Table for Two

The essence of old-world Italy


Blue Moon

26 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre

(516) 763-4900,

Blue Moon is clearly the cherished legacy of the Montemurros, an Italian family that takes pleasure in sharing. The original restaurant was opened by Cosimo Montemurro in the 1930s in Harlem. In the mid 1990s, his grandson, Raymond Jr., replicated everything and opened in Rockville Centre. When we visited, we watched Raymond Sr. pointing to family members in Italy from yesteryears, depicted on the walls in huge oil paintings, telling a story through street and kitchen scenes.

Cozy, old world Italian charm describes the ambience, with tables suitably topped with red and white checkered napery. Taking it further are high, embossed tin ceilings, brick walls, a vintage juke box, antique wood stove, and an authentic coal oven that bakes their outstanding pizzas.

 Bill of fare is casual Neapolitan cuisine, boasting authentic family recipes. Entrée specials offer diverse options. The dinner menu cites soups, appetizers and salads ($8 to $17), Panini ($12 to $13), pastas ($15 to $16), specialties ($22), and coal oven pizza in three sizes ($15 to $25). Desserts are $7 to $9. Children can get half portions of pasta and kid-friendly options. Lunch prices are lower. There’s an extensive, carefully chosen global wine list. Servers are quite accommodating.

 Warm bread and garlic knots were hard to resist. Creamy Pasta Fagioli soup, with macaroni and white beans, is a must on a cold night. We enjoyed House Salad for Two, a mix of greens, tomatoes, onions and olives with roasted red pepper vinaigrette. If you don’t mind heat, try Coal Fired Chicken Wings, made with onions, garlic, hot cherry peppers, herbs and white wine — deliciously different. Fried calamari, served with marinara, was tender and tasty, right on target. This is the place for Coal Oven Pizza — prepared as in Italy, with a crisp crust, hearty sauce and oozing cheese. Many toppings are available.

Some entrees were nightly specials so might not appear on the menu; ask if available. Sunday Sauce over Cavatelli pasta came with pork braciole, a meatball and sausage. Chicken Scarpariello in a buttery sauce included sausage, peppers, onion, mushrooms and roasted potatoes. Chicken Parmigana, served with pasta marinara, was as good as it gets — thinly sliced and delicate. Roasted Primed Rib was tender and flavorful, sided with fresh sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes. Craving pasta but not the carbs? Zucchini Pasta — ribbons of zucchini with onions and tomatoes in sauce – is a satisfying alternative.

 Desserts are homemade and nicely presented. You cannot go wrong with Italian cheesecake, tiramisu and/or cannoli. Top it off with a frothy cappuccino.

 Catering is huge at Blue Moon, both on or off premises. They offer catering trays, heroes and packages, and have a beautiful private room. Local delivery is available and reservations are accepted. Blue Moon opens daily at noon.



n House Salad for Two

n Pasta Fagioli Soup

n Coal Fired Chicken Wings

n Fried Calamari

n Chicken Parmigana

n Roasted Prime Rib

n Zucchini Pasta

n Chicken Scarpariello

n Sunday Sauce

n Coal Oven Pizza

n Cannoli

n Tiramisu

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n Italian Cheesecake