Amityville Record

Amityville welcomes new eateries
By: Kathy Magrini

Vittorio’s and Subway open and raise hope for business revival

Vittorio’s Restaurant is more than just another place to dine. It’s opening represents some of the hopes and aspirations of many Amityvillians for a revitalization of Amityville’s downtown. And, that kind of resurgence always begins with bringing in eateries, said Mayor Peter Imbert, whose administration worked closely with the owners of the new restaurant.

The restaurant took a historically significant but long neglected building-the former Phanemiller’s drug store site-and made it into a vital part of the community. Once the doors on the new restaurant opened local crowds flocked to try out the new restaurant and welcome it to their community.

“Amityville has a place to call its own”, said co-owner Mike Esposito whose family also owns Mike’s Pizzeria across from Vittorio’s on Broadway.

“I think that the way the public has flocked to the restaurant attests to how much they want to see a variety of restaurants in the village,” said Imbert.

The Village of Amityville helped usher the restaurant through the bureaucracy and red tape often associated with a venture of this kind. It extended its façade program to help the owners offset some of the cost of redoing the building and stepped in when the opening faced delays due to the Suffolk County of Department of Health.

“There was some technicality that was not even applicable so the Building Inspector sent a letter to the county advising them that the restaurant was in compliance,” said Imbert.

In additions the Village worked closely with Subway, which opened on Broadway recently.

Their signs were not in conformity with what our code is, “said Imbert. “We didn’t want them to pull out over a sign, so we agreed to let them put one up that was a bit more toned down in color than their traditional signs and the agreed.”

Vittorio’s is named after Mike’s father, Victor; through many know him as Mike Sr.
“People assumed that because the pizzeria was named Mike’s that my Dad’s name was Mike and the never corrected them,” said Esposito. “Now some people are calling him Vittorio.”

Vittorio also stands for victory and it is just what the family feels now that their long, sought after dream has become a reality.

Two weeks after opening, Newsday came by to rate the new restaurant. “It was wonderful just to be recognized,” said Esposito. Vittorio’s was given one star, with a comment that it would be easy to gain a second one. While their food was praised, their service was a little under par according to Newsday.

“It was only our second week,” said Esposito. “The staff was still in training.”
From the first weekend, the restaurant’s opening spread word of mouth and it was mobbed. People stood on lines for up to an hour to sample the food and see the décor. Esposito found himself telling people there was an hour’s wait.

“People were understanding and many stayed, others said they would come back another day,” he said. “I bought a lot of people drinks to show my appreciation.”
Owner Mike Esposito and chef John Ringle pride themselves on serving quality food in a warm, pleasant atmosphere.

“I handpick the ingredients myself, and all are fresh,” said Ringle. “We also age our own meats and all dishes are made to order.”
Some customer favorites are Chilean Sea Bass, New York strip steak, and the open Canola dessert. Chef Ringle, though, claims no favorites. “Which daughter do I love the best? They are all my babies,” he said.

On opening night of the Amityville High School play “Footloose” a group of Amityville Kiwanis Club members go together and had dinner at Vittorio’s before heading over to the production.

“The food was very good,” said Lorraine Schad. She said there were about 16 to 20 people in their party. “Our waiter was amazing, he never wrote anything down form appetizers to the main course and served everything perfectly.”

The O’Neill family enjoyed each other’s company and their dinner at Vittorio’s. The crab cakes were delicious-some of the best I’ve ever had,” said Diane O’Neill.

Two in the party tried some of the specialty martinis-the Apple and the Margarita. Both were delicious they claimed.
“The food was very good and the portions large but it can get expensive if you have appetizers, wine and drinks,” said O’Neill.

The bar area, with its rich dark wood and old-style ambience, is a popular place for afternoon visitors or diners awaiting a table. It features a wide range of drinks including 40 different martinis. Bartender Diego Chiriboga created a delight for chocolate lovers-a macaroon martini. It entices with Godiva chocolate, Kahula, Malibu, crème, and a sugar rim.

Another favorite is the Malibu martini with pineapple juice, Malibu, and Chambord. “We have a separate martini menu-it is our specialty,” said Chiriboga.
They also serve an Amityville Ice Tea, named after the Village the serve.
The restaurant is open seven days a week. It serves lunch Monday through Friday, 12 to 3pm.

During the week it closed at 10pm; 11pm on weekends.
Lunch prices range from $3 to $11 for starters; $7 to $12 for salads; $9 to $14 for pastas, and $7 to $12 for sandwich/wraps.

Dinner prices range from $7 to $12 for appetizers, $4 to $12 for soups and salads, $11 to $16 for fresh pasta dishes, $16 to $24 for specialty dishes. Desserts are $6.

Specialties are entrees that come with a starch and vegetable. Reservations are only accepted for eight guests or more. Private parties can be booked weekend afternoons from 12 to 3pm., with prices starting at $23 per person.

“The local people have been wonderful and I want to get each and everyone to the restaurant,” said Esposito. “And once word gets out, people will come from all over.”

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