A popular Long Island mainstay is a traditional Italian eatery right down to the checkered table cloths, but it's also kept up with the times and amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uncle Bacala’s in Garden City Park is drawing praise for its tasty, budget-friendly take-out family meals and dining igloos - two ways the restaurant is adapting to the pandemic.
For the unfamiliar, “dining igloos'' are for people who want to eat in more seclusion during the pandemic. At Uncle Bacala’s they’re heated, stationed outdoors, and look like translucent eggs. Inside they are surprisingly spacious and can seat up to 6 people. Customers are loving them.
Yelp foodie Jodi T. kept her positive review of her January meal short and poetic:
“Igloo dining amazing. Great fresh to orderSeafood salad.Great service.Igloo heat.”
Owner Peter Hewitson launched Uncle Bacala’s in 2004 with the goal of creating a restaurant that serves familiar Italian favorites in a warm, welcoming atmosphere that’s still lively and casual. The interior features white subway tiles and a room that simulates an outdoor courtyard on a fisherman’s wharf.
Uncle Bacala’s menu is stacked with authentic Italian dishes served by knowledgeable staff.
Menu standouts include Arancini (rice balls), Zucchini Fritti, Baked Apple Salad, Spaghetti al Fruitti di Mare, Honey Balsamic Grilled Skirt Steak, Salmone in AgroDolce, Wafelini, Chilean Sea Bass, peach dessert ravioli, and hand-spun cotton candy.
Online, diners have said that they appreciate Uncle Bacala’s delicious food and its family-friendly environment. The restaurant has a kid’s menu and budget-conscious family-style meals. There is a prix fixe menu and daily specials - Monday is fusilli in sausage Bolognese, Thursday is gnocchi, and Sunday is, of course, gravy.
Yelp foodie Nandanie K. of Floral Park, said she’s such a big fan of Uncle Bacala’s family trays and to-go service, she had them cater her son’s birthday.
“My go-to Italian restaurant! The food is delicious, so filling and satisfying. I've ordered takeout quite a few times during quarantine and even catered my son's 1st birthday from Uncle Bacala's. He's 1 year old and loves their pasta! I appreciate that they deliver too. The staff is always courteous and helpful, and the call afterward to make sure everything went well is always appreciated. Our favorites are penne with vodka sauce, chicken Francese, and the gnocchi.”
Uncle Bacala’s Restaurant, 2370 Jericho Turnpike, Garden City Park, is open Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. Contact the restaurant at (516) 739-0505 or unclebacala.com.
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