Lilly Kanarova was gravely disappointed in the state of coffee in her neighborhood. The co-owner (with partner Josh Kobrin) of Massapequa’s 4-year-old Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar also was constantly asked by her customers where they could buy the bread, cheese, cured meats, pasta, olive oil and pasta served in the restaurant.
Opening Salumi Café and Market in the storefront adjacent to the tapas bar was the obvious solution. The rustic space is lined with wooden shelves bearing groceries from all over the world — fig jam from Dalmatia, quince paste from Spain, fish sauce from Thailand. At the bar in the back, you can sample dozens of cheeses and sausages as well as order coffee (roasted by Georgio’s in Farmingdale and pulled from a gleaming La Marzocco espresso machine), breakfast (try the house-made puff-pastry “pop tarts” filled with such delicacies as fig jam and prosciutto) or lunch (sandwiches made with Salumi’s own bread).
Kanarova views herself as more than a purveyor of gourmet goods. “Our biggest mission,” she said, “is to educate about food and flavor.” At the tapas bar, she said, “we’ve watched palates develop — customers who used to come in and order Moscato d’Asti [a sweet bubbly from northern Italy] are now really appreciating dry red Bordeaux.”
Salumi Café and Market serves breakfast and lunch. On weeknights, the space will host classes in cheese, salumi wine and breadbaking. On weekends, it will handle the overflow from the tapas bar. “It breaks my heart to see customers waiting on line,” Kanarova said. “Now, even if we can’t seat them right away, at least they’ll be able to walk around the market and look at stuff.”
Salumi Café and Market
5602 Merrick Rd., Massapequa, 516-620-0057