Long Islanders can never get enough of Italian food. Our appetite for it is almost insatiable, especially for Italian restaurants with diverse menus featuring only the freshest ingredients.
Ragazzi Italian Kitchen and Bar, located on Middle Country Road (Rt. 25) across the street from the Smith Haven Mall in Nesconset, is owned by Roger Bedoian, an experienced Long Island restaurateur, and Dr. Salvatore Trazzera, a Farmingdale-based cardiologist.
Sophisticated yet casual, Ragazzi fits the bill as a perfect venue for a date, to bring business colleagues, meet friends, or have a relaxing night out with the family.
Before dinner, enjoy a cocktail in Ragazzi’s upscale bar area. It offers an extensive wine list featuring many full-bodied varietals and specialty martinis, and is host to a vibrant happy hour with drink specials.
Don’t miss ordering from “Qualcosine,” or “A Little Something” tapas menu. You won’t find this unique selection anywhere else.
Try Sushi Italiano, Ragazzi-style, made with imported prosciutto, rice, fresh herbs, pignoli nuts and sweet roasted peppers drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Breadsticks are substituted for chopsticks in this inventive menu offering.
Cold antipasto gets the Ragazzi-style treatment, too. Piatto Di Formaggio E Carne includes imported soppressata and salami with Parmigiano Reggiano, provolone and gorgonzola cheeses, served with grilled Tuscan bread and olives.
There’s not a bad seat in the house.
Ragazzi’s main dining room is large, but not so voluminous that you have to shout to carry on a conversation. The dining room is situated on two levels, giving it a nice ambience, with large, cozy booths hugging the walls and free-standing tables and chairs filling the center of the room.
Weather-permitting, Ragazzi’s outdoor patio offers comfortable al fresco dining.
Dinner was a delightfully inventive Italian feast.
Immediately after being seated, Cecily, our waitress, brought a selection of warm, crusty bread with pesto hummus. She was extremely knowledgeable about the menu, but also discreet enough not to hover while we pored over the selections.
Ragazzi’s Executive Chef Fausto Sorto takes food creativity seriously, and offers an inspiring menu with a wide variety of dishes. Many are Italian standards, with some nice surprises sprinkled throughout, including a large selection of gluten-free menu items.
We started with Italian Nachos (Patatine Fritte Italiane): homemade potato chips, topped with diced Italian sausage and cherry tomatoes and then baked with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. A new level for nachos has been reached with this delicious appetizer, a must-have when you visit.
We followed with Arancini, nice-sized homemade rice balls, that were fried to a golden brown and served with a vibrant tomato sauce.
Piccoline Polpette, homemade meatball sliders served on brioche rolls with tomato sauce and topped with melted mozzarella, were perfectly presented and delicious.
Homemade lobster ravioli (Ravioli Di Aragosta) tossed in a pink cream sauce with zesty hot and sweet peppers and prosciutto had just the right amount of sauce to complement the pillows of pasta.
Fettucine Con Gorgonzola, made with homemade spinach fettuccine, sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto and pine nuts was sautéed in a rich and flavorful gorgonzola cream sauce.
The seafood was tender and tasty in the highly recommended Zuppa Di Mare, which was loaded with jumbo shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari, and served over linguini in a light marinara sauce.
Jumbo shrimp, made Francese-style with diced cherry tomatoes, were perfectly executed in the Gamberetti Francese menu offering.
Pollo Shabano was a delicious mixture of tender chicken breasts topped with an abundant array of diced tomatoes, asparagus, prosciutto and melted mozzarella cheese then sautéed in a light garlic and oil sauce.
At Ragazzi, the end of the meal was just as good as the beginning.
While we thought we couldn’t eat another morsel, Cecily presented us with Ragazzi’s dessert menu. This alone is worth the trip.
There are almost a dozen delectable sweets to choose from; many are homemade, including Nutella Pizza, Panna Cotta, Napoleon, Tiramisu, Dolce Formaggio, and family favorites, like Peanut Butter Mousse Cake and Oreo Ice Cream Cake.
It took a while to choose, but their signature dessert, Pesca Dena, sounded almost too good to be true: Baked Sweet Peaches, stuffed with crushed amaretti cookies, then topped with sweetened Mascarpone cream. Need I say more?
Ragazzi: Real Italian food that’s cooked to perfection and beautifully presented by a team of skilled kitchen and wait staff, offering guests a delightful dining experience. Mangia!
Ragazzi Italian Kitchen & Bar
2950 Middle Country Road, Nesconset | 631-265-8200 | Ragazzi-NY.com
On & Off Premise Catering • Private Party Facilities