I drove by PastaVino in Mineola last night and noticed that it no longer bore a sign identifying it as such. I popped in and asked the gentleman who appeared to be in charge whether it was still PastaVino. “Tonight it is,” he said. “But Thursday we reopen as Andiamo.”
The gentleman turned out to be Paul Saliski, one of the new owners. He and Jeana Vimbor, who own La Cipollina in Freehold, N.J., came aboard last spring as consultants. In December, they signed on as partners and began to envision a new concept.
(A little back story: PastaVino opened in 2008, a collaboration between Carmelo Sapuppo and Phil Iannuccilli who were, at the time, respectively, owner and chef at the now-closed Maxxels in Mineola. Iannuccilli left PastaVino in August 2009 and Sapuppo left in May 2011, leaving the restaurant in the hands of non-working partners. It was these partners who brought on the Garden Staters.)
For Andiamo, Saliski and Vimbor have repainted the dining room and intend to make it a little more sleek, a little less rustic. But the biggest change is in the kitchen: Andiamo’s chef is none other than George Echeverria, who earned three stars from Peter Gianotti at Amicale in Huntington. Echeverria left Amicale in October, less than a year after he took over the space that used to be Panama Hatties.
Echeverria’s menu straddles Italian American (clams oreganata, Caesar salad), new Italian (braised lamb shank with mushroom risotto and a Barolo reduction) and Continental cuisine (escargot in puff pastry, sea scallop fricasse) that he cooked at Amicale and, before that, at Soigne in Woodmere. Dinner appetizers are in the low teens, main courses in the mid- to high twenties.
Andiamo is at 149 Mineola Blvd., Mineola, 516-294-1715, andiamo-mineola.com