The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Cassariano has opened in the Mineola spot that most recently housed True American Kitchen and, before that, Lula Trattoria and Circa Enoteca. The Italian restaurant is the second outpost of the well-regarded Cassariano in Venice, Florida.
Two of the five partners, general manager William Conte and chef Giancarlo DiMaggio, worked at La Parma in Huntington, but their new venture is an abrupt departure from family-style Italian-American cooking. Cassariano's menu bills itself as "contemporary Italian" and is informed by both traditional Italian cooking (carpaccio of beef with arugula and Parmesan), New American (pan-seared ahi tuna with asparagus and lemon sauce) and Italian fusion (spaghetti with lamb meatballs, goat cheese and tomatoes). Starters are $9 to $16; pastas, $17.50 to $22.50; mains, $20.50 to $42.40 (for a bone-in veal chop with roasted potatoes and broccolini).
All of the restaurants to occupy the spacious Jericho Turnpike location have been attractive and Cassariano is no exception. The new owners lightened up some of the wood and stone accents, but no major work was performed.
The original Cassariano was founded in 2007 by two native Italians, Luca Cassani (Milan) and Antonio Pariano (Turin). The Mineola venture came about through the connection of the two chefs: Mineola's DiMaggio and Venice's Pariano once cooked together in Upstate New York. When DiMaggio and Conte decided to leave La Parma and set out on their own, they looked to the Florida restaurant for inspiration.
Cassariano is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and lunch Tuesday through Friday. 348 E. Jericho Tpke., Mineola, 516-280-8990, cassariano.com.