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January 6, 2009
New Restaurant: Circa Ristorante Enoteca
Veteran restaurateurs Jerry Sbarro and Joseph DeLorenzo recently announced the opening of Circa Ristorante Enoteca (348 E. Jericho Tpke., Mineola, NY 11501 (516) 280-2234 www.circali.com), a comfortable and affordable Italian trattoria with a menu inspired by the various cuisines found throughout Italy, in November.
The pair enlisted Mark Serrantino, formerly of 105 Harbor in Cold Spring Harbor, Mill Pond House in Centerport, and Piccolo of Huntington, as executive chef. Joan Reminick of Newsday recently rated the restaurant two and a half stars and commended the concept saying, "Give people well-crafted food served by friendly professionals in attractive surroundings and don't charge them a whole lot of money for it. They'll come."
The dining room, which is divided into three seating areas separated by banquettes and a stone fireplace, has a warm Tuscan ambiance accented by golden walls and tiled floors. Beige leather chairs complement polished wood tables that are adorned with dark brown woven placemats. A glass-enclosed wine cellar houses an array of moderately priced vintages.
Prices range from $6.50 to $14.50 for appetizers, $9.50 to $10.50 for pizzas, and $12.50 to $19.50 for entrees. To begin, guests may feast on Circa's authentic Italian antipasto with daily selections served family style. Additional appetizers include: Eggplant rollatini with ricotta, mozzarella and marinara sauce; cozze in bianco served with fresh herbs and fennel; Tuscan sausage and bean soup; and Circa insalata with baby spinach, warm bacon vinaigrette, candied pinoli, strawberries, goat cheese and hearts of palm. Pizzas include: Pesto with Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, olive oil and garlic; paesana with sausages, pepperoni and mozzarella; and prosciutto di Parma and arugula with shaved grana padana. Entrees include: Penne Circa with sweet Italian sausage, eggplant and mozzarella pearls; veal Sorrentino with prosciutto di Parma, eggplant, mozzarella and cavatelli pomodoro; risotto casalinga with seasonal vegetables, truffle oil, and white wine; and chicken scarpariello with sauteed chicken, sausage, mushroom, cherry peppers, garlic rosemary, lemon, and roasted potatoes. Lunch items range from $5.50 to $18.50 and include: spaghettini con polpette with meatballs and traditional pomodoro sauce; NY sirloin sandwich with creamy horseradish and mushroom onion saute; and Circa cheese burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion.
The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.