If you are looking to eat leftovers for a few days from the same plate of food, Ciao Baby in Commack is your spot. The portions are enough to feed an entire family and the wait staff tends to pay a lot of attention to whether or not you are content. On certain nights, there is even an Italian singer that walks around entertaining the diners with songs by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Louie Prima.
At first you are greeted at the table by crusty bread to dip in olive oil with herbs, cheese and vinegar, which is a great to snack on as you peruse the menu. For appetizer, the choices include a Homemade Sicilian Rice Ball as big as your head that the waiter or waitress with cut and serve to you. This rice ball was featured on the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food because of its impressive size. It tastes a little smoky and is topped with mozzarella and served with a side of ricotta. There is also a large plate of Calamari Arrabiata with a choice of regular or spicy marinara for dipping. The lightly fried calamari is soft and not at all chewy. One can also order mussels, baked clams, fried mozzarella and even sushi. Just be careful not to fill up on appetizers before your entrée arrives.
If you would rather have a green course to start your meal, there are a number of salads to choose from and they can be made for one or two people. But, if you are looking for soup, your only choice is Pasta e Fagioli.
As a main dish, there are pasta, meat and seafood choices. Nonna’s Old World Meat Platter has hot and sweet sausage, meatballs as big as your fists and your choice of pasta, but make sure it is al dente and not just plain hard. The Stuffed Rigatoni are like soft, rectangular ravioli with tomato sauce, and are very enjoyable. However, if you do not find something on the menu that fits your fancy, you can always have the chefs create a custom dish for you with the ingredients they have available in the kitchen.
For dessert, there are an array of choices, including an Ice Box Cake with graham crackers, chocolate and ice cream, a Ciao Baby Volcano which is an enormous ice cream sundae and a Rainbow Cookie Cake that resembles the seven layer cookie that is always found in an Italian tray of cookies. For the health conscious, there is a fruit plate that has sweet whipped cream but not quite a variety of fruit. You could find a better assortment at a local diner. Also, a choice you should not go with for dessert is the Zeppoles. They are oily and have a very bad aftertaste, enough to make one sick.
The food is not quite what your grandmother would make but there is a lot of it. There is also a location in Massapequa. When you want to make a reservation, you can do so on www.opentable.com.
Ciao Baby, Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY, 631.543.1400