Its A Family Affair
By Luann & Loufirstname.lastname@example.org
Italian restaurant in Huntington village has a different flair
to it, and Almarco Italian Grill is where the simple but sophisticated
meets traditional Italian cooking.
Owned by brothers Al and Marc Salese, Almarco Italian Grill
opened on Wall Street about three years ago. But for these
men, the story doesnt start with Almarco. Restaurants
are in their blood.
It started with their father Frank Sr. who, with his brother,
opened Southdown Kitchen in 1968 it is now run by Al
and Marcs cousins as well as a few pizzerias
in the town.
We really kind of all worked together growing up as
kids to pitch in. It just grows on you, the business,
Marc, of Northport, said. People say its a difficult
business, but for us it isnt because weve been
in it all our lives.
Following in his fathers footsteps, the eldest brother,
Frank Jr. opened Juniors Pizza in Halesite in 1982.
Al and Marc took it over a few years later, diving head first
into the restaurant business. One endeavor was the Roasted
Pepper in Huntington village, which they sold in 2005 when
they moved to Wall Street and opened Almarco, named for
you guessed it Al and Marc. It connects to the familys
second Juniors Pizza location next door, which also
opened in 2006.
He taught me everything I know about the pizza business,
Marc said of his father, who passed away in May. My
father always taught us, treat customers good, get to know
their names, and use good products also
You have to be
hands-on, have to know your customers and the business.
Making it even more of a family affair, the Almaro menu uses
many of Al and Marcs mother Lorraines recipes.
Marcs wife Lisa played a large role in decorating the
restaurant, generating a simple but sophisticated dining room,
and Marcs nephew Dino manages the house floor.
We like to be a neighborhood place, said Marc,
who gives his chef the night off on Wednesday and jumps in
the kitchen himself. Thats what were focusing
While the Almarco menu is traditional Italian youll
find everything from pizza, lasagna and pasta bolognese to
chicken francese, parmigiana dishes and eggplant rollatini
specials are new Italian, fusing food from different
styles and regions of Italy.
To our delight, Almarco didnt start us with bread and
butter, but rather warm bread and a mixture of olive oil and
herbs. We couldnt resist the sign in the window advertising
homemade sangria, so we tried the white and red ($8/glass,
$24/pitcher) and loved both. The white is smooth and fruity,
while the red is drier with a more sparkly fizz.
We had never had prosciutto di parma soup ($8) before and
were impressed with the dish. A tasty, light vegetable puree
filled with tiny shreds of prosciutto di parma stays hot,
and the black truffle essence adds a subtle flavor to it.
Antipasta salad ($12) is plentiful with the fixings: cucumber,
tomato, ham, salami, cheese, shredded carrots, roasted red
peppers and mixed greens, topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, the roasted red pepper salad ($9) is a refreshing
summer dish, with mixed greens, apples, almonds, roasted peppers
and Gorgonzola cheese in a light but tasty roasted pepper
The salmon special ($26) comes pan-seared and topped with
Maryland lump crab, topped with a delicate scallion tomato
sauce and served over a delicious reggiano risotto. If its
possible for risotto to be heavenly but light at the same
time, this is it.
The meat special, and stand out of our meal, was the farfalle
pasta with sautéed veal, sweet peas, roasted red peppers
and mushrooms in a rosemary marsala cream ($25). The veal
comes in thin strips, tender and juicy, and the marsala is
delicate, not thick and heavy.
Almarco pollo ($18), sautéed chicken topped with roasted
peppers, prosciutto and mozzarella in marsala sauce, caught
our eye for next time.
We ended with strawberry shortcake ($6), a lovely summer treat
with sweet pound cake and fresh berries.
With its outdoor patio in the back off the Green Street parking
lot, dining on Wall Street, a wine list that spans $25 - 44
a bottle and a hip cocktail list, Almarco makes for a great
summer dining destination. Well be sure to return to
see what new dining adventures the group is up to.
13 Wall St
Atmosphere: Simple but classy
Cuisine: Italian grill
Price range: Moderate
Hours: Open 11 a.m. -11 p.m.
seven days a week