Italian, On Tap

By Arielle and Katy


On tap at Huntington’s Osteria Da Nino are six whites, six reds and four beers, as the Main Street establishment, open once again after recent renovations, introduced its wines on tap last Thursday.

“The idea of wines on tap was born of ‘mirroring’ our sister restaurant, Sapsuckers,” said General Manager Kelley Danek.

The sister restaurants, owned by Nino Antuzzi and creating what is perhaps a perfect juxtaposition, are located across the street from each other. Sapsuckers’ burgers-and-beers atmosphere features a rotating selection of 16 craft beers; Osteria Da Nino’s rustic Italian scene will now feature a rotating selection of 12 small-production wines.

“The wine themselves are priced relatively the same as more conventionally packaged bottled wines, but there are several benefits otherwise,” Danek said. “It is a reduction in packaging, as each keg or barrel holds the same as approximately 26 bottles. Once the wine is tapped, there is an ease of serving as there are no corks to pull or bottles to dispose of.”

Those dining at the restaurant will also have the choice of size: diners can order a glass, or the equivalent of about three glasses in a 500-milileter carafe.

With the wine on tap, Osteria Da Nino can also better-control wine temperature. The whites will sit at 48 degrees; the reds will stay at 60 degrees.

And then there is the food.

The Arancini ($8), whose name translates to “little oranges” for their resemblance to the fruit, are fried and filled with risotto, saffron and mozzarella and served in a shallow pool of tomato sauce. The Zucchine Fritte ($8) are gently crispy but not oily or greasy. Dusted with semolina and enhanced by lemon, these zucchini fries are served with a garlic aioli.

The Paglia e Fieno ($16) – an Italian pasta dish whose name translates directly to “Straw and Hay” – is a blend of green and cream colors. A combination of spinach and semolina strand pasta and decorated with wild mushrooms, the dish sits in a bowl of truffle oil-enhanced cream and is one of the most popular and well-liked menu items, according to one waiter.

The Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli ($16) combines flavors similar to those of the Paglia e Fieno, minus the all-enveloping cream. With parmesan, brown butter and sage, the ravioli finds a balance between heavy and light.

Dessert at Osteria Da Nino shares the same talent for finding that heavy-light balance. The flourless chocolate cake does not taste like it is missing a single ingredient, even on a full stomach after a meal more filling than can be imagined. Saturday night’s dessert special, featuring flaky pastry with cream and berries, was like eating air with flavor and calories.

Osteria Da Nino and sister Sapsuckers have a third and fourth sibling. Also in the village is Red Restaurant on New York Avenue – still closed for renovations following the March 1 fire that forced its temporary closure – and in Kings Park, there is Cafe Red.