Simply La Spada
By Luann & Margaret Ann /
Finally an Italian restaurant whose menu we dont
have committed to memory before we even walk through the door!
La Spada in Huntington Station is not your typical Italian
restaurant. With a portion of the menu dedicated to grilled
specialties and an emphasis on fresh and simple,
the restaurant caters to those seeking a high-end Italian
Situated on the west side of Route 110 opposite the Walt Whitman
Mall, the modestly-sized La Spada would be easy to miss, but
what a mistake that would be. The simplicity of the outside
is deceiving, almost masking the sophistication within.
Owner Joe Tamburello, with his partner chef Emilio Valle,
is no stranger to the restaurant business. The Sicilian-born
East Northport resident plays a spectacular host, remembering
faces and drinks as patrons entered for dinner.
Same table? Same wine? he asked one couple.
In the romantically themed dining room the wine-colored rug
matches the walls, lined in a material rather than just paint.
Wine bottles on a shelf separate the dining room from the
bar and a private room.
Through La Spadas four years on Walt Whitman Road, the
fare has been simple and fresh, but not lacking in flavor.
Dishes are delicately flavored so the taste of the food itself
is evident and not masked by complicated sauces or harsh spices.
Garlic always comes in whole pieces not chopped, dry
We always love restaurants that veer away from the traditional
bread and butter to start. Though there is bread and butter
on the table, opt for the bruschetta the tomatoes taste
like theyve been soaking up spices for days and
the olive spread. You wont be disappointed.
Appetizers started with one of the hits of the night: Arrosticini
($13), grilled lamb shiskabobs, or the Italian chicken
wing, if you will, as Joe put it. We hear these have
now become famous on Joes block. Tender and juicy, the
lamb is served on skewers and isnt rough.
Carciofi ($12.95) are artichokes sautéed in garlic,
oil and fresh herbs. Parts are crisp and flavorful, but the
hearts remain soft and juicy. The taste of the artichoke is
complemented well by the herbs.
Grilled calamari ($11.95) came as weve never had it
before, tender, breaded and then grilled for a nice change
of pace. Spiedino alla Romano ($14.95) is toasted bread with
prosciutto and homemade mozzarella dipped in egg batter and
topped with a delicious anchovy caper sauce we just couldnt
get enough of.
For our pasta dish, we tried Linguini Macchiati ($21.95) with
clams and shrimp, sautéed in garlic oil with touch
of tomato excellent. Joe doesnt skimp on the seafood
clams are plump, shrimp are fresh, and the sauce is
light and delicate but tasty.
Grilled dishes rarely come with anything more complicated
than some herbs, garlic and oil, and that is what makes them
great. Pollo Arosto ($20.95) is half of a juicy chicken, boned
and grilled with fresh rosemary and garlic served with mashed
potatoes and spinach. A pork special, a chop topped with spinach
and gorgonzola ($25), was a standout dish, tender with flavors
that meshed together well to bring out the taste of the meat.
The monkfish special ($28) is unique and juicy.
Even dessert is a hit. The group at La Spada makes their own
cheesecakes and tartufo, but we went for the homemade cannoli
($8). Theres a hint of cinnamon in the cream, making
for a refreshing change. Napoleons ($8) are made with a light,
whipped cream, not a custard-like heavy pudding, and is not
This month La Spada is introducing a Sunday family friendly
menu with traditional staples like manicotti, meatballs and
the like, and there is live music on Thursdays and lobster
specials on Wednesdays. Well probably be back for all
three and then some.
La Spada Cucina Italiana
315 Walt Whitman Rd
Atmosphere: Classy but
comfortable fine dining
Price range: Moderate
Hours: Lunch Monday to
Friday, dinner seven nights a week