By Genevieve Kotz
As an artist, Robin Tagliasacchi is always looking for a different way to see or create things, whether it’s looking to architecture for a design inspiration or repurposing old wine boxes for specials menus at Cappelletti’s, the Italian restaurant in Noyac she owns with her husband, Luigi.
“I like an odd perspective—not an obvious perspective,” She explained, “I get inspiration from not very conventional places.” She uses this creative outlook in her art—painting the backs of flowers for a still life, for example—and for her businesses.
Stepping in to the cozy, welcoming restaurant on Noyac Road, visitors will be immediately struck by the eclectic grouping of art that is hung on the walls, from the charcoal figure drawings in the dining room, the canvased photographs of Sissy’s farm, to the assemblage of colorful Cappelletti’s menus on the wall—They are all done by Mrs. Tagliasacchi.
Not only has Mrs. Tagliasacchi created all of the art in the restaurant, but she is also in charge of the marketing and branding, from the menus, the advertisements and the logo to the business cards and even the colorful postcards that run the gamut from pop-art-esque lips to nostalgic throwbacks.
“My forte is creating,” Mrs. Tagliasacchi said. “If I’m creating art, creating dishes for the restaurant, creating ads, creating what this room is going to look like…it’s my wheelhouse.”
Mrs. Tagliasacchi, a Sag Harbor native with a head for entrepreneurship, has been creating art throughout her life and continues to take classes and courses to expand her skills. Whether she is explaining her design process or gushing over the work of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, it is clear she has the heart of an artist. Mrs. Tagliasacchi loves charcoal and watercolor, but also loves—and most frequently uses—graphic design.
“It’s cyclical with me. I’ll go through the mediums and start again,” she said of her creative process, “Once you do it too much, it’s not creative anymore.”
Mrs. Tagliasacchi creates art every day, always trying to keep it fresh.
Lately, she has been doing sketches, finding a view that she finds interesting, whether it’s the edge of a boat or knocked down mailboxes. Mrs. Tagliasacchi, who works on her art every day, notes that many times her art will end up in the restaurant somehow, either on the walls or in an advertisement.
Mrs. Tagliasacchi begins the creative process for the restaurant’s advertising in January because, she said, it is important to create a strong presence for a restaurant that is not located on Sag Harbor’s Main Street, where it is far easier to get walk-in traffic. She starts with sketching, later progressing to graphic design and is constantly fine-tuning her creations.
“You have a nanosecond to catch someone’s attention,” Mrs. Tagliasacchi said. Favoring simple advertisements that welcome rather than shout, Mrs. Tagliasacchi is also attentive to the negative space, not wanting to clutter or over-decorate an ad.
The ads are always creative and fresh, but Mrs. Tagliasacchi always tries to incorporate her husband, who she said was the persona of the restaurant. The logo, which started off as the bare bones of a fish, now includes a simple line drawn figure of a nostalgic man wearing a bowler cap. The model, of course, was Mr. Tagliasacchi.
Mrs. Tagliasacchi also created the restaurant’s website, and said she continues to look for ways to improve it to meet her customers’ needs.
The Tagliasacchi’s put extreme detail into their restaurant, from the dishes they create to the tactile paper they use for the menus. Everything they do is to create the most enjoyable, friendly and delicious experience for the customers.
Mr. Tagliasacchi, who is originally from Florida, has always been involved with the restaurant business. He met Robin in Sag Harbor, and together, the couple have raised three children—Nick, Alicia, and Joy—and served the Sag Harbor community with delicious food.
After opening Espresso’s in 1993, and selling it in 2005, the couple expected to go back to Florida for a year before opening a new restaurant. Unfortunately for them – and fortunately for Sag Harbor residents—it was a hurricane year. They soon came back to the East End, bought the space that is now Cappelletti’s and opened it the following year. They are currently in their ninth season and carry on with the successful formula of Mr. Tagliasacchi running the kitchen seven days a week and Mrs. Tagliasacchi in charge of the floor, the bills, and of course, the art.
Although the restaurant is a bit off the beaten path, it has a loyal fan base from “wonderful locals” to summer people, she said.
“We really appreciate when they drive all the way over here to see us,” Mrs. Tagliasacchi.