By Connor Beach
The modern Italian favorites and the casual, family-friendly atmosphere are what dive throngs of hungry diners to Bertucci’s located at 881 Walt Whitman Road in Melville.
There is a brick oven at every Bertucci’s location including the two on Long Island in Melville and Hauppauge.
Corey Grossman, General Manager of the Melville location, said that the details are what sets Bertucci’s apart from other Italian restaurants.
“We cook from scratch, and everything is handcrafted; we make everything cooked to order,” Grossman said.
Grossman, a Huntington resident, is a 14-year veteran of the Bertucci’s organization, and has spent the last five years as the GM in Melville.
Grossman said his favorite part of the job is interacting with people. “I have a staff list of 65 and a client list that’s endless,” he said.
It’s the friendly service, the family-friendly atmosphere and most importantly the food that attracts his long list of customers.
To start, the Grilled Tuscan Wings (eight for $10.79) are grilled and marinated in lemon and rosemary. The wings have a surprising kick that adds a perfect amount of spice to the dish. The marks from the grill make the plump and meaty wings look great, and the char flavor offers a nice contrast to the spice.
From Bertucci’s famous brick oven, the Classic Margherita ($10.99) is a house classic served with fresh mozzarella, house made tomato sauce, Pecorino Romano and fresh basil. The thin crust has just the right crunch and holds a time-tested ratio of sauce to cheese that allows the diner to enjoy all of the traditional flavors of Italy.
A less traditional, but equally delicious, pizza hand crafted from the brick oven is the Nolio ($12.29). This sauceless pizza is topped with Parma-style prosciutto, sweet caramelized onions, lightly sweetened cream, Pecorino Romano and mozzarella. The fluffy crust pairs well with the rich, creamy texture, and the flavor of the caramelized onion comes through and provides a good compliment for the prosciutto.
Every Italian restaurant worth its salt should have good pasta, and Bertucci’s certainly does. The Shrimp Rossini ($16.99) features sautéed shrimp served over spaghetti in a tomato cream sauce with capers. The dish is light and easy to eat. The blush sauce adds a pop of flavor to the shrimp, and a hint of pepper comes through to round out a delicious combination.
Lastly, the Pan Sautéed Mussels, or Cozze In Padella, ($12.99) is a new addition to the Bertucci’s menu. The dish features Price Edward Island mussels sautéed in red sauce with chopped garlic, onions, cherry peppers, chunky tomatoes and Italian parsley. The clean and tender mussels shine in a bright, complex sauce that is full of flavor. The sauce provides a good texture to the dish and a flavor profile that compliments the mussels.
Grossman and his crew make sure that Bertucci’s offers a personal experience for every customer that walks through the doors. From the pizza oven to the fresh ingredients, Bertucci’s in Melville has something to offer for everyone.