Light, Fresh Italian At Osteria da
By Luann & Alexemail@example.com
Nobody is allowed to cook better Italian than your own grandma.
But if you can't have her cooking, Nino Antuzzi is a solid
The Sardinia-born Italian is a well known
restaurateur in the area. After opening Red on New York Avenue
in 2001, Antuzzi capitalized on an opportunity to bring fresh,
rustic food from the motherland to Huntington village - Osteria
da Nino came to Main Street in 2003.
Dim lighting and warm colors set the tone
for the dining room. Elements of fine dining mix with Old
World charm: an extensive selection of Italian wines, pots
and pans hanging from the wall, new utensils between courses,
a portrait of a Friar holding a glass of wine. A classic map
of Italy hung next to our table, and it came in handy when
Antuzzi gave us a history lesson on Sardinia and the different
types of gnocchi.
Antuzzi's menu boats light, fresh Italian
dishes from ravioli Bolognese to pollo balsamico. The specials
are where Osteria da Nino really shines.
Manager Jeff Gucciardo's culinary knowledge
and talent for pairing wine adds to a fine night out. He woke
our palate with a glass of a light white wine, 2009 Corte
Giara Pinot Grigio from Venezie ($8 glass/$30 bottle). He
switched us to a 2009 Tasca D'Almerita Rosé from Sicily
($8/$30) to match a dish of prosciutto di parma and Black
Mission figs over arugula with goat cheese ($12). We are not
Rosé drinkers, but we enjoyed this wine: dry and not
too sweet, it has an explosive note of strawberry and brought
out the flavor of the figs and prosciutto.
Next up was Bufala mozzarella over organic
beefsteak tomatoes and roasted peppers ($12). And we're talking
real Bufala, as in made in Campania on Tuesday and served
at Osteria de Nino by Thursday. Soft and creamy, there's nothing
like it, especially when Gucciardo pours you a glass of 2009
Tremin Savignon Blanc Alto Adige ($10/$37) to go with it.
After hearing that the pasta is freshly cut
at Osteria, ordering the fettuccine with Prince Edward Island
mussels ($22) seemed the obvious choice. Antuzzi's white wine
garlic broth didn't overpower the freshness of the mussels
and pasta. A light and fresh dish, we quickly came to appreciate
Antuzzi's delicate hand when it comes to garlic.
A perfectly cooked piece of Roasted Scottish
salmon comes with Antuzzi's Sardinian eggplant caponata ($26).
Unfortunately he doesn't (yet) jar and sell the caponata -
a sweet mix including eggplant, onions, balsamic and sugar
- but we're keeping our fingers crossed that one day we'll
be able to have it at home. A glass of 2007 Cantina Castiadas
Cannonau di Sardegna plays well off the sweetness of the caponata.
The star of the evening was the beef braciola
($24), tender beef stuffed with breadcrumbs, parmesan, prosciutto,
walnut and raisin, served over ricotta gnocchi. Though the
dish sounds heavy, with Antuzzi's touch it is actually rather
light. The tomato sauce is fresh, the beef is so tender you
can cut it with a fork, and the gnocchi almost floats. The
flavorful stuffing is enhanced by a glass of 2008 Costera
Argiolas Cannonau di Sardegna, darker and cooler than the
Dessert is heavenly. Amaretto tiramisu ($8)
is light and fluffy, while a slice of ricotta cheesecake is
served warm and topped with a mixed berry puree ($8). Both
are a delightful way to end a meal.
Taste some of it all during Huntington Restaurant
Week Oct. 10-17, where Osteria da Nino is one of over 60 restaurants
offering a three-course prix-fixe menu for $24.95. And keep
out for Antuzzi across the street at
287 Main Street, where he is poised to open Sapsuckers Hops
& Grub at the former JD's.