Sandro’s Italian opens its doors in Manhasset
In the years Alessandro Acquista spent in the family-owned Queens trattoria, there was hardly any chore he didn’t do. As a teenager, he worked alongside his father on weekends. Later, after studying at the French Culinary Institute and working at other restaurants in New York City, he returned to Acquista Trattoria and worked at all positions and positions – from salads to pasta to the grill and bar – before becoming the chef of the restaurant, which he did for a decade.
Now that Acquista has opened his first restaurant as chef-owner, Sandro’s Italian in Manhasset, he is always up for anything, especially in times of labor shortages. âI transport the tables, I speed up. I could host a little more one night and another night, be in the kitchen,â Acquista said. “I do whatever it takes to make people happy.”
Sandro’s opened in September on Northern Blvd. space that recently held the BLVD 25 with a menu entirely focused on Italian-American and Sicilian dishes, grilled octopus entrees dressed simply in salmoriglio sauce (olive oil, lemon, oregano and garlic) and baked eggplant Sicilian style (with pecorino for the salty taste) with chicken and veal served with Marsala, Parmigiana, Milanese …
âI recognize the fact that I’m Italian-American,â Acquista said. “You will see all the classics.”
Each piece of pasta at Sandro is homemade on an extruder that allows for finer noodles such as bucatini (served oreganata style with Manila clams) and spaghetti (served with pomodoro), in addition to pasta. thicker like the gnochetti (with sausage and broccoli rabe) and the snail-shaped lumache (served bolognese). Some appear as specialties, like the black paccheri, stained with squid ink and garnished with frutti di mare.
âI’m a huge pizza lover and wanted to put in a pizza oven, but couldn’t fit it in,â Acquista added.
Besides the small kitchen, Sandro’s retains the modern lines of the BLVD 25, and the 60-seat dining room upstairs still has a small bar, room-length benches, and low lighting, as well. only a few outdoor tables in the front. Acquista is committed to keeping the vibe and dress code relaxed.
Sandro’s is open for dinner from 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, with lunch to come if labor permits. Entrees start at $ 17, salads at $ 14, pasta at $ 20 (for the pomodoro spaghetti), and meat dishes at $ 28. Desserts, from ricotta cheesecake to tiramisu and cannoli, are homemade and cost $ 10. The bar offers a short list of wines, beers and cocktails.
Sandro’s Italian, 1496 Northern Blvd., Manhasset. 516-467-4266. sandrositalian.com