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Local Restaurants Gear Up for Restaurant Week

Posted on 30 October 2009

web Biz Bepe

When Giuseppe Desiderio began developing the concept for the Main Street, Sag Harbor restaurant Blue Sky – the Mediterranean inspired restaurant where he is the executive chef and managing partner – he said he wanted to make sure it was the kind of establishment the local community would embrace.

“We wanted to make sure to have enough local flair,” he said. “The locals are our patrons nine months of the year.”

Starting this Sunday, November 1 through November 8, Blue Sky will join other Long Island restaurants in the fourth annual Long Island Restaurant Week, an event conceived by WordHampton Public Relations to give diners the chance to enjoy world-class cuisine at a recession-friendly price. The event, inspired by WordHampton’s Hamptons Restaurant Week, which is held each March, also gives restaurateurs the opportunity to entice new patrons to their establishments and encourage dining across Long Island during the slower winter season.

For one week, participating restaurants will offer a three-course prix fixe for $24.95 per person all night except for Saturday when it will be available until 7 p.m.

Desiderio said enticing local customers has been a focus of his from the start, one of the reasons he chose to concentrate his menu on Mediterranean flavors. Favorites on Blue Sky’s menu include Paella D’España, Moussaka, a dish made of eggplant and ground beef in a classically French Béchamel Sauce and seared baby lamb chops over polenta.

“There is a little of Spain, a little of Italy, a little France,” said Desiderio. “It’s simple. We are not trying to re-write cookbooks, but we offer very good food at a good price.”

During restaurant week, Blue Sky will offer diners a variety of choices, although Desiderio noted the menu may change. So far, items like Blue Sky’s Greek salad, beef carpaccio, a fresh soup of the day and rugola salad top starters on the prix fixe menu. Moussaka, almond crusted John Dory, a roasted chicken salad and fettuccine with flat leaf parsley, garlic and oil is being considered as main course options.

Blue Sky will not be the only Sag Harbor restaurant joining the Long Island Restaurant Week lineup. Tutto il Giorno, the chic, Italian bistro offering a plethora of homemade pastas prepared by executive chef Maurizio Marfoglia, who comes to Sag Harbor after being a chef at Manhattan restaurants such as Barolo Ristorante and Coco Pazzo.

However, Marfoglia’s craft was forged first in kitchens throughout Italy. A native of the Lombardy region, just north of Milan, Marfoglia owned two restaurants in Italy before the age of 30. He has been the chef and co-owner at Tutto il Giorno since 2008 with Gaby Karan de Felice also serving as a partner at the Bay Street restaurant.

Down the turnpike, in Bridgehampton, Copa Wine and Tapas Bar will also particpate in Long Island Restaurant Week, although executive chef Eddy Phooprasert said as a tapas restaurant diners at Copa will likely have a different experience than at a traditional restaurant. 

Just four months old, Copa’s menu was designed in the Spanish tapas style – a style that promotes sharing, and tasting, as much of the menu as possible.

“One of the new trends has been tapas,” said Phooprasert. “It is so popular because not only are people more health conscious, but we want to try a number of different things.”

 Raised in Thailand, Phooprasert was trained at the legendary Le Cordon Bleu in France, giving Copa influences from Spain, France and Southeast Asia.

Some of the signature dishes found at Copa, said Phooprasert, include domestic lamb chops marinated in Spanish paprika.

“It’s just a wonderful piece of meat,” said Phooprasert. “It is so flavorful and tender.”

Clams and chorizo, tortilla – a traditional Spanish omelet – and of course, two different kinds of paella are other dishes Phooprasert said beloved at the School Street, Bridgehampton locale.

“We will have a restaurant week menu with three different courses, but being a tapas restaurant it just won’t be the same,” said Phooprasert. “For us everyone will get to try a couple of things here.”

Blue Sky is located at 63 Main Street, Sag Harbor (725-1810); Tutto il Giorno is located at 6 Bay Street, Sag Harbor (725-7009); Copa Wine and Tapas Bar is located at 95 School Street, Bridgehampton (613-6469).

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