The flourishing Italian steakhouse trend took another twist earlier this month when a new sign went up in Northport, along Route 25A: Vespa Italian Chop House.
That name (the first part of it, anyway) is probably more familiar to those who live further south, near Farmingdale, where Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar opened on Main Street in 2016. Two years later, a sister restaurant, Harleys American Grille, opened just across the street. Those concepts will fuse in Northport, confirmed Michael LoManto, who owns both Vespa and Harleys with his parents, Benedetto and Cynthia LoManto.
Vespa Italian Chop House takes over the space that long held Nocello's at 843 Fort Salonga Rd., and the menu will combine Italian- and Sicilian-style apps, pasta and pizza with chops from Harleys. where subprimal cuts of beef are wet and then dry-aged in a visible salt locker, seven weeks in total.
"The bar will be huge," said LoManto, but unlike in Farmingdale, the Northport location will not have a wood-fired oven.
In 2016, Vespa earned two stars from Newsday for food such as osso bucco, pappardelle melanzane and the Siclian-style chickpea fritters, panelle. Harleys earned three when chef Allison Fasano was at the helm.
A previous version of this story misstated the restaurants owned by the LoManto family.