Buona Sera Ristorante Pizza, Smithtown, NY

Tortellini al Pesto
Tortellini al Pesto
Cavatelli Roselle
Cavatelli Roselle

Sometimes it’s nice to be able to enjoy a decent meal out and not break the bank ūüôā ¬†We felt like having Italian food this past Tuesday night, and since we like to keep it local (especially on a week night), Buona Sera is a great option for really good food that you can enjoy on a budget. ¬†Both Monday and Tuesday nights are pasta night and they give you a lot of food at a price that’s very reasonable. ¬†Check out their site at¬†http://www.serveyourfamily.com/buonasera/¬†and click on the “Offers” tab for the pasta night menu.

The place isn’t a huge space, but not super tiny either; they have booths in the restaurant portion of the place and more casual small tables in the front for pizza. ¬†It’s comfortable – just spacious enough without feeling cramped. Service is very good and friendly. ¬†I had the Tortellini al Pesto entr√©e, and it was very good, but it was loaded with some serious cream sauce with a hint of pesto. I don’t think of this as a traditional pesto sauce – more of a variation on it. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty, but I think they assume most people want everything loaded up with cream and in this case less would have been more. ¬†My boyfriend had the Cavatelli Roselle, which was also in a cream sauce, but not nearly as creamy as my dish. ¬†His was loaded up with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. ¬†I liked it, but my dish was far more decadent than his.

Our dinner came with dessert, and I wished I had just taken it in a doggy bag since I was so stuffed from my super-heavy tortellini dish. Instead, I ate about half of the chocolate cake. ¬†It was good, but I really wanted their cheesecake, but after my dinner I thought I’d skip that. ¬†The zeppolis that my boyfriend ordered were delicious! ¬†Made me nostalgic for the Italian feast I went to when I was a kid about 30 years ago.

This is a good, reliable restaurant for decent food that you can enjoy and still have money left in your wallet. ¬†Until next time….happy spring.


House of India, Huntington, NY

Samosa Chatt (HOI)Indian food - 4-6-13

I’m not quite a vegetarian, but lately I’m eating less and less meat – sometimes I can go for days without eating it and not miss it. ¬†I haven’t eaten red meat for about 12 years now, so I’m talking about chicken. ¬†I don’t eat lamb and hardly eat pork. ¬†So, when you’re a mostly vegetarian, you might find limited options for eating out decent food that’s meat-free. ¬†That’s why I love House of India in Huntington; they have a great selection of vegetarian appetizers and entrees that are really delicious. ¬†Here’s the link to their site: ¬†http://www.houseofindiarestaurant.com/. ¬†The menus may not be the most current on the website, but you’ll find they have traditional Indian food from both the northern and southern regions. ¬†I’ve been to a few Indian restaurants on Long Island and House of India is probably one of the best. ¬†Service is excellent – very attentive without being intrusive and perfect timing. ¬†The decor is tasteful and clean. ¬†And the food is simply amazing.

Just because you want to eat sans meat, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor, or options. ¬†We hadn’t been to HOI in about six months, and tried the Samosa Chatt appetizer, and it was really great ¬†– a combination of a fried dumpling that was broken up covered with mildly spiced chick peas, vegetables and it was lightly sprinkled with cilantro – love this! We also had an Onion Kulcha, which is similar to Nan bread, but it’s loaded up with onions and spices. ¬†Their menu says it’s a “specialty of northern India.” ¬†Northern India is known for using milk or dairy products, samosas, and breads (among other traditional staple ingredients).

For my entree, I had my favorite dish – Sag Paneer, which is also a dish from northern India. It’s India’s variation on cottage cheese; it’s some sort of cubed white cheese, but when combined with their pureed spinach and traditional spices, it’s one of the best dishes in the world to me. ¬†I always get my Indian food mildly spiced because anything hotter will set my mouth on fire and ruin my eating experience. ¬†My boyfriend had the Mix Vegetable Curry entree and I had some, as we shared our dishes. ¬†Our entrees came with plain basmati rice, and it’s always perfectly cooked every time we’ve had it at HOI. His dish was delicious and light; a good choice since mine was more fattening with the cubed cheese. ¬†For our beverage, we had our usual hot spice tea – it’s just the right amount of spices without going overboard.

We had intentions of taking some of our dinner to go and have leftovers, but everything tasted so good that we ate it all! So, if you haven’t dipped your foot in the pool yet, go ahead, try some Indian food. ¬†Maybe skip the super-spicy Vindloo dishes on your first outing. ¬†Tandoori chicken is a good safe choice to start with or chicken korma or masala, but the saag paneer is my favorite and I highly recommend it if you’re a spinach fan.

I hope you try some wild, exotic food soon. ¬†Until next time…happy eating ūüôā