Prosciutto is an essential ingredient in the repertoire at Barbera...

Prosciutto is an essential ingredient in the repertoire at Barbera Pasta e Vino in St. James. Credit: Dreamstime

Those with memories of the St. James restaurant scene about a decade back may recall Barbera, a quiet, elegant little Italian spot that opened in 2001 and closed in 2005. Now, it's returned as Barbera Pasta e Vino, making its new home in the former digs of Istanbul Cafe.  

For the past nine years, said co-owner Barbara Manougian, she and her chef husband, Jon, were living in Florida, where they launched another version of  Barbera. Over time, though, they found that they missed the clientele on Long Island and so decided to return and restart Barbera. Almost every dish on the new restaurant's menu is the same as before, said Manougian.

Included in  Manougian's repertoire are an antipasto of fettunta e prosciutto, grilled country bread with prosciutto di Parma ($13); finocchio e fungi, a salad of fennel and mushrooms ($11); spaghetti alla vongole, featuring clams in a light spicy tomato sauce ($22), and ravioli bella vista, spinach ricotta ravioli with olive oil and sage ($21). Entrees change on a daily basis but might include pan-roasted cod ($28) and braised pork shank osso buco ($28).

The place opens for dinner at 5:30 Tuesday to Saturday night; closed Sunday and Monday. Reservations are recommended.

Barbera Pasta e Vino is at 412 North Country Rd., St. James,  631-584-0113.



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