Hey, Long Island, are you hungry? The “nonnas” from the church of St. Rocco in Glen Cove are ready to feed you — and heartily so — at the Feast of St. Rocco, which runs Tuesday, July 26, through Sunday, July 31. But we’re not talking hot dogs and hamburgers here with snow cones and cotton candy for dessert. At St. Rocco’s, every night is Italian-themed, with dishes made from family recipes rotating as the week goes on.
“I keep changing the menu or else it gets boring. We like to mix it up,” says Arturo Gomes, food coordinator and co-chair. “There’s no compromise in quality. We strive to make sure our food is the best.”
Here’s a menu to help you mangia:
APPETIZERS Start your engines because Gomes and his team of volunteer cooks get serious with fried calamari ($10) made fresh every half-hour, baked local clams (six for $6), homemade rice balls ($4) and portobello mushrooms stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, grilled eggplant, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella topped with pesto sauce and a drop of balsamic vinegar ($7).
“All the food is made like we are at home,” says kitchen leader Lucille Johnson of Glen Cove. “We only use fresh products, which is why it tastes good.”
ENTREES For those who are pasta fans, there will be multiple styles served such as linguine with clam sauce ($10), cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage ($10), pasta fagioli ($5) and lasagna ($9), just to mention a few.
“Our pasta is never dried out because it’s always being made,” says Gomes. “We go through 15 cases a day at 20 pounds per case.”
New this year: Buffalo chicken meatballs with a blue cheese dipping sauce (two for $5) plus a new sandwich featuring chicken cutlet, broccoli rabe, hot cherry peppers and mozzarella ($10).
Don’t worry — old favorites such as chicken Parmesan ($10), eggplant Parmesan ($9), eggplant rollatini ($9), sausage and pepper heroes ($8, add hot cherry peppers, broccoli rabe and mozzarella for $2 more Thursday-Sunday) and tripe sautéed with white wine, tomato sauce, cheese and potatoes ($8) will be on tap every night.
If you can’t choose, try a sampler platter ($18) where you can get a portion from a trio of entrees all on one plate. For those on the run, there’s a booth set up just for takeout where all the items on the menu are packaged and ready to go.
“We have people who come back three, four times for dinner within the week,” says feast chairperson Angie Colangelo. “We want to make sure they get a nice variety.”
NONNAS’ SUNDAY DINNER On Sunday, the final day of the feast, the “nonnas” (as the congregation’s troupe of Italian volunteer cooks are called) pull out all the stops by serving a meal that has been passed down from their ancestors for decades: a traditional Italian Nonna’s Sunday Dinner ($12), which starts at 3 p.m.
“Sunday in the Italian culture is about pasta with meatballs, sausage and braciole,” says Colangelo. “It was our major seller last year.”
In 2015, the item was so popular it sold out before 7 p.m.
“It went quick last time, so we are making a lot more this year,” says Gomes. “I had to more than double our volume due to the demand.”
DESSERTS For a special dessert experience, head outside to the Salute Café, where you can have chocolate tip cannoli ($3.50), rum baba ($3.50), Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream ($6.50) or sfogliatelli ($3.50) plus espresso ($2.50) or cappuccino ($3) under the stars, as live music plays in a garden setting under draped lighting with candles and royal blue linens on the tables.
“It will be very romantic with rich ambience,” says designer Luigi Greco of Glen Cove. “We are looking to bring some elegance to the outside area.”
In addition to dessert, there will be cocktail tables where guests can enjoy local wines, craft beer and tapas.
“We are making it more upscale with a Tuscany feel,” says Colangelo. “Between the music, the food and the décor, you’ll think you’re at a quaint backyard European cafe.”
FEAST OF ST. ROCCO
WHEN | WHERE 6-11 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 3-11 p.m. Saturday and 3-10 p.m. Sunday, July 26-31 at Third Street and St. Rocco Place, Glen Cove
INFO 516-676-2482, stroccoglencove.com/thefeast