When the new Nassau Coliseum debuts in Uniondale on April 5, Billy Joel won’t be the only beloved L.I. native featured. In fact, you may want to arrive early — and hungry — to fully partake of the range of local foods available at the arena.
Roast Sandwich House (Melville and Hicksville) will be making its signature Buffalo-roasted chicken-Gorgonzola sandwiches, and Smokin’ Al’s Famous BBQ Joint (Massapequa Park) will be serving pulled pork and brisket. While most concessions will be takeout only, Umberto’s of New Hyde Park will be baking personal Margherita pizzas in an open-plan beer garden.
These are among the 21 local establishments chosen by Levy Restaurants, the arena’s operator, for its Long Island Taste program.
In September, Levy hosted an open house at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale to sample the wares of more than 100 vendors from Nassau and Suffolk.
“I was blown away by how much great food product is available on the Island,” said Marco Fabozzi, Levy’s vice president of hospitality strategy, and a Massapequa resident. “And apart from the Uniondale event, we’ve been going all over the Island visiting delis, restaurants and purveyors.”
Along with Umberto’s, Roast and Smokin’ Al’s, the other local restaurants tapped were GreeKrave, the Deer Park Greek eatery; Cabo: A Taste of Mexico in Rockville Centre; and Vincent’s Clam Bar, the Carle Place descendant of the classic Little Italy trattoria. Dogs and fries will be provided by Nathan’s, headquartered in Jericho, and Prime Food Distributor, a leading metropolitan area meat wholesaler based in Port Washington, will make the scene with its Coliseum Burger, a blend of chuck and brisket, topped with Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and “24 sauce,” the first condiment ever named for Hempstead Turnpike.
They won’t have their own dedicated outlets, but the wares of more than a dozen more local food companies will be featured at concessions throughout the Coliseum: Those Coliseum Burgers will be slathered with A. Bauer mustard from Hemptead, and accompanied by Backyard Brine pickles made in Cutchogue. Other concessions will be serving bread from Cardinali Bakery (Carle Place), doughnuts from Doughology (Lynbrook), cupcakes from NY Cupcakery (Bellmore), Amagansett Sea Salt, North Fork Potato Chips and Hampton Popcorn. On tap will be beer from Fire Island Beer Company and Oyster Bay Brewing Company, wine from Wölffer Estate Vineyard.
Not that the Coliseum’s gustatory offerings are completely local: Imported comestibles will include Gino’s Ices, made in Brooklyn.