Former Caci chef Marco Pellegrini to open Osteria Umbra in Smithtown

Chef Marco Pellegrini has found a new home in Smithtown. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

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Foodies, mark you calendars. Acclaimed chef Marco Pellegrini will soon be serving up his authentic Italian cuisine once again. Osteria Umbra is slated to open in late January 2020 in Smithtown.

The 115-seat Smithtown restaurant, located at the site of the former Smithtown Buffet, is inspired by the Italian chef’s hometown of Umbra and the North Fork. Pellegrini moved his family from Umbra to Cutchogue in 2014 to serve as executive chef at popular Italian restaurant Caci North Fork. After four years, the Southold restaurant abruptly closed in October 2018, leading Pellegrini to open his own restaurant for the first time.

“I can finally decide my vision,” Pellegrini said. “It is not just about good food, it is about creating an experience for guests from the first minute they arrive. Everything from service to presentation will be special.”

After looking at roughly 60 other potential locations across Long Island, Pellegrini and his two business partners recently signed the lease on the Smithtown restaurant off Terry Road and are starting renovations to transform the former buffet into an “elegant, modern, rustic” space with a lounge area and formal dining room.

His wife, seasoned Italian chef Sabrina Vallorini, will join Pellegrini in the kitchen as chef de cuisine at Osteria Umbra.

Pellegrini, who began studying culinary arts at 15, said the offerings are a marriage of Old World and new. The menu will feature traditional Italian cuisine, such as homemade pastas and pastries, all while highlighting Long Island produce, wine and craft beer. There will also be a rotating tasting menu featuring authentic Umbrian dishes, such as suckling pig and gnocchi with duck.

“I want to showcase both regions,” he said. “We are going to do everything homemade, no question.”

Pellegrini said the family-friendly Osteria Umbra will have approachable price points, signature cocktails and an extensive Long Island wine list.

To stay up-to-date on Pellegrini’s progress, follow him on Instagram at @osteriaumbra