What’s chic and friendly and well priced and serves really good Italian food? Vero, Amityville’s new Italian restaurant-bar. It’s full name is VERO Cibo • Vino • Liquori Bar and it is a collaboration between Mike Esposito, owner of Vittorio’s (just a few doors down Broadway) and Massimo Fedozzi, the beleaguered executive chef of Jericho’s ill-fated Palio. (Last week, the old Palio space was taken over by Philippe by Philippe Chow.)
After serving friends and family sporadically during November, Vero opened for business just after Thanksgiving. This past Friday night, almost every table in the dining room was full, and the bar was hopping as well.
“Vero” means “true” in Italian, and chef Fedozzi, whom I know, adheres to true Italian (as opposed to Italian-American) cooking to a degree that is rare on Long Island. Nevertheless, his menu strives to be approachable in its authenticity. Prices help. Antipasti selections of cured meats (most of which are from Manhattan's venerable Salumeria Biellese) and cheeses (all imported from Italy) are $7 apiece. Bruschette are $8 and “piattini” (little plates) range between $6 and $9. Pastas are $11 and “specialita” (modest portions of meat or fish) are $17, desserts are $5. Two could easily put together a meal for less than $70 excluding wine. (The wine list is excellent, with lots of inexpensive bottles—we enjoyed a $30 Gavi di Gavi—and there are also inventive cocktails from mixologist Eric Greczel.)
Me, I prefer large plates to small plates and on my next visit might well order a double helping of Fedozzi’s pansoti (chard-and-cheese-filled pasta in walnut sauce). Other early standouts: a deeply oceanic seafood risotto, sweet and sour onions, orange-and-fennel salad.
The place looks great, with accents of orange livening up the cream upholstery and dark wood. Service is knowledgeable and efficient. For now Vero is open for dinner seven days a week. Lunch service is expected soon. Vero is at 192 Broadway, Amityville, 631-608-4340.