Italian restaurants are ubiquitous on Long Island—even more so than egg sandwiches and our island’s lethal, eponymous iced tea. Every shopping center, it seems, houses a pizza place that churns out pies and parms; Italian restaurants renowned for their lasagna here, or their chicken scarpiello there, are nearly just as common. But even in this crowded field, one Italian-style eatery consistently stands out: Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas.
Located in the Gallery shopping center in Westbury, Spuntino offers so much more than the typical, Long Island-based Italian restaurant. For starters, its focus on small plate-style dining lends its menu an uncommon level of interest. Whole sections of its menu are dedicated, for example, to “bruschetta,” “pizze,” “house-made pasta,” and more. As a whole, Spuntino’s offerings share more in common with what you’d find at a trattoria in Italy than any similar restaurant in either Nassau or Suffolk County.
Authentically Italian, also, is Spuntino’s dedication to sourcing fresh and local ingredients. Their menu changes quarterly, to reflect the seasons and whatever produce local farms have available at the time.
Some stand-out menu items this summer include Italian-style street corn, served with basil aioli, Pecorino Romano, parsley and truffle; strawberry mascarpone bruschetta, served with Mascarpone, fresh strawberries, basil and honey; and pancetta and corn risotto, served with a corn purée, grilled corn, asparagus, Fontina, Mascarpone, pancetta, peas and radish.
Also notable, whatever the season, is the menu’s built-in adaptability. Spuntino offers not only an array of vegetarian dishes, but extensive gluten-free offerings, as well.
And then, of course, there’s the wine. As one would expect from a restaurant with the phrase “Wine Bar” in its name, Spuntino’s wine list is expansive and thoughtful, spanning over 55 wines by the glass and over 350 by the bottle. Additionally, Spuntino offers four wines on tap, and three wine flights daily. It was also just announced that their Westbury location has received the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence for 2019.
Each Wednesday, the restaurant offers the following Wine Wednesday specials: half-off bottles priced between $100 and $150, and $75-off bottles priced over $150.
Spuntino also frequently hosts special dinners. All July, for example, the restaurant will be offering guests a plant-based prix fixe menu ($50 per person, with a $20 optional wine pairing) that celebrates local and seasonal ingredients served at the peak of freshness. A portion of the proceeds from this menu will be donated to Italian Harvest. Just last month, the restaurant also hosted a Portugal Wine Dinner. A complete listing of Spuntino’s upcoming special dinners, menus and festivals—including their beloved, biannual Truffle Festival—can be found on the restaurant’s website.
But don’t save Spuntino just for dinner. The restaurant offers an excellent bottomless brunch each Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., complete with sangria, bloody Marys, and mimosas. Their happy hour specials—available Monday through Friday, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (and then again from 10:00 p.m. to close)—are equally exciting, and include $3 bruschettas, $6 small plates, $7 specialty cocktails and more.
Mamma mia, that’s a lot of specials—but what else would you expect from such a special place? For more on Spuntino, or to make reservations to dine there, please visit the restaurant’s website.
Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas is located inside The Gallery at Westbury shopping center at 1002 Old Country Road in Garden City.