Spaghetti Pomodoro topped with basil at Osteria Morini at Roosevelt...

Spaghetti Pomodoro topped with basil at Osteria Morini at Roosevelt Field in Garden City. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Osteria Morini, the ambitious regional Italian trattoria opened in 2019 by Michelin-starred chef Michael White, has closed its location in Roosevelt Field in Garden City.

White left the restaurant's parent company, Altamarea Group, in 2021. His former partner, current CEO Ahmass Fakahany, said that Altamarea “enjoyed being part of this community, even through the difficult period of the pandemic.” But, “in the end, in discussion with our landlord, we agreed a different concept for the location would be best served for all.”

When the rustic-chic 5,000-square-foot restaurant opened, it was notable not only for the reputation of the chef, but also for its focus on the cuisine of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, which White characterized as “the birthplace of prosciutto, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar — ingredients that make Italian food what it is.” It’s also the epicenter of tortellini, tagliatelle, lasagna and other pasta based on the “sfoglia” (freshly made sheet of egg pasta). The kitchen had three people working full time to roll them out and, in the case of the tortelli and cappelletti, stuff them.

Osteria Morini hewed more closely to Italian tradition than to Italian American, but White told Newsday that he made one critical tweak to his pasta dishes for the Long Island market: “I increased the portion sizes from what we serve at our other three Osteria Morini locations — I’ve been eating all over Long Island and I know that people like to take a little pasta home with them.”

That pasta — as well as the cured meats and cheeses, steaks and chops and one of Long Island’s best Italian wine lists — earned Osteria Morini three stars and vaulted it onto Newsday’s list of best Italian restaurants.

Altamarea now operates two locations of Osteria Morini, one in SoHo, one in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

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