Bites Nearby: Novita Wine Bar & Trattoria

A happening place on Franklin Avenue.

You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Each week, Garden City Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. Here’s this week’s choice:

Novita Wine Bar & Trattoria: Something special is always going on at Novita Wine Bar & Trattoria, which has done a stellar job of capturing both the Happy Hour crowd during the week and the brunch folks on weekends. But let’s say you are not into either, should you come here? Absolutely.

The food and atmosphere is inviting, and the service is outstanding as well. To start with, there are a dozen appetizers on the menu not counting the pizza, which remains the most popular dish. “Pizza Naples,” as it is referred to, includes prosciutto white pie with sundried cherries for $13; or Five Mushroom Truffle (sent out with creamy ricotta and white truffle) for $14; and Meatball pizza (with Ragu sauce and fresh mozzarella).

Salads are delicious. Some suggestions? The Wild Arugula (with poached pears, sun dried cherries, gorgonzola, spiced pecans and honey balsamic) for $11; and the Firecracker Jumbo Shrimp Salad (with baby arugula, blood oranges, honey toasted almonds, blue d’auvergne and sundried cherry white balsamic vinaigrette) for $16 are good choices.

The entrees include gluten-free pasta items like Rigatoni Ragu Novita ($17), which comes with meatballs, braised pork, veal and sausage and creamy basil ricotta; and the Pappardelle Sweet Lobster ($21), served with asparagus, leeks and black pepper truffle cream.

Novita’s signature fish entrees are the Bronzed Chilean Sea Bass (with truffled apple parsnip puree, spinach and toasted almond lobster demi) for $30; and the Crab Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp  $28.

If you like wines, Novita features a wine locker from which 100 global wines are stocked. The wines are served by a special dispensing system that is digitally temperature controlled. 860 Franklin St. Garden City, 516-739-7660. Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday, noon – 2 a.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. Entrees $16 to $30.

Found a great place to dine? Let us know about it in the comments section below.