August 01, 2007
Cappelletti: Welcome Home
"Once you come in here and eat, you're family." There is no pretense when Robin Tagliasacchi, co-owner of Cappelletti Italian Grill, says these words. This is a true family-style restaurant.
|Cappelletti’s “drunken mussels” are a treat for those with a penchant for the agave plant, as it sits in a cocktail of tequila, lime juice, jalepeno, red bell pepper and cilantro. (click for larger version)|
Her husband, Luigi, is her partner in crime, and also the talented chef of this popular Sag Harbor eatery on Noyac Road. And these two are no strangers to popular restaurants. Two years ago, they sold Espresso, "The Little Italian Market," in Sag Harbor after running it for more than a decade. Luigi's father, Jack Tagliasacchi, is currently the proprietor of Il Cappuccino, and once owned Baron's Cove Inn, both in the village. In fact, it was under his father's tutelage where Luigi cut his teeth in the culinary world. When he was older, he spent nine months at a cooking school in Parma, Italy refining his skills.
All this experience paid off – the extensive Cappelletti menu, filled with assorted Italian fare, from focaccia sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes, hot heroes and salads as well as burgers and fries, not to mention dessert, is proof positive Luigi is no amateur.
Once seated, our group ordered some excellent wine, a velvety merlot served in a carafe and glass of light, crisp pinot grigio. A basket of large homemade garlic rolls were put before us. Nice and crispy our table gobbled them up immediately.
For appetizers, we started off with the "Drunken' Mussels" from the dinner specials menu. Bathed in tequila, lime juice, jalapeno, red bell pepper and cilantro, these mussels were a little bit tangy with just the right kick of spice. Next came the crabcakes, dressed with homemade horseradish sauce, and chopped red and green peppers.
In keeping with the seafood theme, we also ordered the baked stuffed clams, served with some lemon on the side, which quickly disappeared.
Finally, we tried the lobster ravioli, a homemade favorite, served in a light gorgonzola alfredo sauce with "a touch" of asparagus. This dish proved to be a table favorite, and would soon make a reappearance.
For the entrees we pored over the regular menu and decided on the grilled salmon, adorned in a creamy dill sauce with a touch of brandy and roasted garlic. Vegetables and country garlic mashed potatoes accompanied this dish. The fish was fresh and the dill sauce and mashed potatoes blended together perfectly.
The baked ziti was another favorite, served in Luigi's homemade tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, Parm cheese, with mozzarella on top, "baked until really melty and wonderful."
Off the dinner specials menu, we tried the broccoli rabe with sausage, sautéed with garlic and olive oil and tossed with sweet Italian sausage. So good was this dish, our diner didn't share any of it!
Finally, we ordered another helping of the lobster ravioli as the entrée.
Nearly stuffed but with plenty of room left for dessert our table devoured the chambord chocolate mousse cake, the black and white mousse cake and the lemon orange mousse cake. These weightless sweets just melted in our mouths. We also got our hands on some homemade cannoli and tira misu. We washed it all down with some of the best cappuccinos in town, strong with extra foam.
Cappelletti is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Specials change weekly; all local produce is used. And if you're lucky, after a delicious Italian meal that captivates the taste buds, Robin will give you a hug goodbye.
Cappelletti Italian Grill
3284 Noyac Road