By Tes Silverman
Pomodorino Ristorante on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington has been a go-to place for classic Italian cuisine for 20 years, and for good reasons. Its charm and culinary excellence keep people coming back for more.
Walk inside and you’ll be greeted by red- and white-checkered tablecloths and dark brown hues on the walls, creating a casual and rustic atmosphere.
This atmosphere is just part of Pomodorino’s charm. Decanters of wine are brought to the table for those who enjoy vino, and the generous portions are great for diners looking for a value.
Appetizers like Gamberi Gonnella -- marinated shrimp wrapped in pancetta and baked, served with crostini bread ($13.99) bruschetta classica ($7.99) -- are great introductions to traditional Italian fare.
The baked shrimp is tender and wrapped in pancetta. The mild, buttery flavor of the shrimp cuts down the saltiness of the pancetta, making it a very creamy hors d'oeuvre to eat with crostini bread. The bruschetta is crispy and with the garlic, tomatoes, basil and olive oil, creates a light and refreshing bite.
For entrees, the ones to choose are the restaurant’s signature linguine pescatore, which has sauteed mussels, shrimps, scallops, clams and calamari in plum tomato sauce with garlic ($25.99) and pollo alla Nino. The latter is sauteed chicken breast prepared in marinara sauce, simmered with portobello mushrooms, green peas and sundried tomatoes ($20.99).
The linguine is cooked al dente and with the medley of seafood cooked in tomato sauce with garlic, culminates into a medley of textures and flavors perfect for seafood lovers. The chicken can easily be seen as a simple dish, but combined with portobello mushrooms, green peas and sundried tomatoes in marinara sauce, it becomes the anchor for enhancing the different flavors of vegetables made with the chicken.
Diners with dietary restrictions have gluten-free options like mozzarella sticks, pizza Margherita (the restaurant has a wood-fired pizza oven), baked stuffed shells, ravioli formaggio and chicken Parmigiana.
For younger diners, a kids menu including beverages for $9.99 is available with choices of ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, penne (tomato or butter sauce), chicken Parmigiana, chicken fingers and pizza. In addition, a pizza-shaped gummy candy is given to younger patrons as a treat.
If you’re looking to end your Italian culinary experience in a big way, then make sure to order dessert. Desserts such as chocolate lava cake, Mississippi mud pie, tiramisu, raspberry tart, ricotta cheesecake, flan, raspberry cheesecake, chocolate pyramid, carrot cake, and black and white chocolate mousse are what’s in store for your sweet tooth.
The chocolate lava cake ($6.95/$7.95 a la mode) is dense and has a gooey chocolate center when you bite into it -- perfect for chocolate lovers. The flan ($6.95) is light and creamy with a touch of caramel so it’s not as sweet for those who want a lighter dessert.
If you’re more inclined to stop by for lunch, Pomodorino offers a lunch menu Monday-Friday 12-3 p.m. for $13.99 that includes soup with pizza Margherita, Caesar salad with grilled chicken or shrimp, pasta dishes, eggplant rollatini with vegetables, chicken piccata, and salmon with vegetables, to name a few.
For Fernando Murta, who owns the restaurant with Frank DiSpigna, Pomodorino is more than a casual Italian restaurant with affordable prices.
“We want every diner to feel like they’ve stepped into an old world trattoria dining on traditional dishes. It is important that our diners feel like Pomodorino is an extension of their home.”
DiSpgina adds, “I want people to feel that Pomodorino has a positive energy and a friendly environment. We are happy to accommodate our customers. If you are not feeling the menu, just ask...if we have it, you can have it.”