The gateway to the North Fork has a new sentry. Il Giardino has opened in the Aquebogue building that most recently was Petulant Wino and, before that, Comtesse Thérèse Bistro. (Petulant Wino, owned by Tom Schaudel and his daughter Courtney, closed earlier this month.)
The Italian restaurant is owned by John Gambino, formerly a partner at Baby Moon in Westhampton. He’s brought over his Baby Moon chef, William Londono, to assist him in the kitchen. Gambino’s daughter, Maria, will be handling the front of the house.
Maria said that, true to the name, Il Giardino would be growing its own basil and tomatoes in the garden out back. The menu is Southern Italian with nods to the North Fork’s shore: local flounder, local catch of the day (both $26) and 2-pound lobster steamed or fra diavolo over linguine ($44).
Most appetizers are $13 to $17 and include John’s Sicilian salad, baby eggplant baked with tomatoes, seafood salad and fried calamari. Pastas, hovering around $20, include North Fork paccheri (with zucchini, arugula and goat cheese), linguine with clams, spinach fettuccine, meatballs (“meat” or turkey) offer spaghetti and baked ziti. Mains such as mussel marinara over linguine, chicken Parm and whole branzino are in the mid-$20 range.
The wine list will include plenty of local bottles.
739 Main Rd., Aquebogue, 631-779-3900, ilgiardinoaquebogue.com