Fresh Pasta Dishes
Star At Emilios
By The Foodies./ email@example.com
Its not uncommon for restaurants to grow alongside side
a successful pizza parlor. Its a natural way to expand
a successful business. What is uncommon is when that restaurant
is so outstanding it could well stand on its own. Thats
the case in Commack where Emilios Pizza Bistro and Bar
sports not only a thriving pizzeria, but a restaurant that
surprises with an outstanding menu of freshly prepared specialties.
Emilios occupies a small strip mall where Jericho Turnpike
and Route 347 split. Inside, its more like an Italian
Trattoria, and not just because of the menu offering. Emilios
is constantly bustling. On any given day of the week, the
restaurant is buzzing with activity. Suffice it to say, its
hardly a secret.
Entering the storefront, the pizza counter on the left side
displays an array of specialty pizzas. Forging ahead, a hostess
or Emilio himself mans a podium and will take
your name or take you directly to a seat in any of three dining
areas. Our favored spot is the diningroom to the right, with
50 or so seats and a contemporary feel. Leather banquettes
line the walls and muted russet and brown tones predominate.
Once seated, service is fast and efficient. A basket of fresh
baked focaccia and rolls is the first indication that at Emilios,
if it can be made fresh on premises, it is. The menu is big
literally. Practically poster-sized, its crammed
with Italian specialties. And from the antipasti to the desserts,
its all about fresh ingredients and dishes made to order.
Appetizers start at $6.95 with several selections for two
like the Italian Seafood Fix ($18.95 for two), a platter of
scungilli, calamari and shrimp with garlic, olive oil and
seasonings over bread scarpetta. Calamari at Emilios
comes in several forms: fried ($10.95); Abrabbiata ($15.95
for two), with broccoli rabe, cherry peppers and roasted garlic
with a dipping sauce and shaved parmesan; or Calabrese ($16.95
for two), with gorgonzola. Those weve tried feature
tender calamari prepared just right to preserve the sweetness.
Baked Clams Araganate ($8.95) are another favorite. The whole
clams are topped with chunky, spiced bread crumbs and served
with a tomato based dipping sauce. We thought with a half-dozen
to the order wed be wrapping some to take home. Not
Pasta dishes are the stars off Emilios menu, and there
are enough of them to keep you coming back. All pastas are
fresh made and the generous portions are simply prepared.
Most are available as single serving or family style servings.
Weve tried and loved the Tortellini Carbonara ($15.95),
the cheese filled pasta served in a creamy Parmesan-based
sauce with fresh peas and bacon, sparked by the addition of
carmelized onions. The house dish one of 20 signature
dishes listed on the menu Pasta Emilio ($15.95)
starts with basic spaghetti, cooked al dente, and topped with
a combination of sausage, ham and shrimp with diced tomato
in a pink cream sauce. We were surprised to find the ingredients
didnt compete, but played off one another.
Pastas selections are numerous, and a number of chicken, seafood
and meat entrees are also available ranging from 19.95 for
the Veal Milanese, to $28 for Lobster Arrabiata, a half-lobster,
pan-seared with shrimp over pasta.
After several trips to Emilios, weve always brought
home leftovers and never gotten to dessert, thanks to the
generous portions. We promise we will, and expect that like
everything else weve encountered at this bustling eatery,
were going to like it.