La Scala may seem to be a pizzeria, but it is actually one of several sit-down dining restaurants owned by Nunzio Cusumano. La Scala and Olio in Commack are two of their restaurants, which feature old-world specialties brought to the U.S.A. by Nunzio himself.
Cusumano opened the restaurant in 1974 as a 21-year-old Italian immigrant and has owned and operated the restaurant ever since, adding his wife and daughter as staff along the way. His wife, Milena encouraged him to expand the pizzeria into the formal restaurant it is today.
This atmosphere is designed for a leisurely lunch or dinner, or a private party. During a recent visit for an early weeknight diner, I was quickly seated at one of the booths. All guests are greeted by the wait staff and served ice water infused with orange slices and a bread basket–brimming with warm Italian bread, and buttery garlic knots; bruschetta prepared with fresh tomatoes and garlic; and a homemade olive oil dipping sauce laced with chopped olives, sweet peppers and parmesan cheese.
The fried ravioli appetizer ($7.99) is lightly breaded and crispy on the outside and stuffed full of mild flavored ricotta cheese and herbs, accompanied by bowls of warm marinara sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
A large offering of freshly prepared pasta entrees are served in portions large enough to feed two. The popular fettuccine alfredo ($11.50) features thick noodles, a smooth sauce and tender grilled chicken. The pasta primavera ($11.99) is a loaded with fresh broccoli, onions, peas, mushrooms and tomatoes mixed in a light pink sauce served over a bed of angel hair.
Diners have a broad selection of entrees and price points ranging from a simple pizza to lobster tails. The most popular entrees include homemade lobster ravioli ($21.99), rigatoni alla vodka ($11.50), and chicken mona lisa ($16.99), according to Daniella Cusumano who operates La Scala with her parents, Nunzio and Milena Cusumano.
Various combination dishes ($10.99-$14.99) of ziti, ravioli, stuffed shells, manicotti, eggplant rollatine and other traditional Italian entrees are hearty platters that are well-suited for guests who prefer to try a sampling of La Scala's offerings.
A large slice of homemade fluffy chocolate cake with layers of chocolate mouse, drizzled with raspberry and chocolate syrup and whipped cream rounded off the meal.
Appetizers, soups and salads range in price from $3.99 for the small garden salad to $17.99 for the large hot antipasto platter of shrimp oregonata, baked clams, seafood stuffed mushrooms, eggplant rollatine and stuffed peppers oven baked in a light marinara sauce. Whole wheat pasta can be substituted.
Entrees range from $5.99 for the calzones, paninis, chicken rolls and wraps to $21.99 for the homemade lobster ravioli topped with shrimp and sun-dried tomatoes in a creamy pink cause. Pricier daily specials are also available.