Friday, June 27, 2008

Long Island's Top Amateur Chef Is...


But that contest I told you about says it's some chick named Dawn Nilssen. Whatever.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Review: Sempre Vivolo

Sempre Vivolo is one of those places that has been around for forever, and everyone has been there, so we have to review it. Everyone we've talked to says it's great...It isn't.

First, the customers. I don’t want to say they’re old. But they’re fuckin’ old. This place is geezer central.

The interior is not appealing. There’s a lot of dark wood and mirrors. Maybe this was in style in the 50’s when most of the customers were middle aged. The two dining rooms are tiny. Plus you have the wait staff hovering around you in these tiny areas, watching every move you make. Not fun.

Appetizers. The “hot appetizer” had baked claims (OK); shrimp with a sprinkling of bread crumbs (WTF?); eggplant rolled and stuffed with ricotta, I think (eh); and a red pepper stuffed with olives and eggplant (boring). The spinach salad was something you could put together at any supermarket salad bar. Not kidding. (The wife had a full serving of the eggplant.)

Entrees. Mine was breaded veal scaloppini in a cream and cognac sauce. Disappointing. I didn’t taste cognac or cream. I tasted butter and lemon. The wife had a veal chop stuffed with prosciutto and fontina. This was the best part of the meal. The presentation is impressive (on the bone, hanging off the plate); the flavors were strong; and it had a yummy, rich brown sauce. (I’m a sucker for good sauces.)

Desserts. Italian cheesecake (chocolate) was ordinary. The crepe with ice cream, whipped cream, walnuts, and fruit was good, but nothing you couldn’t do at home. And is that even Italian?

The menu is fairly big, so it's hard to believe they make everything fresh or to order. But it's on the cheaper side for the upper crust restaurants on Long Island. The stuffed veal chop at $29.95 was about the most expensive entree. The entrees (including pastas) probably averaged around $20, if not less.

After tax and tip: $140. That includes two appetizers, a salad, two entrees, two desserts, a glass of red wine, and a cappucino.

3 out of 5 stars

It was worth trying once, but I wouldn't go back.

Sempre Vivolo
696 Motor Pkwy
Hauppauge, NY 11788
(631) 435-1737

Friday, June 13, 2008

Alpine Bakery

The wife's family has been going to this place for years, probably 25 years. It's located in the same strip mall as Uncle Giuseppe's (the subject that has probably brought the most people to the site, for some reason) and Aegean II.

We were just in there yesterday. The wife's fam always gets pastries (besides a cake) for birthdays and crap like that. The bakery has a lot of different pastries and cookies, cheesecake, and regular cakes. The website goes into more detail.

I'm not the biggest pastry guy around, but my fav's are the cream puffs, cannoli, and something they call "lace horns." These look like cannoli but have a sweet, nutty shell (let's call it) and are filled with a dense, whipped cream (or something). You can't go wrong with anything there.

I'm convinced the owners or managers are old, filthy pervs. There always seem to be at least a couple of young, attractive girls working there. Not that I'm complaining. I'm cheering on those old, horny bastards.

Alpine Bakery
59 Route 111
Smithtown, NY 11787

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pizza Review: Aegean

Aegean finished #10 in the Newsday best pizza poll a couple years ago (behind Aegean 2 at #7, which makes no sense to me). Tried it for the first time a couple weeks ago.

It's on the smaller side for New York pizzas. It has a thick, soft, chewy crust, which is unusual since most New York pizzas are essentially Neapolitan--i.e. thin crust. Lots of cheese with a pleasant saltiness and hints of oregano. The sauce was fresh and light.

The place is located in the Sunvet Mall. And I mean "in" the mall. You have to go inside the mall (next to the Path Mark) to get there, as I found out on a rainy Sunday afternoon. So that kind of sucks.

Regular Pizza $12.25
4 out of 5 stars

5801 Sunrise Hwy
Holbrook, NY
(631) 567-6066