Pierligui "Gigi" Sacchetti, the esteemed Italian chef who came on board one of Long Island’s best pizzerias a little over a year ago, is now helming the ship. Franklin Square’s Naples Street Food has been re-christened Chef Gigi’s Place, the menu now featuring more than two dozen pasta dishes, plus pucce (singular: puccia), the Pugliese sandwich made on freshly baked "pocket" breads that take pita to a whole new level. Fillings include sausage and broccoli rabe ($9.50), imported mortadella, shaved Parmesan and artichokes ($9) and boiled short rib with parsley salsa verde ($12).
The pizza offerings remain the same, still made in the wood-burning oven by Giorgio Jeri, who has been slinging pies here since it opened in 2016. Founder Gianluca Chiarolanza can now be found at Naples Street Food in Oceanside, the larger satellite that opened two years ago.
Sacchetti made a splash on Long Island in 2017 when he headlined at Da Gigi in Lynbrook (now Abbracciamento), and earned three stars from Newsday. His menu in Franklin Square is a Cook's tour of regional Italian pastas, all of which he makes by hand. Among the eight pastas from Rome and its environs are cacio e pepe, carbonara, Amatriciana and something I’ve never seen on Long Island before: rigatoni pajata, made with tomato-braised calf intestine. The Florentine-born chef sauces maltagliati ("badly cut" noodles) with a Tuscan sugo of boar. From Emilia-Romagna, there’s lasagna Bolognese; from Sicily, busiate Trapanese with tomato-almond pesto; from Liguria, trofie Genovese; from Umbria, strozzapreti alla Norcina.
The "365 Truffles" menu features truffles every day of the year, whether black or white are in season, and includes tagliatelle with truffles and truffled risotto arancini (rice balls). All but the truffled pastas are $18 or less.
Sacchetti also plans such specials as abbacchio, roast suckling lamb, and, when he can source them, fresh porcini mushrooms.
As always, the front of the restaurant is dominated by the Neapolitan oven. There’s now a big TV to occupy customers waiting for to-go orders. The narrow dining room has been refreshed and, to comply with current restrictions, relieved of some tables.
Chef Gigi’s Place is at 970 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square, 516-673-4630, chefgigisplace.com.