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Italian restaurant Ristorante Santa Lucia opens in Melville

Santa Lucia Ristorante has replaced La Fontana in

Santa Lucia Ristorante has replaced La Fontana in Melville. Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Restaurateur Tony Dushaj is back. Again.

The Melville restaurant that has been La Fontana since 2012 has now been rechristened Ristorante Santa Lucia. The name change is accompanied by a management change: Tony Dushaj, who first opened Tre Scalini at this location in 2009 is back as chef-owner.

In fact, this is Dushaj’s third restaurant at 672 Walt Whitman Rd. Here’s a brief history:

1996: Tony Dushaj opens Tre Scalini on East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington

2000: Dushaj sells Tre Scalini (it later becomes Piccolo Mondo)

2009: Dushaj re-establishes Tre Scalini on Walt Whitman Road (Route 110) in Melville, in the former digs of Luigi’s

2011: Tre Scalini opens a second location in Farmingdale

2012: Dushaj, no longer associated with Tre Scalini in Farmingdale, changes name of Melville restaurant to La Fontana

2012: Lorenc Djeka takes over La Fontana from Dushaj, who decamps to Europe.

2017: Dushaj returns and changes name from La Fontana to Ristorante Santa Lucia

Phew! Santa Lucia takes its name from the restaurant, now closed, in Little Italy where Dushaj worked, as well as from a coastal town in Italy where he has spent time. The restaurant’s menu of Italian and Italian-American dishes is very similar to La Fontana’s, with starters and salads between $8 and $13; pastas $16 to $19; mains $20 to $24.

Ristorante Santa Lucia, 672 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, 631-923-1745


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