Smartwich opens inside Hicksville bakery
It isn’t every chef who has his own sizzle reel, but Michael Guerrieri’s is wonderfully informative. It begins with him asking "Who is Chef Guerrieri?," a question Guerrieri himself answers during two-plus minutes jam-packed with biographical details (born in Naples, moved to New York, then Lisbon for 17 years, then New York again), notable achievements (while in Portugal he wrote for food magazines, authored cookbooks and "owned and operated many restaurant concepts"), and hints to his kitchen philosophy. ("You need to walk in there with an open mind and ready to attack anything. And that means, if you need to wash a dish or debone a chicken you just do it!")
Magnetic, telegenic and above all energetic, Guerrieri might seem the last person to open a sandwich shop inside a bakery — Francesco’s in Hicksville — and yet there he is proudly working the counter at Smartwich, which opened in January. Guerrieri came up with the idea for Smartwiches while in Lisbon, makes them with pao saloio, a lovely Portuguese cousin to the baguette, and eschews "fatty condiments like mayo."
Menu highlights include an octopus salad Smartwich with onions and peppers ($14.99), another with sausage and pepperoncini ($12.99), and still another with pickled sardines and cilantro ($13.99), not to mention an omelet sandwich with mozzarella ($10), Smartwiches of tuna, bacon, sausage, roast beef and more. Singularly irresistible: a spread of Nutella on warm pao saloio sprinkled with powdered sugar ($8). Salads, soups and custard tarts (pastel de nata) are also available.
"A twist of Naples, a touch of Long Island, a good splash of Manhattan — top it off with just the right amount of Lisbon and you get Michael Guerrieri," writes the chef on his website, an apt description of both Guerrieri and his latest restaurant concept.
Smartwich is inside Francesco’s Bakery at 640A S. Broadway in Hicksville, smartwich.com. Opening hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Monday.