Table for Two

Authentic cookery, Italian style

Posted

Mama Theresa’s

Pizzeria & Restaurant

2411 Hempstead Turnpike,

East Meadow

(516) 520-5556,

www.mamatheresas.com

Mama Theresa’s is a name known to many, as there are three thriving locations in Nassau County. We dined in East Meadow, which houses the newest. Garden City Park, the original, opened in 1984, and Westbury was launched in 1999. Owners, Marco Nicotra and Mike Dapruzzo, noticeably take pride in the quality of what is served. Ingredients are top notch; tomatoes are imported from Italy, and each sauce is freshly prepared daily. As the restaurant is quite well-staffed, servers are always on hand and attentive.

Up front are a pizza oven and a large display of pizzas, Panini and rolls. Keep walking to find a spacious, modern dining room, much prettier than in the average pizzeria. Tasteful earth tones, a high decorative ceiling, and plush roomy booths help make dining a pleasure. A basket of warm assorted breads will start your delicious meal.

The menu is huge, as are portions. Some dishes are priced for both dinner and lunch (served until 4 p.m.). Dinner prices will be listed here. Salads have about a dozen choices for add-ons and variations. Soups, appetizers and salads are $7.50 to $17.25. Pastas are $14.75 to $20.75, and entrees, which come with pasta or salad or fries, are $20.50 to $27.50. Pizzettas, pizzas and specialty pies range from $9.50 to $26.75, and are also sold by the slice. Panini, calzones, rice balls and rolls are $5 to $10.50. Desserts are $3 to $8. Wine and beer are served. Pasta night (bottomless bowls for $14.50) is Monday through Wednesday.

We started with crisply fried calamari - tender ringlets served with chunky marinara sauce - and worked our way to a sampling of pastas and entrees. Eggplant Rollatini offered three battered eggplant rolls filled with ricotta, baked under a blanket of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese…as good as it gets. Just as amazing, Chicken Verdi, two delicate breasts sautéed in white wine and butter, was topped with fresh broccoli and melted mozzarella.

Try not to miss their Marsala sauce. Shrimp Monachina – jumbo battered shrimp crowned with melted cheese and lush with mushrooms in that same savory sauce - was a dish we’d return for. As for pastas, Rigatoni Fiorentina was a hearty mix of chicken pieces, spinach and mozzarella in velvety pink sauce. A lighter option, penne with broccoli and grilled chicken, was tossed with in extra virgin olive oil and sautéed garlic.

Coffee – whether regular or cappuccino – comes in an oversized cup. The latter was frothy, dusted with cinnamon, and perfectly prepared. We shared a Tartufo – ice cream in a chocolate shell, quartered and garnished with whipped cream and syrup, a perfect finale.

Catering is available for any occasion. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Delivery is available for up to a three-mile radius. Quite family-friendly, they have options for children. No reservations are taken.

Recommendations:

■ Calamari Fritti

■ Eggplant Rollatini

■ Rigatoni Fiorentina

■ Penne & Broccoli

■ Shrimp Monachina

■ Chicken Verdi

■ Tartufo

■ Cappuccino