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The Trattoria in St. James and more Long Island restaurants to try this weekend

Light, refined lasagna Bolognese is among the top

Light, refined lasagna Bolognese is among the top pastas at The Trattoria in St. James. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Italian cooking changes region by region, if not chef by chef. Here are three Italian-inspired restaurants that go their own way.

The Trattoria in St. James is a cozy, no-credit-cards country spot that sends out vivid, rustic Italian specialties and more. Chef-owner Steven Gallagher's winning dishes include sweet corn soup with vanilla crema; roasted beets with arugula, pickled berries, blue cheese, and toasted almonds; lasagna Bolognese; spaghetti all'Amatriciana; orecchiette with house-made sausage and broccoli rabe pesto; red wine brasato with creamy polenta. Expensive

The Trattoria, 532 N. Country Rd., St. James, 631-584-3518,

Noble Kitchen & Cocktails in Oceanside now has Pierluigi Sacchetti, the "Gigi" formerly of Da Gigi in Lynbrook, preparing his remarkable pastas. Try casarecce with spicy 'nduja sausage, stracchino cheese, and mint breadcrumbs; saffron gnocchetti with shrimp crab, and pistachio crumbs; paccheri with mozzarella di bufala, crisp zucchini flowers, and tomato; tagliatelle Bolognese;  strozzapreti with creamy veal ragu. Noble's American menu also is available. Moderate to expensive.

Noble Kitchen & Cocktails, 3112 Lawson Blvd., Oceanside, 516-600-9500,

Culaccino in Water Mill resides at the address recently occupied by Manna and, for decades, by Mirko's. The theme is contemporary, with Italian accents, from chef-owner Jon Albrecht. His selections include a summer salad with peach, arugula and goat cheese, with apple-cider vinaigrette; yellow watermelon gazpacho with hot peppers and sweet onion; edamame spaghetti with lemon zest, tomato sauce, black garlic, wild mushroom and coconut oil; grilled hanger steak with chimichurri and beet fries; chicken confit; and a wild boar chop. Moderate to expensive. 

Culaccino, 670 Montauk Hwy. (Water Mill Square), Water Mill, 631-500-9310,


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