La Bussola in Glen Cove rolls back menu prices back to 1980
La Bussola has graced School Street in Glen Cove for 42 years, but on Mondays in April, it’s taking a trip down Memory Lane. In addition to the regular menu, the restaurant is also offering its original 1980 menu, at 1980 prices.
Carlo Lubrano, whose father, Pasquale, founded the restaurant, said that the “rollback” tradition began in 2010 when “my brothers and I were thinking about how to celebrate that we’d been in business for 30 years. We wanted to do something to honor Dad and say ‘Thank you’ to our customers. So we went back to the exact menu Dad had created.”
The most expensive item from the old menu is a veal chop ($18.75), either alla Marsala or “alla Bussola,” which means it comes smothered in mushrooms, onions and peppers.
With the exception of a handful of current Italian standards (fried calamari, penne alla vodka, anything drizzled with balsamic vinegar), La Bussola’s 1980 menu fits right into 2022: Baked clams ($4.95), prosciutto and melon ($3.75), veal Francese ($9.75), chicken Parmigiana ($8) chicken cacciatore ($9), mussels Posillipo ($8), spaghetti carbonara and tortellini alla panna (both $8).
Almost everything on the old menu has been retained on the current one, but one visitor from the Reagan era is veal bechamela ($9.50), scaloppine that has been coated in cream sauce before being dredged in breadcrumbs and sauteed.
Carlo explained how La Bussola’s menu has evolved over the years: “Back when my father was working at Stella restaurant in Forest Hills and even when he opened in Glen Cove, high-end Italian restaurants would serve spaghetti and meat sauce, lasagna. But as more and more pizzerias opened and started serving more than pizza, restaurants like La Bussola had to offer things you can’t get at a pizzeria.” That’s how osso buco, scallop risotto and Dover sole — plus a larger selection of appetizers and salads — wound up on the menu.
Beverages and the regular menu all bear current prices (which are, on average, about three times their 1980 counterparts). He also noted that a $9 veal Parmigiana is a great excuse to order an expensive bottle of wine.
The rollback menu is in effect April 4, 11, 18 and 25. Reservations are recommended.
La Bussola, 40 School St., Glen Cove, 516-671-2100, piccolabussolarestaurant.com