(631) 501-0303, Farmingdale
Trento, a classy new Italian restaurant on Route 110, no doubt had to consider two factors before it opened: Farmingdale isn’t a hot restaurant hub and getting diners excited about yet another local Italian restaurant is no easy task. They’ve done a commendable job on both fronts. Even at this early stage there is not a better restaurant in Farmingdale than Trento.
Its two chefs, Leonardo DeFelice, formerly of Verace and Thomas Avallone, who’s owned and operated many restaurants including one in Aruba, have inserted a few surprises along with the usual Italian mainstays. Among the ever-present ravioli, rigatoni, linguini and Milanese listings with their expected pomodoro, Bolognese and Marsala sauces are the likes of troffolini, burrata and a sausage, potato and onion pizzetta. Although their experimental spirits aren’t always successful, the sum total of their efforts is.
Their creations are presented on a slick, sophisticated stage. Trento, across from Republic Airport where the Crazy Donkey once stood, might be in an unlikely neighborhood but this is a stylish, intelligently designed restaurant nonetheless. Its sparkling bar, open kitchen, roomy booths, candles, white tablecloths, high industrial ceiling, circular lighting fixtures, separate takeout area, outdoor patio and sliding wall panels all say “destination restaurant.”
Openers went two for four. The spinach salad offered a vast, delicate jumble of smoked bacon, mushrooms, walnuts, egg whites and the freshest of greens ($15). What seemed like the world’s biggest (Kobe) meatball topped with a squiggle of cheese was juicy, tasty and too much for four diners to finish ($19). Less impressive was the “could’ve been anything” burrata ($14) with none of the promised fig flavor and that sausage, potato pizzetta. Those bland potatoes added nothing and diminished the impact of the sausage and onions ($15).
Troffolini, an innovative entrée, fared much better. Its lively pasta packets stuffed with soft pears and interspersed with warm pear slices in a rich truffle oil ($19) was the best of three commendable pastas. The shrimp lemoncello, four crustaceans and plenty of garlic on a bed of lemony spagahetti ($24) and the spaghetti arcobaleno were the other two. The latter featured a balanced vegetable medley with a touch of Gorgonzola cheese in a white wine sauce ($19). Pollo ripieno or chicken crammed with cranberries, pine nuts, ham and fontina offered simple, rustic eating ($26) while a feathery, light Chilean sea bass imaginatively paired with grapes, prosecco and cream ($31) did flavor somersaults in my mouth.
All three of the housemade desserts ($10) sampled scored: A dense, moist chocolate cake, a velvety Oreo cheesecake and a diplomatico or Napoleon-style pastry, layered with sponge cake.
Photo by Paul Kim / thefphoto.com