Foodie Vue: Mannino’s of Smithtown

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There are but a few entrepreneurs on Long Island, that operate three successful restaurants, each with their own unique characteristics and style. In 1996, brothers Joe, Frank and John Mannino began their journey with the opening of their first restaurant in Commack.

Soon after, in the year 2000 Smithtown opened where artisan pizzas are proudly displayed at the far end of the restaurant. This of course is just the beginning of what you’ll find in this trattoria style eatery. With over 20 different pastas and a great selection of chicken, veal and seafood, Manninos is a place you’ll never tire of.

I stopped in for lunch and went with some traditional favorites. The Mozzarella Caprese; fresh mozzarella cheese, beef steak tomato and ribbons of red peppers, pays homage to the Italian flag. A wonderful starter to get my appetite going. With so many pastas to choose, I had to go in and try two. The Rigatoni à la Vodka in a creamy pink sauce with its gorgeous reddish color and fine crumbles of beef make this rustic dish a must try. It’s a huge portion so be ready to take some home.

Orecchiette Broccoli Rabe; a combination of sausage, broccoli rabe, and sundried tomatoes, sautéed in garlic and oil, then tossed with an orecchiette pasta is off the charts. Very traditional dish at Manninos that customers can not seem to get enough of. Don’t forget to ask for some fresh cracked pepper, topped off with fresh Parmesan.

Chicken Mannino is one of their more popular dishes. Breast of chicken lightly breaded topped with fresh plum tomatoes, bermuda onion and fresh mozzarella in a balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette. What I most enjoy, is that it has all the textures and flavors you could want in a single dish. The crispiness of the chicken combined with the richness of the plumb tomatoes and pillowy morsels of mozzarella makes this dish one I want to have over and over again! Following suit was a jumbo cannoli that came overstuffed. With a cappuccino made for a perfect finish.

I’ve known the Mannino’s since their inception, and have grown to appreciate how they built a family brand that has been synonymous with distinctive quality and exceptional service. ­­­­­­I sat with Frank Mannino for a few minutes and asked, what has been the secret to the success of the Mannino brand? In Franks own words; “It’s no secret at all. My brothers and I work on making our business better every single day. We are hands on operators and still, after all these years, go into the kitchen, roll up our sleeves and cook. If it shows you anything is that the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive.

Join me in congratulating the Mannino family as they celebrate their 28th Anniversary.