Amid pandemic, Extensive Island eating places uncover new way to survive by opening markets

A Grandma pizza, pasta e fagioli and …. paper towels, a bottle of Chianti and some flour? On the internet restaurant buying received a little strange past spring, when empty supermarket shelves compelled some dining establishments to peddle provides-on from eggs to rest room paper and hand sanitizer to stuck-at-household regulars.

Whilst all those surreal times have largely pale, some operators uncovered that providing groceries was not just a way to provide their communities and preserve personnel utilized, but also opened up a essential added channel of funds. The end result: A handful of all those marketplaces have come to be lasting, with a number of a lot more in the pipeline.

“COVID experienced dropped us to our knees. You had to pivot,” recalled Lisa Cusamano, a companion of Pentimento, of the dim time very last spring when the Stony Brook cafe shut briefly and some employees were being laid off. Pentimento experienced celebrated its 25th birthday with a occasion only a few months just before the pandemic struck, and chef-owner Dennis Young had been retired to Florida for awhile. But right after COVID swept in, Youthful returned to Extended Island as he, Cusamano and remaining employees fired up a takeout procedure and robust out of doors eating, then reopened the dining space with minimal seating in late June — introducing crops rather of plexiglass, and maintaining the bar shut.

Early on, stated Cusamano, they noticed desire for seize-and-go foods and higher-excellent food stuff that could be cooked at house, as effectively as takeout exhaustion. “Persons were being having difficulties to get distinct items, and we saw the will need — and we also experienced the item,” Cusamano stated. “We mentioned, ‘the community requires this and they experience secure below. So, why not try it?'”

So they took the chairs and tables out of their primary eating home, repurposed wooden wine crates into shelving and reworked the house into an Italian-esque market stocked with cheeses, chops, pasta, olive oil, bottles of wine and residence favorites this kind of as pesto, dips, home-fixed salumi and Caesar salad kits. Later on, they included dishes that could be reheated or cooked at home, such as falafel, lasagna and the kitchen’s well known “hen less than a brick,” bought as a marinated split hen breast that could be seared or thrown on the grill.

“It was a challenge, but we had enjoyment with it, and tried to uncover neat merchandise,” claimed Cusamano. The inventory grew and grew — to contemporary veggies, spice blends, and exceptional have to-haves these kinds of as cheddar-bacon bread twists, Italian IPA, yellow-tomato ketchup, fragile property potato chips and Butter of Parma. The kitchen also boxed up a handful of firsts, these types of as turkey pot pie and meat loaf. “The shoppers are fundamentally dictating what they require and want, and we maintain evolving,” he claimed.

As Pentimento’s industry grows, some others go on to get into the game. Two places to eat, 317 Most important Street in Farmingdale and The Oar in Patchogue, are set to debut their possess marketplaces in coming weeks. With no additional adieu, right here are destinations you can invest in, or quickly acquire, groceries along with your lunch or dinner order.

Pentimento Cafe + Sector (93 Main St., Stony Brook): With the DNA of a chef’s pantry and the appears to be of an Italian deli, Pentimento’s new marketplace is a charmer. Chief among the treasures manufactured or butchered by chef-proprietor Dennis Younger: Spreads, pesto, burrata, contemporary pasta, dwelling-cured pancetta, focaccia, chops that are brined or marinated in residence, and get-and-go dishes such as lasagna. The sector also presents non-public shopping to those who are nervous to be about other people, and limitations the current market to a few shoppers are a time. A lot more facts: 631-689-7755,

Konoba (486 Gerard St., Huntington): Croatian wine is a generally undiscovered gem and was nary to impossible to discover until finally 2020, when operator Daniel Pedisich started to sell bottles of it from his Huntington cafe. Ditto for the Croatian cabbage rolls (sarma), borek pies and Croatian tea cookies, chocolate, jams or plum-butter distribute (prodavaka). Get these from shelves within the cafe or increase them on to an order of cooked dishes, from burgers topped with whipped feta or brudet, Croatian seafood stew. A lot more info: 631-824-7712,

Misplaced & Uncovered (951 Beech St., Prolonged Beach): If you are not yet prepared to pull up a stool to a significant-major for chef Alexis Trolf’s dry-aged rib-eye with bleu-cheese butter, you can now seize mentioned steak from the butcher counter that debuted right here summer months. Hulking veal chops, duck breasts, home-floor burgers and porterhouse steaks reduce to buy await, far too, as do canned anchovies, tomatoes and exclusive condiments. Income only. Additional details: 516-442-2606

317 Main Avenue (317 Major St., Farmingdale): Lacking chef Eric LeVine’s soup dumplings or sweet-potato gnocchi? Come early February, get pre-geared up versions to make at household from a industry set to debut at the again of the huge space. “You are going to be ready to feed two persons for the similar price tag,” you may pay back at a table, mentioned LeVine. “We’re continually innovating, and this is the up coming progression.” The market’s shelves will be stocked with an eclectic, global array that mirror’s 317’s ethos: Pastas, sauces, mac-and-cheese, chops, fish, sauces and even dim sum will be sold, as will gelato. Much more information: 516-512-5317,

Tullulah’s Small Marketplace (12 Fourth Ave., Bay Shore): This summertime, chef-operator Steven Scalesse and his wife, Nicole, transformed a private dining room inside of the restaurant into a sweet minimal light-flooded marketplace whose cabinets are loaded with beverages you would be difficult pressed to obtain elsewhere — rare pet-nats and organic wines, Italian liqueurs, and cordials produced by bartender Bert Weigand. Also bought here are jars of area horseradish, chilly-pressed juices, salumi and cheeses, moreover property pickles, pumpkin-seed pesto and products created by the kitchen. A lot more details: 631-969-9800.

The Oar Steak & Seafood Grille (265 West Ave., Patchogue): If it has gills, odds are The Oar has served it on a plate — but like anyone else, this 34-12 months-aged Patchogue fixture has experienced to adapt. In early February, they’ll open a digital industry offering seafood and shellfish — filets, clams, oysters, lobsters — for pickup alongside a evening meal of, say, lobster wontons and chicken Richard. “Due to the fact of the pandemic, we’re constantly striving to feel outside the house of the box, and we have a ton of buyers who do not come to feel at ease coming into the cafe but nonetheless want our dishes and sauces,” claimed co-operator Lindsey Chalifoux, who operates the restaurant with her father, Richard Blakeslee. The online industry will also provide sauces, these kinds of as fra diavolo or bleu cheese, to slather throughout stews, pastas and wedge salads. Fish will be offered by the piece, fairly than the pound, and rates will be on par with region fish marketplaces, Chalifoux said. Far more information: 631-654-8266,