Matteos in Huntington Station has remained true to its traditional, rustic roots, even as it transformed itself from a casual, typical Italian-American spot into a sophisticated, stylish destination restaurant. Although the newly renovated and modernized Matteos is now a sprawling place of cathedral ceilings, marble floors, white table clothes, candles and fireplaces, its heart and soul remains true to classic dishes from the North and South of Italy. Take the meatballs, baked clams oreganata, pappardella bolognese, eggplant parmigiana, zucchini fritti and veal Milanese. Nearly every dish is available in individual and family size portions. Among the items on the new menu are wood fired pizzas including the robiola offering robiola cheese, mozzarella, basil and truffle oil.
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Add smooth, solicitous service to the mix and you have most of the ingredients for a satisfying evening. Oh, yes, portions are large (be prepared to take home leftovers).
The wide ranging menu here yields a variety of results, though there were no failures or triumphs. Meals begin with welcome, warm crusty bread and should be followed by the salmui board, a colossal centerpiece of prosciutto di parma, sopressata, aged provolone, imported robiola, parmigiano, shishito peppers and an assortment of olives.
My fellow diners and I followed it with a monster asiago burger ordered medium rare that arrived medium. A moist, lovely recommended wood fired branzino, a respectable veal marsala featuring thin, tasty pieces of veal and a disappointing bucatini amatriciana bogged down by too much pasta and too little rather standard sauce.
Most prices fall into a comfortable middle ground. That salumi board goes for $13 and $23, the burger is priced at $17.50 and the amatriciana is listed at $16 and $26.
The two house-made desserts ($8.50) we sampled were a good mocha-based cake and an even better rich, deeply flavored chocolate fudge cake.