Petulant Wino, the Tom Schaudel-owned restaurant that opened to great acclaim in Aquebogue in 2014 has closed.
John Gambino, who owned Baby Moon restaurant in Westhampton for more than three decades, will open il Giardino in its place. He hopes to have the new establishment open by March 15.
“I always said if I sold Baby Moon I wanted to go to a smaller place,” Gambino said in an interview at the soon-to-open Main Road restaurant. “You can give a personal touch to the customers.”
Baby Moon chef William Londono, who worked with Gambino in Westhampton for 35 years, will take over the kitchen at il Giardino. Gambino’s daughter, Maria, will oversee the front of the house.
Gambino said he hopes to use produce, eggs and cheese from local farms in the kitchen and serve Long Island wine in the 35-seat dining room and bar.
Expect a simplified menu of some of Baby Moon’s signature dishes like sautéed baby eggplant and turkey meatballs over spaghetti at the new restaurant.
Full size pasta dishes will be $18 to $25 and half-sized portions will be available as well. The menu will also feature personal pizzas and appetizers like homemade mozzarella and tomatoes and seafood salad served with shrimp, calamari, scungille, mussels, octopus and clams.
Gambino stressed that the new eatery will be family friendly.
He began working at Baby Moon, then owned by his older brother Peter, when he came to America from Palermo, Sicily at the age 16 in 1971.
“He put me to work washing dishes,” Gambino said.
Peter Gambino later made his little brother a partner in the business. The younger Mr. Gambino sold his share last year following the death of his brother in 2013.
Petulant Wino, which served small plates and Long Island wine in a 19th century farmhouse, quickly became a North Fork standout when it opened three years ago and soon received a coveted “excellent” rating from The New York Times.
The restaurant’s chef and partner Lenny Campanelli has moved over to aMano, another Schaudel-owned establishment in Mattituck. Courtney Schaudel, the third partner in the business and Mr. Schaudel’s daughter, said she is focusing on the upcoming birth of her second child. She is moving on to Southold’s aLure, which is also owned by Mr. Schaudel.
“I couldn’t commit to the time,” Ms. Schaudel said of the decision to sell the business.
il Giardino is located at 739 Main Road, Aquebogue. Call (631) 779-3900 for more info.