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Let’s do Lunch
By: Lyn Dobrin

December 2005
It’s fitting that there are pictures of old Amityville on the walls of Vittorio’s Wine Bar and Restaurant, not only because the place is located there but due to the family’s roots in the town. Owner Michael Esposito’s grandfather, Mike Scotto, opened Mike’s Pizza in Amityville in 1969. Three years ago, Michael and his father, Vittorio, opened Vittorio’s.

Vittorio’s has the right to call itself a Wine Bar. Thanks to their "le verre de vin" (the glass of wine) system that "re-seals" bottles after they have been opened, nearly 81 wines are available by the glass. The bar is in a distinctly separate space at the entrance to the restaurant.

The dining area has the feel of a steak house/trattoria. There’s lots of wood and artfully placed mirrors and windows that provide spaciousness. The cuisine, says Esposito, is "American with an Italian soul."

Our meal started with hot, very crusty bread accompanied by rosemary and garlic infused olive oil for dipping. From the appetizers we chose baby grilled asparagus with a Dijonnaise sauce, fried calamari with two sauces, and two soups- mushroom and spit pea. These dishes, like all created by Chef John Ringle, struck just the right flavor balance. The mushroom soup was packed with mushrooms and the split pear had a mild pepper flavor.

The entrees kept up the quality. Again, the dishes were well seasoned without the flavoring overwhelming the dish. The lasagna, enough for three meals, offered a good balance of meat, sauce, cheese and pasta, and penne’s from heaven (pasta, chicken, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, plum tomatoes, and garlic, olive oil and rosemary) was tasty. Sea bass, ordered fro the dinner menu, was served on an intensely flavored bed of spinach with creamy roasted red bliss potatoes. The fish was flaky and cooked just right. All the dishes were steaming hot.

Subtlety went out the window with Chocolate Decadence- Oreo cookies and two layers of Belgian chocolate fudge, served warm with (or without, if you prefer) peanut butter. Other good desserts were the homemade tiramisu and brownie cheesecake.

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