Aria Melanie, the Bay Shore restaurant that graced Newsday’s Top 10 Italian list its first year in business, is now closed and has reopened as Bella Vie.
After its owner, first-time restaurateur Frank Mandato, left the business, chef Fabrizio Perinelli partnered with Mike Lekaj, now general manager, and two other investors. The restaurant has been open during the transition, but now everything — menu, signage and website — are in place.
Aria Melanie opened in July 2016, taking over the Lawrence Lake location that had been The Lake House (now decamped to larger quarters on the Great South Bay) and, before that, Duck Pond Inn. The restaurant took its name from Mandato’s granddaughters. (Bella Vie means “beautiful life” in, successively, Italian and French.)
Aside from some new carpeting and deck upgrades, the dining room remains the same. The menu, Perinelli said, “is more Italian, real Italian.”
That means appetizers including seafood fritto misto ($16), beef carpaccio ($13) and crostini with eggplant caponata ($13); pastas including cavatelli with lamb ragu and pecorino ($22), baked paccheri with pork sauce, hard-boiled eggs and mozzarella ($24), tagliolini with porcini, shrimp and tarragon ($24); mains include fluke involtini with crab, ratatouille, corn, spinach and capers ($30), duck duo with confit leg, seared breast and pomegranate gastrique ($32) and a 22-ounce cowboy rib-eye steak with truffle fries and grilled shallots ($44).
Bella Vie is open for dinner every day but Monday, brunch on Sunday. 240 W. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-500-9045, thebellavie.com