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Dinner is served "family style" at both locations, where unpretentious Long Island Italian fare is wildly popular with Northeastern transplants. That means big plates heaped with food plus a good deal of diplomacy and compromise in light of allergies, moral qualms, and whatever fad diet you and your party happen to be on. Maybe you can agree, at least, on that big platter of delicious baked clams blanketed in buttery bread crumbs or on a basket of fried calamari and any of half a dozen pastas, from homemade gnocchi to stuffed ravioli. Main plates, enough to serve at least four and priced accordingly, include pounded veal with Marsala, a fish of the day Livornese style, New York strip steak, and half chicken "Matteo" with sausage, broccoli, peppers, and potatoes. Cannoli for dessert is a big, creamy revelation.
For most of human history, meals have been shared. Today's place-setting conventions the individual serving plate, the personal spoon, the pristine wine glass meant for one's lips alone are pretty recent evolutions in finickiness. Time was,... More »
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