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Verde Wine Bar and Ristorante in Deer Park offers secret menu

After inheriting Papa Joe's Pizzeria from his parents,

After inheriting Papa Joe's Pizzeria from his parents, Anthony Carcaterra transformed it to Verde, yet maintains an alternate menu of dishes that were among the most popular at his family's pizzeria restaurant. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

If a plate of garganelli with lamb sausage or rabbit with kuri squash doesn’t resonate, the ambitious Verde Wine Bar and Ristorante in Deer Park has a seductive alternative for those in the know.

It’s a word-of-mouth menu that includes most popular dishes from the pizzeria that used to occupy this space. Diners have to ask about the chicken or eggplant parmigiana as well as chicken Sorrentino, each served with a giant salad and a side of pasta for $22 to $24 during dinner, $8 and up for lunch.

Niel and Cathy Carcaterra transferred ownership of Papa Joe’s Pizzeria to Anthony Carcaterra more than three years ago. He turned it into this New American restaurant, a Top 100 pick on Newsday’s list this year, with a focus on American spirits and wines.

His parents first opened Papa Joe’s in 1984, eventually moving to this space in 1993.

“I don’t want to alienate my dad’s clientele,” Carcaterra said of the off-menu items. “There’s a trust you have to establish, especially for first-time diners who don’t know the cooking.”

James Ahern runs the kitchen, while Carcaterra oversees the bar.

450 Commack Rd., Deer Park, 631-242-8902, eatdrinkverde.com

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