The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
AcQua, a family-style Italian restaurant, makes its home in the former clubhouse of the Blue Water Yacht Club in Merrick. The place originally opened in June 2012 but, after taking a big hit from superstorm Sandy, was under renovation until a couple of months ago. Now, diners can eat inside the two-story building or dine in an outdoor tent facing the water.
The place is owned by the Giambanco brothers, chef Francesco and manager Fabio, who are assisted by their father, Salvatore, formerly a partner at Matteos in Bellmore and the former La Viola in Cedarhurst.
The menu offers individual portions as well as those designed to feed two or more. Sample items include zuppa di clams ($14.95; $25.95), pasta Bolognese ($16.95; $24.95) and chicken scarpariello ($18.95, $25.95). A timballo (dome filled with eggplant, beef, cheese, pasta and sauce $29.95), enough for three, typifies the cuisine of Salvatore Giambancos native Sicily.
Come November, said the senior Giambanco, a permanent structure with removable window-walls will replace the tent, allowing for the feel of dining outdoors year-round.
AcQua is at 1944 Bayberry Ave., Merrick, 516-623-4400, acquamerrick.com.