The Hamptons

Osteria Salina in Bridgehampton

We have many, many fine Italian restaurants in The Hamptons but authentic Sicilian has just made its debut in Bridgehampton this summer! Osteria Salina took over Copa and changed it from a tapas bar to Sicilian specialities.

Exceptionally fresh flavors and extraordinary ingredients are lovingly blended to perfection by Cinzia Gaglio whose restaurant has flourished under her tutelage. Born to Italian parents who came to America from Rome’s countryside, she was raised in New York City but was frequently brought back and forth since the age of one. Cinzia and her husband, Tim, keep a second home in Sicily just outside of Palermo where the two have found their greatest inspiration off the northeastern coast on the Aeolian island of Salina. Her enthusiasm for Italian gastronomy stems not only from New York’s native Italian influence but time spent in Lazio as well as Sicily.

Awakening the senses with zesty flavors many of the dishes are prepared with candied orange, currants, pine nuts, fava beans, couscous, sheep’s milk and of course…extra virgin Sicilian olive oil. Bread served with a splendid sampling of indigenous olive oil was offered along with the usual tap or mineral water upon being seated. We of course paired our bread with local wine! It was really hard to choose between the daily specials and the classic staples so we did a little of both. Varinka enjoyed the Cozze al Pomodoro Fresco – mussels accented with parsley, garlic, vino bianco and tomato while I went for the chilled beets with ricotta made from sheep’s milk that was light and airy and quite different from cow’s milk ricotta. I also chose the entree that was specially prepared for the evening which caught my attention – penne with Scottish salmon in a wonderful cognac sauce. Every time I veered back towards the menu, COGNAC kept luring me back so happily I gave in to my intuition which paid off very well. Something we hadn’t heard of… Atlantic wolffish was featured on the menu for the evening but was already sold out. Promised that the texture was that of lobster and the taste sweet and succulent, it is no wonder it was ordered first. Varinka ordered the Spada alla Griglia – a grilled fresh line caught swordfish atop caponatina siciliano. I adore eggplant so I was lucky to have a smidgen. As for dessert, both of us were in the mood for chocolate but they kindly insisted we try two selections. Hence we indulged in the sinfully delicious, flourless chocolate cake and a very special cannoli accented with orange zest – again a cheese so light and delightfully different. Our educated guess would pin it as sheep’s milk like the ricotta served with the beets but alas it was fresh from a cow!

We loved the satin ribbons adorning the chairs in pumpkin to match the harvest color theme of the table cloths. Those autumn tones lent a special warmth to the overall ambience. Artwork by Steven Colucci of Westhampton graced the walls with brighter colors displaying a hint of Italian influence. Cinzia Gaglio graciously introduced herself as the owner and it was clear that she and her husband Tim (co-owner) kept tabs on their waitstaff so we were well attended to throughout the meal. We were impressed that they took the time to remove crumbs after the bread basket was taken away. If either one of us got up from the table when we returned there was a freshly folded napkin at our place setting. These are the little touches that make a big difference and set a restaurant apart from the average.

Perhaps that’s why Andrew Cuomo, Bobby Flay, Liv Tyler and Bradley Cooper all found this little gem to be a favorite. Others we heard through the grapevine were Kelly Ripa, Rachel Zoe, Billy Joel, Lorraine Bracco, Rosanna Scotto and hubby, Mary Kate Olsen and beau Olivier Sarkozy, Richard Grasso and Michael Saperstein! I think that about says it : ) So what are you waiting for?!! The upcoming Hamptons International Film Festival might just be the right time to try this cozy, new hot spot.

We love Kahil Gibran’s take On Eating & Drinking

You can find handy links to both restaurants & lodging from Westhampton to Montauk on “The Hamptons”.com lifeguard stand

October 5th, 2013 Posted by | wine & dine...our take | no comments

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.