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100 Best Restaurants

On Long Island 2021

By Team at Newsday/Feed Me

Maurizio Vendittelli has spent a lifetime in Italian restaurants, working his way up from busser at Cafe Donatello in Plainview to general manager at Il Bacco in Little Neck. Here he’s finally in a position to Do It His Way. Executive chef John Di Lemme, a pasta savant who cooked at Lupa and Del Posto in Manhattan, turns out toothsome homemade varieties such as garganelli with Sicilian eggplant and ricotta, bucatini bound by an eggy, creamless carbonara and strozzapreti bathed in a verdant pesto along with cubes of potato and lengths of green beans—a Genovese preparation rarely seen on these shores.

Newsday Mangia Bene Pizza


Italian Restaurant Mangia Bene opens in Rockville Centre

By Erica Marcus

Mangia Bene ("Eat Well" in Italian), which opened in September, is the answer.

The restaurant takes over the old Winston’s Kitchen & Bar in Rockville Center. Vendittelli took over both Winston’s and its sister pub, Churchill’s, in July. But whereas he characterizes his approach to the 20-year-old Churchill’s as "a restoration," Winston’s, established in 2015, has been transformed into a rustic Italian trattoria, complete with a tented "giardino" out back. Vendittelli hopes that the outdoor space, with its standing heaters and hanging heaters and fans, will carry him into the cool — if not the cold — weather.


Standout Long Island Restaurants that have Opened During the Pandemic

By Erica Marcus

In Rockville Centre, Maurizio Vendittelli, a partner in The Breakfast Club across the street and Churchill’s next door, transformed Winston’s Kitchen & Bar into Mangia Bene ($$-$$$), rustic Italian trattoria whose oven produces a fine Calabrese pie (with crumbled sausage and Calabrese chilies) among others. 

Chef John Di Lemme is also a pasta savant, making an eggy, creamless bucatini carbonara and an authentic Genovese strozzapreti bathed in a verdant pesto along with cubes of potato and lengths of green beans. The menu smartly splits the difference between the Italian food you find in Italy, and the Italian food you find on Long Island.

Newsday Pizza from Mangia Bene
Mangia Bene Newsday Pizza


Long Island's Best Pizza

By Erica Marcus

The menu at this new Rockville Centre trattoria ranges all over the boot, but attention must be paid to the individual Neapolitan-style pizzas, designed by executive chef, John Di Lemme, and owner, Maurizio Vendittelli, and baked in a newfangled electric oven imported from Italy. Crust and toppings are in perfect harmony, from the simplest marinara and Margherita to the "PLT" (smoked Tyrolean Speck, arugula, cherry tomatoes, lemon, mozzarella and Parmesan) and the "Calabrese," sparked by hot sausage and Calabrian chilies.

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3 New Restaurants To Try

On Long Island

By Maia Vines

Mangia Bene has been bringing classic Italian dishes to Rockville Centre’s diverse food scene since its opening in September. 

This Italian eatery gives pasta lovers a large selection to choose from, including linguine di mare ($13-$24), The Parms — breaded and pan-fried veal or chicken ($19-$32), bucatini carbonara and garganelli Siciliano with Sicilian eggplant, ricotta and tomatoes ($10-$19). Mangia Bene offers specialty pizzas such as garden, pesto and Margherita, and an option to customize your own pizza

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