Restaurants & Bars

Uncle Bacala's- a good report

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Restaurants & Bars 5

Uncle Bacala's- a good report

stuartlafonda | Mar 15, 2005 03:29 PM

Finally got to this place last Sunday. It has gotten some very good press and is the current home of well known chef David Ruggiero. Nice interior with white tile, stone floors, comfortable tables and some roomy banquettes. At 5:00 the place was pretty empty and they gave us a nice big table. Waitstaff was terrific. a helpful informed waitress and the staff kept water glasses filled and crumbs cleared away. Bread basket was foccaia, crusty bread and bread sticks, all fine but nothing special. Sadly, no oil or even butter, just a boring tomato dip. Starters were great clams oreganato (8 for $12) plump tender whole clams with browned bread crumbs and a great butter,oil and garlic sauce. Onion soup(soup of the day) was merely passable, but it came with some kind of giant poofy parmesan bread crust that was very good. Main courses were penne pasta and very good meatballs ($12), gnocchi with a thick delicious ( somewhat tart) short rib sauce ($18) and a tuna steak on a mound of garlicky spinach sitting on a wonderful potato pancake ($23). We finished with a good cap. and a giant coffee cup of super light tiramisu that was a little short on coffee flavor. With dessert came a large ball of pink cotton candy that the kids loved. Total bill was about $100 after t&t. It was a very good meal and I will be back soon. Somehow I don't think Ruggiero will be there that long. Looking out the window at the autobody shop next door and the payless shoe store in the strip mall on the other side of Jericho Turnpike, I don't see him sticking around very long.

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