Great Neck, the economic retail center of northern Nassau County, is the scene of continuously changing establishments. A constant in this maelstrom is La Gioconda, at 21 North Station Plaza, a family-owned and operated fine dining restaurant.
Upon entering the beautifully decorated eatery you are greeted by the family members — Kathy the wife; our waiter was Peter, the son; and the chef is dad Peter.
The feeling was as though we were invited into their home.
Drinks were generous and moderately priced. My Negroni was mixed to perfection, Stoli martinis shaken not stirred. The wine list is extensive with both domestic and imported selections.
La Gioconda offers a $24 prix fixe menu on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. It includes four different soups, 16 entrees (seven pasta, three chicken, four veal and two fish) and best of all, dessert and coffee and tea. It is by far the most inclusive prix fixe menu in Nassau.
Our appetizers included baked clams, spinach salad with raspberry dressing and grilled calamari. The clams, unlike other restaurants, were not stuffed with bread, the salad greens were fresh and the calamari tender.
Presentation is a major part of the enjoyment of any meal, and as entrees we ordered calf’s liver smothered in onions, which was tender and delicious. My favorite dish, veal piccatta, was proffered with just the right taste, texture and number of capers. Grilled pork chops were large and tender. Mussels are a fresh choice with marinara or white wine sauce. The accompanying green and white pasta was cooked to perfection and comes with a choice of sauces. I choose to have it with butter and pepper.
Each dish was both a splendor to behold and a gift to the palate.
Dessert included homemade napoleons and Italian cheese cake, both a culinary delight.
La Gioconda, with seating for 65, is available for private parties every weekend with a $35 menu with unlimited wine.
This is definitely a restaurant to put on your favorites list I intend to return frequently.
21 North Station Plaza
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 4 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 10:30 p.m.
Gluten free available