Diners declare there are “not enough superlatives” for the “swoon-worthy”
Italian “masterpieces” prepared at this Oceanside Italian that “surprises”
“in the middle of suburbia”; the staff is generally “attentive”, so while the “tight” yellow-accented space “may be lacking” and there’s usually a “long wait” (since reservations are only taken for five or more), most say it’s “justifiably crowded” given the impressive “value for the money.”
The ploys that work for avoiding crowds at most restaurants – going in early or on weeknights – may not help you at Sole in Oceanside, where, even midweek, folks have been known to wait outside in anticipation of the restaurant’s 5 p.m. opening. The reward? A chance to revel in the deliciously fresh and inventive Italian cuisine of chef-owner Bobby Carmosino who offers his considerable talents at bargain rates.
Begin with a Bellini (peach and champagne cocktail) and one of the stuzzichini, delightful little Italian hors d’oeuvres. A bruschetts of roasted pepper, smoked mozzarella, pancetta, Nicoise olives with a drizzle of balsamic excelled; a cicchetti (Venetian mini-panini) with shrimp salad, basil and cracked black pepper was a treat, as was one made with roasted garlic chicken salad, pancetta, tomato, arugula and Parmesan
Do try the superb foam-topped shrimp-cappuccino bisque, a clever and immensely flavorsome takoff on the popular espresso beverage. One evening, a special of spicy shrimp and bruschetta delighted everyone at our table. So did shell-less Price Edward Island mussels in a roasted garlic-scallion-tomato broth, whimsically served in a martini glass.
As a “line” seemed to have formed even “before its doors first opened”, passionate partisans wrote in to rave about this “small” “new hot spot” in Oceanside “at the risk of never again being able to get in”; widely regarded as one of the “best newcomers to arrive in a long time”, and it instantly became “a real hit”, thanks to his “superior” Eclectic-Italian cooking (notably “phenomenal pastas”).
Sole, with its gifted chef, inspired food, modest surroundings and down-to-earth prices is just the kind of restaurant that this column searches the Island for: great food and great value.
Parties of fewer than five must line up to wait for tables, but the owner is smiling. So are diners as they as they chomp on the likes of carpaccio of soppresatta, shrimp lemoncello and crab-crusted salmon.
There aren’t too many humble neighborhood hangouts that serve everything from cappuccino-shrimp bisque to shell-less Price Edward mussels in stylish stemware, that offer diners complimentary marinated olives, eggplant puree and balsamic black ben dips or that turn out fastidious plate presentations, often festooned with slender friend pasta antennas soaring from them.
New York Times
July 4th weekend is certainly not the easiest time to review restaurants.
It appears the fewer Long Islanders are daring to battle the long island expressway to points out east, but prefer to frequent the increasing amount of new restaurants popping up along the South Shore.
I came to hear of Sole by word of mouth. The restaurant is tucked away off Long Beach Road in a corner building where Merle and Oceanside Roads meet.
After we valet parked the care, we entered the packed bar filled with anxious and hungry diners waiting for their tables. The theme of this eatery is sunflowers, albeit “Sole”, Sol in Spanish, and like the sun, offers a sense of warmth and comfort. Sunflowers grace the walls and sprout from ceramic vases throughout the two dining rooms. From our first order at the bar where the bartender spread a little sunshine with a gracious smile to the friendly managers and wait staff, we were treated with the utmost hospitality.
This is a family restaurant and last Friday night, there were many there.It is definitely a noisy crowd, and with all the tables filled along with the bar, you definitely have to raise your decibel level over the crowd to be heard. It has a lively, bubbly effect, but it is not the place to take your girlfriend if you are planning to propose.