If there is a tougher town for restaurants on Long Island, we haven’t eaten in it. Now Great Neck has vanquished another eatery: Katerina Ristorante Italiano, the ambitious Italian that earned 2½ stars from Newsday less than six months ago.
“The town itself did the best it could to support us,” said partner Cary Rosner, “but we weren’t drawing enough people from other communities to make a go of it.”
Katerina opened in May, a collaboration between Rosner, seasoned Manhattan restaurateur Antonio Cerra (Il Gabbiano, Da Antonio, Padre Figlio) and his daughter, Kathy (Katerina) Cerra.
In his review, Peter M. Gianotti wrote, “the new Italian ristorante brings back a style not seen in the neighborhood since the elegant Navona departed and creative Lola retooled. Katerina sends out first-class food, deftly prepared and expertly served.”
The location, just south of Great Neck’s LIRR station, has been a revolving door since Fuji-Ya closed in the early 2000s. The Carousel, a Japanese restaurant featuring a sushi conveyor belt, a hibachi room and a tea shop, opened in 2010 and closed a year later. Noting that the town’s Jewish population was growing more Orthodox, the next operator tried a glatt kosher French steak house, Lamed Vav (2014 to 2015), which he replaced with Station Grill, a non-kosher New American that lasted from May to July, 2015.