By Leah & Amanda/
“You come to eat or you come to dine,”
explained Renato Beneforti about his decades of experience
in the restaurant business.
At La Capannina, not only do you dine, but also Beneforti
entertains you as he cooks right at your table, combining
the fun of a cooking show with the elegance of a fine meal.
Growing up in northern Italy, Beneforti always loved to cook.
As the owner of La Capannina in Northport, an old world Italian
restaurant, he now cooks as a hobby. After working around
the world as a chef, he settled in Huntington and brought
culinary passion to La Capannina.
As we walk into the room on the bottom floor of a renovated
house, Beneforti prepares crepes for a couple, patiently waiting
for their first bite. A little while later he will do the
same for a family celebrating their parents’ 60th wedding
anniversary. It seems they have all been to La Capannina before.
The décor is simple but the food stands out, and speaks
out, too. We could hear the customers making that “Mmmm”
Renato explains that he owns a vineyard and prides himself
on his extensive wine collection here and at home. Recommended
pairings are on the evenings’ list of specials.
All we can say about the Buffalo Mozzarella ($10.95) with
grilled zucchini and tomato is that it was all exquisitely
fresh. There is also mozzarella caprice ($8.95), which
is served with tomato, anchovies and roasted peppers or the
tuna carpaccio ($10.25). For seafood try the Little Neck clams
($9.50) or the calamari enrico ($9.75).
The salads are simple and affordable. The three-colored salad
comes with endive, radicchio and arugula topped with a red
wine vinegar dressing ($6.95). There is also a Caesar salad
($7.50) and baby greens salad ($5.50) with cherry tomatoes,
black olives, toasted almonds and a balsamic vinegar dressing.
Beneforti takes pride in his soups, which take days to prepare.
Try the Italian classic, Stracciatella ($5.95) with chicken
consommé, egg drop and fresh spinach.
Each pasta is quite unique, from the Ravioli con Aragosta
($21) described as “homemade lobster pillows”
in a saffron and cream sauce to the tagliatelle amatriciana
($16.50) which is fettuccini with pancetta and plum tomatoes.
Beneforti wheeled his cart to our table, and began to mix
ingredients onto the hot copper pan. Green peppercorns, shallots,
truffles and cognac were used to prepare a steak in front
The halibut with shrimp that was prepared by the chef in the
kitchen was also outstanding.
Zabaglione, a classic Italian dessert made with egg yolks
was prepared before our very eyes as we sipped wine and chatted
688 Fort Salonga Road
Northport, NY 11768
Cuisine: Old world Italian
Atmosphere: Upscale casual
Fri & Sat 5:00-11:00.
Sunday 3:00pm-9:00pm. Closed Monday.