Watermark of Wading River officially opened Monday and owner Cosmo Parrella couldn’t be happier.
“It’s been a long and arduous trip, but we finally got there and got the doors open,” Parrella said.
The restaurant, which now occupies the space formerly held by Michael Anthony’s Food Bar, has been in works since the winter by Parrella, who previously owned Munday’s luncheonette in Huntington, and partners Shawn and Ashley Piazza.
The space has been completely renovated by Mr. Piazza, with indoor and outdoor seating and natural light spilling into the dining room. The slick bar has two large TVs on either side with a varied selection of wines and spirits, many of them local.
Nick Parrella grew up watching his father run Munday’s and is now working with him on Watermark.
“Nick is my diamond in the rough,” said Parrella, whose daughters Alyssa and Tiana have also helped with the opening. “He calls it a ride, I call it a roller coaster. Nick is a people person. People gravitate to him and he gravitates to them.”
Nick Parrella said fans of Munday’s with find something familiar in Watermark.
“We’re trying to bring a similar vibe from a brunch and lunch perspective,” he said. “We’re looking for this to be a cool place for people to hang out, enjoy themselves and feel comfortable.”
Watermark is open all day, with a varied menu that includes eggs Benedict, French toast and omelets for brunch; sandwiches, burgers and salads for lunch; and seafood, steak, chicken and pasta for dinner.
The brunch and lunch offerings are familiar to the Parrellas, but dinner and a full bar is new. A majority of the wines are local, curated by George Eldi of Wines by Nature at The Shoppes at East Wind, who approached Parrella with suggestions.
In fact, keeping things local has been a major goal for Parrella, who said he was heartened to meet so many locals upon opening.
“I finally got to meet a lot of local people,” he said of opening day Monday. “And everybody was so forthcoming and very generous and positive to us. Wading River is going to be a nice spot. We should be very happy where we are right now.”
Check out Watermark of Wading River at 2925 North Wading River Road.