Torcello's is tucked away in a strip mall on Jericho Turnpike in East Northport, and unless you're looking for it, you're going to miss it. I was meeting some friends there last Friday night. I knew the general location, but couldn't have spotted the actual restaurant to save my life, driving by. I passed it, heading east, and had to come back and just pull into the strip mall and hunt the place down from there.
It's a typical Italian-American eatery on Long Island, mostly pastas with red sauce. In other words, boring.
I had checked out a review in Newsday before going. The review was generally favorable and recommended the rigatoni alla vodka and the gnocchi. I don't know when the review was written, but there ain't no gnocchi on the menu, and the only pasta alla vodka was penne rigati. So, that's what I had--especially since nothing else was exactly crying out to me.
The review described the rigatoni alla vodka as "luxurious and flavorsome." I would describe the sauce as "more or less palatable" (and was helped out with the addition of some of the complimentary cheese on the table) and the pasta as "overcooked."
The review mentions the portions are large, and I can confirm this. So, I didn't have an appetizer or dessert. Also, because I was with friends, I couldn't sample other dishes. But nothing looked particularly appetizing on their plates.
As for the space itself, the restaurant is pretty small, and the tables are relatively close together--but you have enough room to get around, if you need to. And the place is loud. At least it was on a Friday. There were lots of younger people, to my surprise.
I normally don't go to Italian-American restaurants because (1) the menus are often boring; and (2) I can usually make the stuff better, myself, at home. Both rules held true with Torcello's.
The cost: the penne was $12.95, but I had them add shrimp for $4 extra. Most of the pastas and entrees were $10 to $18 or so.
1 1/2 out of 5 stars
1932 Jericho Tpke.
East Northport, NY