Trendy Health Food and Classic Italian: Two Restaurants to Keep Your Warm This Winter

Amanda Putter

Now that the weather is getting colder, it is time to try new restaurants with food to warm us up. I recently participated in Long Island Restaurant Week, which started on Sunday, November 8, and went through Sunday, November 14,  at select restaurants in Nassau and Suffolk County. True Food Kitchen 630 Old Country Rd Suite 1040B, Garden City, NY 11530

$20 2-course pre-fix lunch


I wanted to make sure to take part in the full variety of the menu, so I shared the butternut squash soup and the brussels sprouts to start, and the butternut squash pizza and the grilled chicken wrap for the main dish. The butternut squash soup was my favorite dish out of the four! Warm and velvety, it was the perfect fall or winter dish. The brussels sprouts had a very prominent Asian flavor profile and were very heavy on the miso in the vinaigrette. The miso vinaigrette was very heavy and thick, with savory, salty, and sweet notes. 

My favorite dish was undoubtedly the pizza dish. The dried cranberries added a nice tart flavor to the dish,which complemented the thick and perfectly golden brown crust. The house-made vegan almond ricotta added the creaminess a pizza usually gets from dairy mozzarella , but it was salty and did not quite taste like dairy ricotta cheese. Our final dish, the grilled chicken avocado wrap, left much to be desired. There was very minimal hummus and mozzarella cheese in the wrap, and you could not taste the lemon oregano vinaigrette highlighted on the menu. The wrap was also not in a homemade pita, but instead in a plain thin wrap. It did not have any taste and would be a dish to avoid when coming here. In terms of looks, the food was presented very rustically and looked very appetizing. 

The service was very inconsistent. They took our order right away, and we got our drinks very promptly. However, it took a while to get our food, and they brought out all four dishes at once rather than by course. It also took a while to get our check even though the restaurant wasn’t particularly crowded. 

If you are worried about Covid, we were sitting indoors.  Our server was not wearing a mask, but  some servers were. All in all, the lunch was satisfactory and offered a  decent amount of food for the $20 you pay per person. Their regular menu is also very affordable, with most entrees being $20 or less.

Pictured above is the Butternut Squash Pizza, topped with the housemade almond vegan ricotta.

Matteo’s of Roslyn 88 Mineola Ave, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577

$35 3-course pre-fix dinner


To start, I ordered a creamy burrata, a caesar salad, and PEI mussels in a white sauce. Everything was shared and served family style. The burrata was creamy and decadent, but the creamy interior was absorbed by the bread. The caesar salad was my favorite of the three appetizers. It had a very creamy and sharp caesar dressing along with a generous amount of shaved parmesan, which gave the salad the perfect amount of nuttiness, and, to top it off, some of the best croutons I’ve ever had, which tasted like crispy, buttery garlic bread. The PEI mussels in white sauce were huge and very garlicky but were also a little too salty. It was still the perfect sauce to dip the bread that came with our meal! 

For our entrees we got linguine in white clam sauce, eggplant parmigiana, and chicken ultimo. The linguine in white clam sauce was my favorite of the three entrees! The dish had a refreshing hint of lemon and a generous amount of clams.If you want to go with seafood, I would highly recommend this dish, especially over the mussels. The eggplant parmigiana was not too heavy, considering the hefty amount of tomato sauce and cheese that covered the tender eggplant. The final dish was the chicken ultimo, a boneless chicken breast sautéed in a lemon française sauce topped with mozzarella cheese and spicy cherry peppers. This dish was very tasty, as there were hints of the cherry pepper in the française sauce, which made the dish quite spicy even if you didn’t have a piece with an actual cherry pepper in it. 

For dessert, we ordered two biscottis and cream and one tortoni. The biscotti and cream was my favorite of the two desserts, with the biscotti having the perfect amount of sweetness and nuts paired with its crunchy texture. The chocolate chip cannoli cream topped off the biscotti perfectly. The tortoni was also delicious; the ice cream had a caramel-like consistency that paired perfectly with the toasted coconut. 

The service was amazing at Matteo’s, with the servers personally serving us our appetizers on our own individual plates. They also paced the meal extremely well, as we did not have to wait too long for our appetizers after they brought us bread and drinks, as well as between our appetizers and entrees, but we waited long enough so that we were hungry for our entrees. The portions were generous, especially considering the prices;  we took home leftovers of all of our entrees and a whole biscotti and cream dessert because we were so full! I would definitely recommend it!

Pictured above are all of the entrees. Pictured from left to right are the linguine in white clam sauce, the spicy chicken ultimo, and the eggplant parmigiana.

If you have dietary restrictions or you happen to be at the Roosevelt Field Mall, I would check out True Food Kitchen and get any seasonal highlight dish (it is indicated on the menu). Otherwise, I wouldn’t go out of your way to try True Food Kitchen. If you are in the mood for Italian food, I would highly recommend Matteo’s of Roslyn as you get a lot of food for the prices, and it was very easy to get a reservation there.