Happy New Year -Buon Anno

darrin.jpg My God, another year has come and gone and there still so much good food and drink to be consumed. The thing I really hate about New Year’s Eve is the decision of where to eat. I mean, $125 for a shitty 3-course meal that normally would cost you $40? Gimme a break. Being in the mood for a nice simple meal, my wife pills without prescription was on the lookout for the right place for the right price. After much research we stopped trying to look far and wide and just look in our backyard. We ended up at Sicily Cafe in Port Jefferson, N.Y. A 5 course meal for $39.95…holy cow! Italian food on Eastern Long Island is so hit or miss and Italian food out here cannot compare to that of the eateries in Nassau, Queens or NYC Italian. Cooking is in the blood and passion is passed down from generations through inspiration and recipes. Not for nuthin’, but I like going to a restaurant that claims to be “Authentic Italian” to be staffed by Italians not illegals that are making sauce or serving slices.Tucked away in a an unassuming strip mall off a busy main road you will find the closest thing to authentic Sicilian food Long Island has to offer. Usually greeted by Manny and Guy, the father and sons of the house, today was especially busy due to the holiday so we were seated and requested our favorite server, Darrin. The attentive wait staff, led by veteran Darrin, could not have been better if I were dining at the Four Seasons. The atmosphere was buzzing with energy, the staff was running back and forth like synchronized tornadoes and the smell of culinary Heaven was in the air. Without missing a beat, Darrin not only delivered hot meals but warm conversation as well. It has been a long and stressful year and I couldn’t wait for that bottle of wine to be uncorked. When it was uncorked, the stress was leaving as the wine was flowing. O.K., the stress was leaving as the 3rd glass had been finished. I started with an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms. There isn’t much to talk about here. Three bottle cap sized mushrooms arrived on a large salad plate reminiscent of 3 Tic-Tacs on a turkey platter. No taste really, I should have had the Toro Milanase. Wifey had it and loved it. Then came the Antipasto: Excellent. Then the Linguine with Clam Sauce.

Let me take a minute to tell you had amazing this dish was. Usually clam sauce is this clam juice, flour and water mixture…not here. The linguine was perfectly Al Dente and then topped with a few whole Manila clams and a light simple sauce. The flavors were simple yet a beautiful marriage of pancetta, olive oil and shallots. I couldn’t stop raving about this dish. The lack of clams left me anxiously awaiting my next visit to indulge on these dime-sized gems of flavor. Eggplant Romano was the Entree and was a welcomed change from the usual fried eggplant concoction we usually see. It was plated in a Napoleon style starting with a lightly fried eggplant slice, fresh tomatoes, ricotta, romano and fresh mozzarella cheeses topped with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fantastic.

And for the happy ending, minds out of the gutter please, Tiramisu and cappuccino. 2008 was ushered in with blurried tired eyes and tired limbs. By 12:06 she was asleep, the pup was out by 11 and my failed attempt of watching the Honeymooners marathon was quickly interrupted by the my lure of my very comfortable pillow.Happy New Year to All!

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