Piccolo Mondo: A Diner’s Hidden Gem

By Tes Silverman

 Piccolo Mondo is tucked in a shopping plaza between Maddaloni Jewelers and a nail salon.

Piccolo Mondo is tucked in a shopping plaza between Maddaloni Jewelers and a nail salon.

Piccolo Mondo, an Italian restaurant tucked in a shopping plaza between Maddaloni Jewelers and a nail salon, is a hidden gem in Huntington. Owned and operated by Roland Mizaku for 10 years, Piccolo Mondo, which means “small world” in Italian, serves classic dishes as well as new takes on traditional fare by Chef Eric Engvaldsen.

While Engvaldsen has only been working at Piccolo Mondo for four months, his creativity can be seen and tasted from start to finish. Appetizers like acorn squash soup ($8.95), jumbo lump crab ceviche ($13.95) and eggplant rollatini ($9.95) are great starters to an Italian feast. The acorn squash soup is creamy, but not heavy. The crab ceviche is served in a martini glass which is filling because it includes mango, avocado, Patron tequila and lime. If you like eggplant, the eggplant rollatini served with spinach, ricotta, melted mozzarella and light tomato sauce is the one to choose. The eggplant’s firm, meaty texture goes well with the creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, resulting in a delicious and hearty dish.

 Pictured: Piccolo Mondo's eggplant rollatini.

Pictured: Piccolo Mondo's eggplant rollatini.

For entrees, you can’t go wrong with the branzino ($39.95) or the veal saltimbocca ($24.95). The branzino is served on a bed of potatoes, caramelized onions and drizzled with basil wine sauce. It has a mild, sweet flavor and delicate, yet firm texture. The veal saltimbocca is served with prosciutto, sage, red wine, spinach and potato gnocchi, makes it a dish that’s layered with complex flavors and textures.

 Roland Mizaku presents veal saltimbocca and branzino entrees.

Roland Mizaku presents veal saltimbocca and branzino entrees.

If you love dessert, try the chocolate and white chocolate mousse ($9) and the tiramisu ($8). The chocolate and white chocolate mousse is creamy and decadent and well-worth the calories if you want to splurge. Rather than being made with ladyfingers, this tiramisu is made with RumChata creamy rum, Van Gogh Espresso Vodka, whipped cream and chocolate shavings, making it a more adult version.

If you’re looking to pair these desserts with a drink, the Nutty Italianman Cappuccino made with Frangelico liqueur and Amaretto di Saronno is the one to have.

In addition to dinner, Piccolo Mondo offers $10 lunch specials Wednesdays-Fridays from 12-3 p.m.

“We invite our diners to join us in sampling a big taste of our small world,” said Mizaku.