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A bucket filled with 8 pieces of fried

A bucket filled with 8 pieces of fried chicken with side dishes of corn on the cob and cole slaw is served at Wings Plus in Port Washington. (Nov. 24, 2010) Photo Credit: Photo by Barbara Alper

Takeout chicken wings are ubiquitous, but when you name your shop after them, you have to do them right. And so Rick Ritacco, who owns the 2 1/2-year-old Wings Plus with Victor Girgenti, buys only fresh, jumbo-sized wings that are deep-fried to order. (A cup of five wings is $4.99; 10 for $8.99; 20 for $16.99.) The accompanying dressings, blue cheese and ranch, are made from scratch, as are the sides, which include coleslaw, macaroni salad and particularly fine red-skinned potato salad. 


For many years, Ritacco had been proprietor of the Bayside sports bar First Edition, which closed in December 2007. Between owning a sports bar and having a wife with family in Buffalo, wings were a natural next career step. During football season, buckets of 60 wings ($44.99) fly out of the store. Another avid wing market: late commuters disembarking the train at the Port Washington station just across Haven Avenue. "Wings make a great late dinner," Ritacco said.

But for much of the year (and the day), it's the "plus" side of the menu that drives business. Ritacco has worked hard to perfect his fried chicken, roast chicken and the very popular honey-BBQ thighs -- not to mention pulled pork, meatloaf, crab cakes and sirloin burgers. This week Wings Plus is launching a family value-meal plan wherein, for $24.99, you can choose from among a dozen different entrees plus two large sides and either a large salad or homemade apple pie, serving four.

Said Ritacco, "We don't want to be pigeonholed as just wings.


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