Among the fancier items sold at Dortoni's Bakery & Café...

Among the fancier items sold at Dortoni's Bakery & Café in Commack is the "shadow cake" with vanilla and chocolate layers, chocolate filling and vanilla buttercream icing. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Dortoni’s vast range of decadent baked goods looks even more exuberant against the stark black-and-white décor of its brand-new location. On Friday, the 43-year-old Levittown bakery expanded to Commack, taking over the shop that, from 1999 to 2017, had been Torta Fina. (Torta Fina’s Babylon location remains open.)

The Commack shop sells exactly the same items as does Levittown: unreconstructed Italian cookies and pastries, many of them based on recipes that founder Lello Messina, a third-generation baker, brought with him from Naples; American standards such as butter cookies, brownies, turnovers and layer cakes; fancy French-style tortes and tarts; breads (some, like the challah and soda bread, originate with Levittown’s original Jewish and Irish demographics); and on-trend wares such as pizza-sized cookies, ornately decorated cupcakes and over-the-top cakes, like the “pink funky macaroon ” surmounted by a riot of macarons, Oreos, chocolate-covered pretzels, meringues and shards of white chocolate. Not visible in the refrigerated cases: made-to-order wedding and occasion cakes that, said Lello’s son, Corey, make up about 30% of sales.

Commack was a natural location for expansion, Corey said, because “a lot of our customers out here are still driving to Levittown because it’s a tradition in their family.” While supermarkets and price clubs have taken a bite out of the bakery business, he said, “there are always people who appreciate our quality, who want to show up at a friend’s house with a pink box that says ‘Dortoni.’”

Along with a hipper décor, the Commack store also serves a full line of espresso drinks, beans and machinery courtesy of the up-and-coming For Five Coffee Roasters.

This may be the Messina’s second Dortoni, but the family (Lello, Corey and his brother, Daniele) also own two La Bonne Boulangeries, in East Norwich and Port Jefferson. Initially, the French-named bakeries had a more Gallic product mix, while Dortoni leaned more Italian. At this point, the two “brands” are indistinguishable. Baking is done in all locations, but each kitchen specializes in certain products to ensure maximum consistency. The Messina family also owns Red Tomato pizzeria in Northport.

Dortoni Bakery & Cafe is at 11 Vanderbilt Motor Pkwy., Commack, 631-623-6999 and 3264 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown, 516-796-3033;

Top Stories


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months