As befits a man shifting his emphasis to Italian cuisine, Guy Savia was on the Amalfi Coast when we reached him by phone. Until, last weekend, the Facebook page of his Savoy Tavern in Merrick was touting bottomless brunches and Sloop Super Soft IPA. But one item on the Savoy beer list hinted at changes to come — Mio Posto Pilsner.
On Wednesday, Savia’s Savoy will become the second location of Mio Posto on the Island, after the one in Long Beach.
“The Savoy was a beautiful bar, but this area is in need of good Italian food,” said Savia, who already had a minority stake in Mio Posto when he was approached about making a change. “There are a lot of low-end places in the Merrick and Bellmore areas, but we wanted an upgrade, something more appealing to the masses.”
In 2013, there were two Mio Postos, one in Hicksville and the other in Oceanside. “Mio Posto has moved south for the winter,” wrote Newsday’s Erica Marcus in January 2017 when the Hicksville and Oceanside locations closed and Mio Posto’s owners opened in Long Beach.
Newsday’s Peter Gianotti gave the Hicksville location two stars in 2013, calling Mio Posto “an especially generous, fairly priced place for Italian-American fare. More important, it's often very good, sometimes better.” Savia said that 95 percent of the Mio Posto menu in Merrick would be the same as the one in Long Beach. But there would be a nod or two to contemporary tastes, he noted: lighter pasta dishes, dishes with chickpea flour, chicken meatballs and more. Additionally, the kitchen has been completely rebuilt and the facility upgraded overall.
“The reputation of Mio Posto is second to none,” Savia confidently proclaimed, noting that while he would miss the soft opening, he’d be back stateside for Mio Posto’s official grand opening on Saturday.
The new Mio Posto is at 16 Merrick Ave. in Merrick, 516-506-7717; a second location is at 777 W. Beech St. in Long Beach, 516-208-8029.