There are buzz words that certain industries use. In the realm of politics the biggest buzz word is “Grassroots,” for Baseball it’s “Five tool.” In terms of the restaurant industry the word is “fusion.” Gastro- fusion is the term used to meld two different world cuisines- like Japanese and French. It brings the best of one culture and adds to the best of another. In Huntington, NY there is a different type of fusion going on. It’s an art fusion. Cinque Terre restaurant is fusing high quality Italian foods with high quality art. It’s several different art forms blended in a one amazing experience.
Cinque Terre, is located in a nondescript plaza that dots Jericho Turnpike, like many other plazas. It’s plain façade does nothing for this space. Within steps we are transformed from the humdrum of Huntington, to the elegant charm of the Italian Riviera. The cities that make up the Italian Cinque Terre region (Five Lands) are known as Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza or Monterosso. Cinque Terre Restaurant brings the romance of the Italian village, without the need of a passport.
Grooveline Entertainers provided entertainment for the patrons this night along with most Friday nights. Pedro Torres, alongside daughters Siara and straight from Berklee College of Music, Simone, left the eager crowd with nothing but smiles. I have seen Grooveline several times and have always said the brought their “A game,” but I am now convinced their “A game” is the baseline. Congratulations Pedro, you just upped your own bar! From this point forward, I hold you to a higher standard!
As Siara belted the most powerful rendition of Proud Mary I’ve heard since Tina Turner herself, I devoured one of Cinque Terre’s signature dishes the Broccoli rabe and sausage ravioli. This dish was amazing. As mentioned, Broccoli rabe and sweet sausage rolled into a delicate ravioli, sautéed in garlic chips and virgin olive oil finished with fresh arugula. Make no mistake, this is the definition of happiness!
Up next was Simone. Simone a recent graduate from Berklee and will soon be a household name. Not only is she a gifted vocalist, but a sound engineer and producer as well. As Simone effortlessly sang a few salsa tunes, I couldn’t help but dance. Music can be intoxicating. Good music is a drug.
As I was looking around I noticed a painting hanging from the wall. It was an artist impression of Cinque Terre, Italy. The artist was able to capture the simple, honest turn of the century fisherman’s village in the Northwest corner of the Italian Peninsula. A place not drowned out by flashy construction, or obnoxious colors. It was a place that time seemingly forgotten. The artist that painted is was Andres Gonzalez. Andres is a local Long Island painter that started turning some heads. With pieces like that more heads will turn in the coming years. This was just another example of the melding of arts by different mediums.
Cinque Terre is special. Their food is crafted not cooked. You go to Cinque Terre not for a quick snack but for an experience. On average most restaurants I go to, I spend less than an hour. Here I plan on spending a night, and it’s not enough. The best way I can describe the dinner experience at Cinque Terre, this is the equivalent to a wedding reception at a ritzy country club. They are able to blend great food with music, and art. Every time you need a break from dancing your glass is full and a new plate is waiting for you. Owner of Cinque Terre, Anthony Page’s philosophy is simple “Happy faces are the driving force behind every restaurateur.” Happy faces were everywhere this night.