Fortunately, there is no shortage of restaurants in Garden City, Long Island, where I’m proud to call home. But, just like everything else, visiting the same places, no matter how good, gets a little boring after a while. Finding new and interesting dining options adds spark to the mundane.
Happily, my decision to try Spuntino for a mid-week dinner with my husband was a home run. With the addition of a new strip mall three months ago on Old Country Road, a popular shopping thoroughfare, came this eclectic and upbeat eatery. It’s located on the ground level with outdoor seating, and an interior that is both chic and trendy.
What differentiates Spuntino from other restaurants in the area is the menu’s focus on small appetizer size portions, better known as tapas. Most items are made for sharing and patrons can create their own meals by selecting a variety of dishes. In fact, I actually googled the word "spuntino" only to find out it means "snack" in Italian. Just a little bit of trivia for ya!
For a Tuesday evening, the joint was jumpin' full of mid-week diners. Adjacent to the dining area is a large, stylish bar that I will bet is jam packed on the weekends. So, let me talk briefly about the wine bar portion of the menu. Spuntino offers 40 wines by the glass as well as 100 by the bottle, which I found rather impressive. Being red wine drinkers, we settled on a Tuscan red, which was smooth and delicious.
I familiarized myself with the menu, as I usually do, prior to arriving, and was intrigued with the selection offered. From Salumi and Formaggio dishes made for one to seventeen people to salads and a mouth-watering array of bruschetta, chicken, meat, pizza and pasta, there is something for everyone - including vegetarians.
It was not an easy decision narrowing down the choices with more than fifty tapas on the menu. In the end, we decided on four different bruschettas, two mini salads, arancini or risotto balls and filet mignon. Our server insisted the portions were small, but we were pleasantly surprised with just how filling each dish was.
So, let's talk about the specific items we ordered. The bruschetta was truly delicious. There was a wonderful blend of sweet and savory for two in particular - the Marscarpone Cheese and Strawberry with basil and drizzled with honey, and the Watermelon, Fennel and Ricotta in which the fennel was pickled, giving it a delectable twang. Tedd throughly enjoyed the Grilled Shrimp Scampi and the Seared Tuna which was topped with arugula, chili peppers, olives and lemon zest. Last of our bruschetta selection was the Proscuitto and Mozzarella topped with capers and red peppers. Wow, were these scrumptious!
As if that wasn't enough to eat, we had two more dishes - Filet Mignon with a chianti reduction, which, of course, I didn't eat, as a "mostly" vegetarian, but the sauce smelled incredible. In lieu of that, I chose the Arancini - risotto balls with peas, mozzarella and tomato sauce.
To use the word stuffed does not describe just how full and satiated this meal left me! Spuntino is one I will be returning to time and time again since there is still so much I need to try. And the atmosphere is perfect for either date night or a fun night out with the girls.
And for your reference, there is also another Spuntino location in Clifton, New Jersey.