The informal restaurant that specializes in pizza and pasta is the perennial among annuals on Long Island. If you don't have one nearby, you know where to go the extra mile. Here are three friends of the farinaceous well worth visiting.

BLUE MOON, Rockville Centre

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This Rockville Centre standby offers tasty coal-oven pizzas with all the necessary toppings. Also recommended: panini, especially the classico with prosciutto and mozzarella, and the campagnola with grilled chicken, peppers, and smoked mozzarella. House-made manicotti and lasagna, too.

CUGINI, Mineola

Cugini in Mineola makes commendable pizzas, especially the white and Margherita pies. The kitchen buttresses them with a solid lineup of Italian-American favorites. Specialties range from eggplant rollatine to tripe with peas in spicy red sauce.


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Known for its giant pies, including the 30-inch cheese pizza with your personal message written in garlic knots, Satelite Pizza also is a dependable stop for calzones, salads, rigatoni marinara, linguine with garlic and olive oil. And, of course, zeppoli.