Italian restaurant Vico opens in Farmingdale
With Vico, chef Eric LeVine is taking regional Italian cuisine to a new level of specificity. Not just Southern Italian, not just from the region of Campania, Vico’s fare draws inspiration from the town of Vico Equense, just across the Sorrento Peninsula from the Amalfi Coast. Vico Equense is the hometown of the Fortuna family: Perry, who owns the restaurant, and Joe, Perry’s father, a partner at 317 Main, LeVine’s neighboring restaurant-market-event space.
Inside the restaurant, the décor, artwork and ceramics all reflect the sunny Bay of Naples. For actual sun, there are a few tables out front and a patio out back with seating for 50.
The menu features very little of what you see at most Long Island Italian and Italian American restaurants, and is especially committed to vegetables: There are starters of whole roasted baby eggplant with Calabrian chilies, roasted sunchokes with pickled onion and a tuna crudo garnished with red and white endive. Vegetables also star in a number of the pasta dishes: Ricci (ruffled ribbons) with fioretto (sprouted broccoli) and sausage, mushroom agnolotti with fava beans and pancetta, or ricotta gnocchi with broccoli pesto and pistachios. All pasta is made in house.
Among mains you’ll find skirt steak with broccoli rabe and charred radicchio, pan-seared prawns with fennel pollen and lemon risotto, roasted black bass with braised escarole and garlic potatoes, and roasted chicken (dark meat!) with escarole, eggplant and fennel.
LeVine would be remiss if he didn’t serve Campania’s greatest contribution to world gastronomy: Pizza. His pies range from traditional — Margherita, prosciutto and arugula, mortadella and pistachio — to more fanciful creations such as artichoke with bacon and mozzarella, roasted mushrooms with tomatoes and whipped goat cheese, and figs with caramelized onions and arugula. Pies are available in 10-inch rounds ($13 to $15), rectangular meter-long “metro” pies that serve 6 to 8 people ($32 to $38) and “half metros” ($20 to $25).
Prices are gentle across the board: All but two starters are under $13; most pastas are under $20; no main tops $30. There’s a short wine list with some interesting bottles, four Italian beers, one Italian cider and a slate of craft cocktails.
Vico is at 313 Main St., Farmingdale, 516-875-8426, viconewyork.com