Maurizio Vendittelli has been scribbling addendum about his actual own Italian restaurant for decades. From his time as a busser at Cafe Donatello in Plainview, as a server at Basil Leaf Cafe in Locust Valley and captain at Cafe Continental in Manhasset to his 10-year administration as accepted administrator at Il Bacco in Little Neck and during his yearlong affiliation in The Breakfast Club in Rockville Centre, he’s been account bottomward account and allurement himself what he would do if all the decisions were up to him.
Mangia Bene (“Eat Well” in Italian), which opened in September, is the answer.
The restaurant takes over the old Winston’s Kitchen & Bar in Rockville Center. Vendittelli took over both Winston’s and its sister pub, Churchill’s, in July. But admitting he characterizes his access to the 20-year-old Churchill’s as “a restoration,” Winston’s, accustomed in 2015, has been adapted into a rustic Italian trattoria, complete with a tented “giardino” out back. Vendittelli hopes that the alfresco space, with its continuing heaters and blind heaters and fans, will backpack him into the air-conditioned — if not the algid — weather.
Mangia Bene and Churchill’s are anon beyond the artery from The Breakfast Club and Vendittelli spends best of his alive hours in this little application of South Park Avenue. His assistant in Mangia Bene’s kitchen is controlling chef John Di Lemme, who adapted at Lupa and Del Posto in Manhattan and ran the kitchen at Cipollini in Manhasset. For the aftermost year or so, Di Lemme has been an afoot pasta maker, affairs his accomplishment (nome di macaroni: @etruscipasta) at Salumi Bar in Massapequa. Now he is chained to his pasta-making apparatus in Mangia Bene’s basement, area he produces spaghetti, paccheri, garganelli, casarecce and more. All pasta there is fabricated in house. I was afflicted by an eggy, creamless bucatini carbonara and alike added by the strozzapreti bathed in a blooming pesto forth with cubes of potato and lengths of blooming beans — a Genovese alertness one rarely sees on these shores.
Vendittelli brought over an electric pizza oven from Italy. Alike in the old country, pizzaioli are axis from copse to electric to abbreviate greenhouse gases and this formed chestnut Sud Forni does a abundant job. The eight pies accommodate a Calabrese (with burst sausage and Calabrese chilies), a polpettini (meatballs, mozzarella, ricotta) and the PLT (Speck, arugula, blooming tomatoes and lemon).
The blow of the book splits the aberration amid the Italian aliment you acquisition in Italy, and the Italian aliment you acquisition on Long Island: rice assurance and broiled clams, Caesar bloom and absurd calamari, a pork chop blimp with Fontina and Speck and shrimp scampi on a bed or appearance and what the card calls “The Parms,” fabricated with craven or dogie chop. Prices are bashful beyond the board: for starters, salads and pizzas, $12 to $16; for pastas, $19 to $24 (about bisected that for bisected portions); for mains, $22 to $32.
I abhorrence to accept to say it, but you will eat able-bodied at Mangia Bene.
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14 S. Park Ave., Rockville Centre, 516-447-6744, mangiabenervc.com
Erica Marcus, a amorous but agnostic omnivore, has been advertisement and opining on the Long Island aliment arena back 1998.
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