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Toro Pazzo, Wantagh: First bites

This is the chicken ala toro pazzo at

This is the chicken ala toro pazzo at Toro Pazzo in Wantagh. (May, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick

The space that last housed Trattachino and, before that, Lounge Burger, is now home to Toro Pazzo, a mostly Italian restaurant and lounge. The bar area, with a mini waterfall on one wall, was both busy and noisy the night I stopped in for dinner.

The meal began with well-seasoned crabcakes ($10.95), generous with crab meat, lightly breaded. Chef Rene Collado's salad of roasted golden beets with shaved pecorino, toasted almonds and a lemon vinaigrette ($8.95) was sprightly.

More problematic, though, was linguine d'alba monte bianco, marred by a few Manila clams with a strong fishy taste. Had all, and not just some of the clams been fresh, the toss of al dente pasta, pancetta, Tuscan beans, baby spinach, white wine and garlic would have worked. Much more successful was the expertly cooked pollo ala toro pazzo ($19.95) — bone-in pieces of roasted chicken with two kinds of sausage, onions, pepperoncini and roasted potatoes. The lusty dish could easily have fed two.

Toro Pazzo is at 753 Wantagh Ave. Wantagh, 516-731-8700.
 

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