesn't wilt beneath its lush mozzarella-marinara-basil topping.

The namesake spaghettini, or thin spaghetti, is cooked al dente and works well with white clam sauce featuring clams both in and out of their shells. Watch out for those large pieces of garlic, though. A surprising success is fettuccine primavera, starring bright vegetables in a garlic and oil sauce that coats every strand.

Chicken cacciatore, served on the bone, is a homestyle stewlike affair. When calamari fra diavolo is requested extra-hot, the kitchen complies, sending forth fiery sauteed ringlets in a ringing-hot red sauce that's served over pasta. Milder, but no less impressive, is a vibrant version of eggplant rollatini with ricotta, mozzarella and tomato sauce. Chicken Francese features egg-battered cutlets in a light lemony sauce; it's an old favorite, done right.

Only two finales are made on site — a creamy, not-too-sweet ricotta cheesecake with chocolate chips and a light, moist and pleasantly boozy tiramisu. Both are worthy of attention. So, too, is this well situated newcomer.

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